What is the Treatment for Bipolar Disorder?

How do we treat bipolar disorder? Specifically, how do we treat mania or depression associated with bipolar disorder? The treatment of these two clinical states is not the same.

The treatment of mania is dependent upon its severity and acuity. For mild to moderate mania, mood stabilizers such as lithium and valproic acid (Valproate) are still the standard of treatment and may be sufficient to contain the symptoms. Lithium starts to work after 10 to 14 days while valproic acid, about 7 to 10 days.

Also, recent studies have shown the effectiveness of atypical antipsychotics such as risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine even when used alone to treat the acute phase of bipolar disorder.

These drugs are relatively safe but they don't come without side effects. Nausea, vomiting, tremors, and dizziness during the initial phase of treatment are commonly experienced. The more serious side effects such as renal and thyroid problem from lithium, liver dysfunction and pancreatitis from valproic acid, and increased risk of diabetes and high cholesterol from atypical antipsychotics are uncommon. However, regular blood tests are required to monitor any abnormalities.

For moderate to severe cases, atypical antipsychotics such as risperidone and quetiapine should be added to the mood stabilizers during the acute phase. Once the illness has stabilized and the symptoms have subsided, then the atypical neuroleptics can be gradually tapered off. But the mood stabilizers should continue. Regardless of severity, patients usually do well on a combination of mood stabilizer and atypical antipsychotic during the acute phase.

What is the treatment for bipolar depression? In general, the mood stabilizers' dosage should be optimized or if the patient is not on any medication yet, a mood stabilizer such as lithium should be started. Physicians should make sure that the medication maintains a "therapeutic level." If not, the dosage should be adjusted. Moreover, possible precipitants such as stresses at home should be addressed.

If these measures don't help and the depression is so severe, an antidepressant with the least risk to induce mania such as bupropion should be added to the mood stabilizer. When the depression is resolved, then the antidepressant can be gradually tapered off because its prolonged use even in the presence of mood stabilizer can still induce mania.

When should the medication be discontinued? Bipolar patients have to continue taking the medication for several months even after they become normal. High relapse rate is common if medications are prematurely stopped. Also, for patients with multiple or difficult-to-treat episodes, they may need to take the medication for years or even for life to prevent recurrence.

Patients and their physicians should thoroughly discuss the risk and benefits of any treatment intervention. Knowledge about the drug's indication, side effects, and prognosis with or without treatment is a must.

Furthermore, it is crucial that bipolar patients should also receive individual psychotherapy to help them deal with the many personal and psychosocial issues they face on a daily basis. As you know, medication alone won't suffice to address financial problems, marital conflict, work issues, and prior abuse.

In summary, the combination of medication and psychotherapy is the best treatment for bipolar disorder.

Copyright © 2004. Dr. Michael G. Rayel ? author (First Aid to Mental Illness?Finalist, Reader's Preference Choice Award 2002) psychiatrist, and inventor of Oikos Game: An Emotional Intelligence Game. For info, visit http://www.oikosgame.com and http://www.soardime.com.

In The News:

Original Influences  Psychology TodayIn the summer of 1938, the young psychologist Abraham Maslow spent several weeks doing anthropological research on a Blackfoot reservation near Alberta, ...
Psychology may help explain why male and female serial killers differ  Science DailyMale and female serial killers tend to choose their victims and commit their crimes in different ways, which may be due to thousands of years of psychological ...
Elizabeth Holmes: Psychologist Explains the Upside to 150 Black Turtlenecks  InverseThroughout the rise and epic fall of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, her signature black turtleneck has taken center stage. Holmes has admitted to owning ...
Why Do Some People Commit Fraud? Psychologists Say It's Complicated  ForbesElizabeth Holmes, Bernie Madoff, and Billy McFarland made names for themselves scamming their investors. What drove them to it?
Tug of War Continues Over Argosy Psychology Program  HawaiipublicradioBoth Chamiande University and Hawaii Pacific University have plans to take over the doctoral psychology program from the now defunct Argosy University.
Domestic abuse: the psychology of coercive control remains a legal battlefield  The Conversation - UKNot everyone was celebrating when Sally Challen's murder conviction for killing her husband was quashed. The backlash on social media indicates we still ...
Shopper Psychology: How to Use Basic Psychology to Increase Online and Offline Sales [Infographic]  Social Media TodayAre you looking for ways to increase sales on your eCommerce website? Utilizing basic psychology can help encourage more people to buy from you, but you ...
How to be better at online dating, according to psychology  NBC NewsResearch on attractiveness, persuasion, and what makes relationships work can tell us a lot about how to use dating apps.
Here Are 16 Psychological Tricks to Immediately Make People Like You More  ScienceAlertIt's hard to say exactly why you like someone. Maybe it's their goofy smile; maybe it's their razor-sharp wit; or maybe it's simply that they're easy to be around.
What is the psychology of schadenfreude?  Big ThinkFew words capture as much meaning as schadenfreude. But we do we enjoy it when others fail or come to harm? Under what conditions does it happen, and ...
Pope Francis wants psychological testing to prevent problem priests. But can it really do that?  Washington PostAs the Catholic Church quakes through one sexual abuse scandal after another, Pope Francis recently announced a policy he wants to implement on a ...
Can "Blue Space" Provide Therapeutic Benefits?  Psychology TodayTravel ads are filled with images of beckoning beaches for a reason. It's difficult to resist a beautiful water view, and that allure hasn't been lost on psychological ...
Ralph Metzner, Bay Area expert on hallucinogens, death and psychology, dies  San Francisco ChronicleRalph Metzner, a German-born and Harvard-trained psychologist who veered into the world of altered consciousness and psychedelics on his way to a longtime ...
Bad Day Advice From 8 Psychologists Who Have Been There  SelfPsychologists are only human, after all. They have bad days, too. Here's advice from eight psychologists on how to handle bad days.
The ABCs of Evidence-Based Therapies (EBTs) for Children  Psychology TodayNeed help choosing the right therapy for your child? Here's how to sort through the scientific evidence and find the best-supported treatments.
The psychology of fear and hate, and what each of us can do to stop it  The Conversation AUResearch shows that many members of dominant groups perceive minorities and immigrant groups as a threat, which builds up to fear and hate. We can all do ...
Color psychology: What 'color' do you represent at work?  People MattersDo you like the color palette your office cubicles are decorated with? Have you ever wondered how color affects how you do work and how you can use it to your ...
Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence  Psychology TodayMindfulness practices can improve your emotional intelligence and effectively upgrade your internal operating system.
The psychology of deception: How Elizabeth Holmes fooled everyone about Theranos for so long  CNBCTheranos was once the start-up darling of Silicon Valley: It had a $9 billion valuation and claimed its technology could accurately run hundreds of tests on a few ...
The Psychology of Money: What You Need To Know To Have A (Relatively) Fearless Financial Life  ForbesEmotions and family history drive our individual relationships with money and personal finance. Learning about the influence of emotions, the impact of family ...
Why a coffee shop is the most psychologically strategic spot for a first date  Well+GoodThis first date tip is all about choosing the right venue. A dose of caffeine at the coffee shop might increase your chances at love, according to science.
New Findings on Toxic Masculinity  Psychology TodayIs masculinity unhealthy? A new study examines how gender-role conflicts and masculine norms can affect men's well-being.
The Role of Psychology in SEO: Extended Symbiotic Intelligence  Search Engine JournalThe interplay between technology and human psychology can drive successful SEO strategies. Here are some areas of SEO where you can use psychology.
What is a child psychologist?  Idaho State JournalPeople often get confused about what a psychologist does. Psychologists are doctoral-level, independently licensed practitioners who have training in both ...
Psychology patients have unmet demand for male therapists  Sydney Morning HeraldMany psychology patients would prefer to see a male therapist, possibly because they are considered "more authoritative".
New government report calls for more educational psychologists to be trained  The British Psychological SocietyThe Department for Education (DfE) has published a joint report with the Institute for Employment Research, which found that there are insufficient educational ...
Blood by Maggie Gee review – slapstick and psychology  The GuardianAbsurdist elements undermine Maggie Gee's novel about a family riven by violence.
Sargodha University Conference Calls For Better Understanding Of Psychology  The Academia MagA Sargodha University conference has called for focus on developing synergy between researchers and practitioners of psychology.
Interdisciplinary Approach To Resolve Psychological Issues, Prof Dr Nizamuddin  The Academia MagFormer Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission Prof Dr Nizamuddin has said interdisciplinary approach is needed to resolve psychological issues at ...
Chaminade welcomes aspiring psychologists left high and dry by closure  Hawaii News NowHONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Aspiring psychologists who were studying at the now-closed Argosy University in Hawaii got some good news Monday: They'll ...
Is Comparison Really the Thief of Joy?  Psychology TodayHikers on the Appalachian trail have the motto “hike your own hike”—that is, resist the urge to compare how many miles you cover in a day to how far other ...
Joost van Dongen's Blog - The psychology of matchmaking  GamasutraWhichever multiplayer game you look for and no matter how good it is, you'll always find tons of complaints from users claiming the matchmaking for th.
How to Regain Your Energy Throughout Your Day  Psychology TodayDo you ever feel tired but had enough sleep? What is draining your energy might have nothing to do with your physical needs. There are other ways to regain ...
'Cold': Bonus episode explores psychology of Josh Powell audio journals  MyNorthwest.comWest Valley City police found little, if anything, of evidentiary value in the audio journal recordings of Josh Powell. However, those files are providing new insight ...
8 Eye-Opening Ways Kids Benefit from Experiences with Nature  Psychology TodayEven minuscule experiences with nature—such as seeing some trees and sky from a classroom window—can help students perform better academically, ...
Science Says Marriage Is Getting Harder. Here Are 3 Powerful Hacks to Help Entrepreneurs (and Everyone Else, Too)  Thrive GlobalA little reframing can seriously strengthen your bond and lessen your stress.
College admissions scandal: what it reveals about wealth in America  Vox.comThe college admissions scandal could break down misconceptions about money, merit, and status — if Americans are willing to listen.
The Light Triad of Personality  Psychology TodayMuch has been made of research on the Dark Triad of personality, but a new set of studies takes an alternative approach. Meet the Light Triad.
‘The Act’ Team on Diving Into the Psychology of Gypsy Rose Blanchard ‘Coming of Age’  VarietyMichelle Dean's 2016 Buzzfeed article about real-life mother/daughter duo Dee Dee Blanchard and Gypsy Rose Blanchard predated the popular documentary ...
The Psychology and Allure of Conspiracy Theories  Undark MagazineThey can shape public sentiment on everything from climate change to public health. Understanding why people believe them is vital, researchers say.
What If You Could Turn Off Aggression?  Psychology TodayNeuroscientists are moving closer to an understanding of how aggression works. Can they turn it off for us? Should they try?
What Adult ADHD Looks Like  Psychology TodayIt's commonly believed that ADHD is something that one simply outgrows, so many adults do not seek treatment.
Teens who seek solitude may know what's best for them, research suggests  UC Santa CruzMarch 22, 2019. By Jennifer McNulty. Share this story:TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedInReddit. azmitia-solitude_350.jpg "Solitude has gotten a lot of bad press, ...
Happiness for Sale  Psychology TodayScience shows that people's obsession with money runs deeper than you might think.
The Psychology of Climate Change: Why Feelings Matter  Psychology TodayNew research suggests that what's simmering inside of American psyches may be as vital to the climate change debate as the greenhouse gases bubbling from ...
Pain Points: Measuring Family Stress When a Child has ADHD  Psychology TodayFamilies report significant stress when a child has ADHD, even after their child is successfully treated. Up until now, families have typically received little help ...
Why Dogs Are Loved and Valued More Than Cats  Psychology TodayNew data shows why people care more about dogs than cats. However, it is only true if the dogs don't act like cats.
Good Sport? The Psychology Behind Losing | News Center  UNLV NewsCenterUNLV sports psychologist Brad Donohue on Netflix docuseries "Losers" and a new mental health approach to helping athletes find the silver lining after loss.
A clinical psychologist discusses Leaving Neverland, abuse, and trauma  The FADEREarlier this month, HBO released Leaving Neverland, a two-part, four-hour docuseries that follows the lives of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, ...
Don’t Feel Motivated? Play The Impossible Game  Psychology TodayDifficult thoughts and feelings often prevent us from doing what we actually care about. And when this inner resistance threatens to take over, you may want to ...
When You Love Someone, What Do You Love?  Psychology TodayWhen Romeo and Juliet fell in love with each other, what did each of them fall in love with? Philosophers have proposed various answers to the question of the ...
Bonnie Brown: Q&A with Former Psychology Professor Dr. Stan O'Dell  HottyToddy.com*The latest installment in the Ole Miss Retirees features is former Psychology Professor Dr. Stan O'Dell. The organization's mission is to enable all of the ...
'Leaving Neverland' Director Dan Reed on Refuting Michael Jackson Defenders, the Psychology of Child Sexual Abuse, and a Potential Sequel  The Film StageAfter shocking and disgusting audiences at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Leaving Neverland aired in two parts on HBO earlier this month. Wade Robson ...
Depression in 20s linked to memory loss in 50s, psychologists find  Medical XpressA new large-scale longitudinal study carried out by University of Sussex psychologists has found a clear link between episodes of depression and anxiety ...
‘The Act’ Star Joey King Breaks Down the Physicality and Psychology of Transforming Into Gypsy Rose Blanchard  VarietyJoey King had a big 2018 with Netflix teen romance “The Kissing Booth” and is now making a star turn in Hulu and UCP's anthology series “The Act.” For her role ...
Rise in number of young callers seeking psychological help  The HinduExperts cite high pressure and lesser interaction at home as reasons.
Psychological Issues Loom Large in Wake of Boeing 737 Max Crashes  ForbesThe 737 Max has certainly had an inauspicious beginning, as did Boeing's Dreamliner. If the past is prologue, the kinks in the 737 Max will eventually get ...
Your true self, Vedanta and modern psychology  Zee NewsModern psychology suffers from gaps, which the teachings of Vedanta address at a fundamental level.
Graduate and professional students at now-closed Argosy University campuses struggle to find new education options  Inside Higher EdIn the aftermath of closure, Argosy University graduate and doctoral students have difficulty transferring to new universities.
Senate passes Nigerian Council for Psychologists (Establishment) Bill, others  The PunchThe Senate on Wednesday passed a bill seeking the establishment of the Nigerian Council for Psychologists for proper regulation of the psychology p...
7 Essential Psychological Truths About Ghosting  Psychology TodayHas someone you started to care about suddenly vanished from your life without explanation? Here's some much-needed perspective on this phenomenon, and ...
Rebels Without a Clue  Psychology TodayHave students at NYU and Sarah Lawrence lost their minds? Or is there something we're missing?
What makes Germany tick? A star psychologist reveals the state of the nation  DW (English)Stephan Grünewald has been called the "psychologist of the nation." With a new book out, he tells DW about the concerns of Germans, unrest in Europe, Brexit ...
College Admission Scandal: When Parents Don't Trust In Kids  Psychology TodayParents who spent millions to get children into top colleges sent their kids a message: You are not good enough. We don't believe in your abilities.
The Complex Links Between Social Media and Mental Health  Psychology TodayOver the past decade, social media platforms have completely transformed how billions of people interact with each other. Of the 7.7 billion people on the earth, ...
Motivation to Run (or Not to Run) Is Linked to Cannabinoids  Psychology TodaySelf-produced cannabis (also known as "endocannabinoids") facilitates runner's high and drives intrinsic motivation to exercise regularly, according to a growing ...
After Christchurch, Where Are the Helpers?  Psychology TodayMr. Rogers, the children's TV host, famously said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers.
Ukraine's hryvnia again strengthens higher than psychological threshold  UNIANThe hryvnia, Ukraine's national currency, has again strengthened higher than its psychological threshold: its quotations against the U.S. dollar on the interbank ...
5 Seriously Stunning Facts About Higher Education in America  Psychology TodayThe rich and famous wrongly bribed their kids into college. Here are 5 other stunning facts about college in America.
Negative-fee ETFs could "change the psychology of the marketplace"  AxiosNegative-fee ETFs are the latest move by asset managers.
Student Protest: Rebels Without a Clue  Psychology TodayHave students at NYU and Sarah Lawrence lost their minds? Or is there something we're missing?
7 Ways Narcissists Manipulate Relationships  Psychology TodayHow narcissists use "narcissistic supply" to exploit relationships.
Feeling Lonely? These 3 Ideas Can Help  Psychology TodayNearly half of Americans report feeling lonely. These practices can make a difference.
'It is omnipresent': the toll of psychological violence  The Sydney Morning HeraldIt began with a couple of text messages from a sex chat line. Jane*, who'd never used that type of *service*, wondered where they'd got her number.
Hawaii universities step up to replace Argosy’s psychologist prep program  Hawaii News NowArgosy University closed earlier this month, leaving hundreds of Hawaii students in limbo.
A new podcast for aspiring clinical psychologists  The British Psychological SocietyOur Division of Clinical Psychology's Pre-Qualification Group has launched a new podcast, Let's Get to Clinical, at their annual meeting in Nottingham.
What the last week tells us about Theresa May’s state of mind  The GuardianShe's blamed everyone but herself for the Brexit farce, and even her allies admit she's feeling the pressure, says professor of political psychology Barry ...
Conspiracy theorists 'more likely to commit crimes', psychologists find  The IndependentPeople who believe in conspiracy theories are more likely to be involved in low-level crime, according to a new study.
The Psychology Behind People Who Fake Cancer  HuffPostOn March 20, Hulu premieres its original anthology series “The Act,” the first season of which plays out the true story of Dee Dee Blanchard, who convinced her ...
Practical Strategies to Help You Lose Weight and Keep It Off  Psychology TodayStuck in the cycle of losing weight and gaining it back? The battle is real: your body's designed to defend a fat setpoint. These strategies may help you to finally ...
Self-made millionaire Tony Robbins: Believing these 7 'lies' will make you more successful in life — and psychology agrees  CNBCSelf-made millionaire and life coach Tony Robbins argues that there are seven "lies" that can lead to success. He calls them "lies" because we can't prove ...
Understanding Donald Trump's Twitter rants takes Freudian psychology  USA TODAYDonald Trump's critics from all over the political spectrum keep using Freudian terms in their critiques of what's wrong with him and his apologists.
Punishment, psychological trauma and imperfect healing  Independent.ieIn fiction and television, Northern Ireland is having a moment. Jenny McCartney's debut novel, set in Belfast and London in the mid-1990s, comes in the wake of ...
Breathe In! Nasal Inhalations Are Linked to Laser-Like Focus  Psychology TodayTaking a deep breath in through the nose appears to help the human brain create a laser-like focus on visuospatial tasks, according to a new study by a team of ...
New study says trigger warnings are useless. Does that mean they should be abandoned?  Inside Higher EdTrigger warnings don't help students, and they might even hurt those grappling with serious trauma. That's the upshot of a new study on trigger warnings ...
Everything You Need to Know About the Science of Happiness  Interesting EngineeringThere might be plenty of definitions to answer your 'what is happiness 'question. However, the real question today is how to be happy? On this happiness day, ...
Why School Psychologists Are Worried About the Mental Health of America's Students  ACLUEarlier this month, thousands of school psychologists met in Atlanta at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists. One of the ...
The peculiar evolutionary differences between male and female serial killers  New AtlasA thought-provoking study has presented a comparison between male and female serial killers. The sex differences in behaviors and crimes have been framed ...
England coach looks to psychology after Twickenham meltdown  Eurosport.comLONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - England coach Eddie Jones said he would be bringing in an expert to help his team deal with mental pressure ahead of the ...
This Nobel Prize-Winning Psychologist Reveals the Cognitive Biases that Lead to Bad Decisions.  Thrive GlobalIn the fall of 1969, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman—two rising stars in the psychology department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem—formed a ...
WTI Oil Outlook: Bulls may correct further after initial failure at psychological $60 barrier  FXStreetWTI oil stands at the back foot on Friday and eases to $59.30 after bulls ran out of steam and failed to close above cracked $60 barrier in repeated a.
Lab rats looking for homes after retiring from Millersville University's psychology department  WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.Millersville University is offering some unique pets for adoption. WGAL News 8's Susan Shapiro shows us the rat pack looking for good homes. Advertisement.
England want a psychologist and Itoje admits it's all in the mind  Daily MailEXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY DANIEL MATTHEWS: For Maro Itoje, the pursuit of physical supremacy has had to take a back seat in recent weeks. He has ...
Can Mindfulness Improve Workplace Well-Being?  Psychology TodayMajor organizations from all sectors—like Google, the U.S. Marines, Harvard University, and many more—are investing heavily in mindfulness training. Why is ...
The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange, Part 4: Why Even Some Lefties Want To See Him Hang  New MatildaOn Sunday March 3rd and 10th, hundreds attended rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, demanding that the ...
Psychologist: Sara Packer 'dominated' Sullivan in rape and murder of Grace Packer  The IntelligencerBut during a blistering cross-examination by Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, the doctor admitted that he couldn't tell if Jacob Sullivan — whom he ...
Why male and female serial killers choose their victims differently  Daily MailNew research from Penn State Harrisburg found the different patterns seen between male and female murderers may be a product of gender-specific behaviors ...
The Psychological Underpinnings Of Terrorism And The Knowledge Deficit In Unravelling It  SwarajyaThe nature, traits and the way of working of terrorists are not that easy to comprehend.
The 10 Best Psychological Horror Movies That Will Mess With Your Brain  Screen RantNot all horror has to be about gore and jump scares - these are the best of the psychological horror genre.
Multi-million pound fund to train more educational psychologists in schools  GOV.UKThousands of children across England will benefit from mental health and special needs support, as funding worth £31.6 million is announced to train more ...

Gay Men Psychology

Gay men are said to be usually third or further... Read More

Right Brain, Left Brain

The right brain controls the left side of the body... Read More

What is Narcissism?

A pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and... Read More

The Attention Spanner

After a long and patient wait in queue, you reached... Read More

The Cultural Narcissist - Lasch In An Age Of Diminishing Expectations

"The new narcissist is haunted not by guilt but by... Read More

Are Observations Objective?

On the outset all observations may seem to be objective,... Read More

Robotic Bonding Thru Human First Love Memory Replication

Many Science Fiction authors have discussed in many works the... Read More

What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 1

Solution Focus is the brain child of Insoo Kim Berg... Read More

The Essence of Being Human

What does it mean to be Human? Well if you... Read More

The Myth of Mental Illness

"You can know the name of a bird in all... Read More

Mind Over Matter - Proven

THE ACTS OF CREATION:The following quote is a review I... Read More

Insighting Human Behavior thru Gravity Wave Simulations of the Moon

Every police officer will tell you that when there is... Read More

The Offspring of Aeolus - On the Incest Taboo

Incest is not such a clear-cut matter as it has... Read More

Psychological Tips for Effective Studying

STUDY STRATEGIES* Revise regularly- Revision should be continuous if you... Read More

Hypnotic Myths

Even though hypnosis has been around officially since the 1700s... Read More

Get Out of Jail Free: Stop Being Defensive

When Marcus and Sally first met they immediately felt like... Read More

What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 2

Again, many of us think we listen, yet we don't... Read More

We are in the End Days; Oh, Really Now?

Some think the world is coming to an end, they... Read More

What Causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

The most recent models that attempt to describe what is... Read More

Morality As A Mental State

INTRODUCTIONMoral values, rules, principles, and judgements are often thought of... Read More

Do You Love Your Body?

Through out the course of one's life one is faced... Read More

Kids and Lifebooks: Tips for Social Workers

Every child who is adopted from foster care deserves a... Read More

The Joan of Arc Complex

Sometimes I think that I have a mental health problem... Read More

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is Not Related to I.Q.

It's important to know that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and... Read More

Time Out of Mind

Let us first consider the role of time in our... Read More