Bipolar disorder requires long-term treatment because the condition is repetitive in nature (NIMH, 2009). The illness will be managed better if the patient is involved in continuous treatment. There are three kinds of treatment for bipolar disorder, as the condition can be addressed through medications, psychosocial treatment and alternative treatments. In terms of medications, those which are prescribed to bipolar patients are meant to control their moods for a long period of time. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration have approved the prescription of lithium as medication for bipolar disorder, because it is powerful in stabilizing moods.

Others used in the treatment of bipolar disorder are anticonvulsant medications, which have the same effect in moods like lithium. These include valproate and carbamazepine (NIMH, 2009). Aside from medications, bipolar disorder patients must also undergo psychosocial treatments (NIMH, 2009). These allow patients and their families to understand the condition better. Studies have revealed that this kind of treatment has resulted in remarkable improvement in terms of mood, as well as less trips to the hospitals for the patient. There are several kinds of psychosocial treatments available.

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These include family therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoeducation. Family therapy involves procedures which can decrease discomfort in the family that can either worsen or be derived from the patient’s symptoms. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy allows bipolar patients to enhance their relationships and develop routines in their daily life. Cognitive behavioral therapy allows bipolar patients to alter their thought patterns to prevent negative thoughts. This kind of therapy also helps in changing behavior. Lastly, psychoeducation is useful for both the patient and the family.

It educates them about the condition and its treatment; it also teaches them indicators of relapse so there can be an intervention before the situation worsens (NIMH, 2009). There are also alternative treatments available for bipolar disorder. When medication and treatment fail to improve the patient’s condition, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used (NIMH, 2009). ECT is proven to be very useful in treating manic and depressive episodes. This is also used for bipolar pregnant women who are prevented from taking medications. Also, St. John’s wort is considered as a natural remedy for bipolar disorder.

Nevertheless, there are no studies about its effects on the condition (NIMH, 2009). What is the prognosis for bipolar disorder? It is said that with this illness, there is a greater possibility of recurrence (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2007). If a patient does not seek treatment, the risk of recurrence increases. Even if the majority of bipolar patients respond to treatment in a positive way, it was found that the possibility of recurrence is greatest in the first year after the patient’s recovery. It is recommended that bipolar patients push through with their treatment for maintenance (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2007).

It is true that bipolar disorder is a serious condition. It is characterized by extreme mood shifts, which also influence one’s behavior. It is a recurring disorder, which means it requires long-term treatment. However, one must not be terrified of this illness. There are approved medications in treating the disease, while there are also available treatments which could improve the patient’s condition. It can be managed with the necessary medications and continuation of treatment. Hence, while bipolar disorder is a serious illness, the patient is not entirely powerless over it.

It is a psychological disorder which can be controlled with the appropriate medication and treatment. References Burgess, W. (2006). The Bipolar Handbook: Real-life Questions with Up-to-Date Answers. New York: Avery. National Institute of Mental Health. (2009). Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from http://www. nimh. nih. gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index. shtml Seligman, L. , & Reichenberg, L. (2007). Selecting Effective Treatments: A Comprehensive, Systematic Guide to Treating Mental Disorders (3rd ed. ). New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.