Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

How Can Bipolar Disorder Be Treated?

The course of therapy used by a psychiatrist will aim to bring the patient’s moods back into the normal spectrum based upon its severity. The longer a patient waits to seek the help of a psychiatrist to test for manic-depressive disorder, the less they will be able to function mentally over time.

The standard drug used for mania is Lithium. It is one of the most effective prescribed drugs to treat and control manic episodes and works for some patients very well. A psychiatrist may decide to combine Lithium with an antipsychotic drug like Depakote or with anti-convulsant drugs like Tegretol, Carbamazepine or Lamictal. The main goal of combining drugs is to halt the patient’s episodes of mania and stabilize their moods as soon as possible. Drugs dosages may need to be adjusted several times based on how the patient feels and acts over the course of several months.

Side Effects of Psychotherapy Drugs

Some anti-psychotic drugs cause weight gain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, and sleeplessness. Patients can also develop a severe type of skin rash known as Steven Johnson’s Syndrome. Onset symptoms include fever and flu-like symptoms followed by the appearance of painful blisters and peeling skin in the affected area. The observation of patients who take Lamictal reveals no signs of weight gain or worsened manic symptoms. Likewise, patients who take Tegretol did not experience weight gain or become sedated as opposed to those who took Depakote.

Trazodone, Zyprexa and Prozac are all medications approved for the treatment of bipolar disorder, however, each bipolar patient responds differently to these medications. We aim to gain a patient’s trust by encouraging them to try several treatment options to lessen uncomfortable side effects. Call 212 362-9635 to schedule an appointment at our NYC USA office.

We Provide TMS Therapy in New York City

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS is a safe and effective FDA-approved therapy used for patients resistant to anti-psychotic or anti-depressive drugs. Stimulation applied to the right side of a manic patient’s brain reveals high potential of increasing brain activity and improving mood. Similar results are seen among patients who suffer from low mood. Thirty randomly published controlled trials and 10 meta-analyses have reported on the antidepressant effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in patients with chronic low mood. Call our NYC office at 212 362-9635 to schedule an appointment.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an office procedure that targets the brain’s prefrontal cortex using magnetic pulses. It has been FDA approved as a therapeutic method for alleviating major depressive symptoms for adults since 2008. The therapy session lasts about thirty minutes and patients are able to go about their daily activities and routine with little or no side effects. At least 20-30 sessions are needed for the average patient to experience significant relief from their chronic low mood symptoms over the course of a month to six weeks.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation rarely causes side effects as compared to drug therapy. There are instances when someone will experience a slight headache with the first few treatments. The only significant risk associated with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is the onset of an epileptic seizure during a session. This reaction occurs in about 1 out of 10,000 treatments with more frequent incidents shown in patients who have a history of epileptic seizures and a sensitivity to extreme heat trauma.

Transcranial magnetic therapy has been used in over 60 clinical trials to treat chronic low mood. The majority of case studies showed positive results among patients who seemed to significantly improve with regular application. These documented results offer a measure of hope to patients who have tried a range of other treatments that did not address their chronic mental illness as well or could not be tolerated.

The Use of Fish Oil to Treat Manic-Depressive Disorder

A deep interest in the use of fish oil to treat manic-depressive illness was first launched after findings that suicidal thoughts and low mood were less prevalent in countries where peoples’ diets included larger amounts of fish oil. Essential fatty acids (Omega-3s) found in fish oil show promise of reducing manic episodes when taken in addition to anti-psychotic drugs. Aside from the protection fish oil offers from stroke and heart disease,the benefits of taking this natural supplement include:

1. Relief from classic depression and manic-depressive illness.

2. Protection from manic-depressive relapse.

L-methylfolate and Manic-Depressive Disorder

A significant number of manic-depressive patients have a folate deficiency or suffer from malabsorption. More likely than not they will experience a poor response to anti-depressant medications. L-methylfolate is the only form of folic acid that plays a role in neurotransmitter synthesis by traveling across the blood-brain barrier. L-methylfolate is advocated as an effective natural supplement for patients to take who are resistant to anti-depression drugs since it is not shown to cause side effects.

People Who Suffer From Low and High Moods

People who suffer from low and high moods often have a problem with substance abuse. In the manic stage, many patients have bouts of paranoia and will become very defensive when a suggestion to take or stay on medication is made. Impulsive behavior could also include energetic cleaning, going on shopping sprees, engaging in risky sexual behavior or failing to use good judgment when making major decisions.

Final Thoughts

If a patient with a manic-depressive disorder is misdiagnosed and treated with an anti-depressant, could actually increase their manic episodes. Omega-3s found in fish oil and the folic acid L-methylfolate could improve manic-depressive illness short term and is well tolerated when taken by patients with major depression. Likewise, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a form of therapy that causes virtually no side effects and improved mood in countless patients. We are located in New York City USA and will be happy to find the right treatments to fit each patient’s mental health care needs. Call 212 362-9635 to speak to NYC psychiatrist Robert D. McMullen, MD to find out more detailed information.