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Treatment for Bipolar disorder 

Treatment can stabilize a person’s moods and helps the person to manage and control symptoms, as there is no cure for bipolar disorder. Treatment varies from person to person.

Following are the various therapeutic options.


Medication is prescribed based on the stage of bipolar the patient is experiencing. A broad range of antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, mood stabilizers and electrocunvulsive therapy are used. But these medicines take time give results.

  • Bupropion, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine: These are someantidepressants used, which are often used with a mood stabilizer in people with depressive episodes.
  • Valproate and Benzodiazepines: These are antipsychotic drugs used to treat mania and in some cases, when episodes of mania or depression are severe. Patients with severe anxiety or agitation may also receive antipsychotics.
  • Lithium carbonate: This is a mood stabilizing medication used in delaying the episodes of mania and depression.


Electroconvulsive Therapy 

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is often life-saving therapy in severe depression and mania. This is a critically important option if the person is very suicidal. It is done under anesthesia. The treatment consists of receiving a series of electrical pulses. It is believed that this electrical current alters the electrochemical processes of the brain, consequently relieving depression.


Over-the-Counter Drugs

Loratadine and diphenhydramine are a few over-the-counter drugs.



This also called as talk therapy, which involves talking with a professional about one’s self, his or her situation and health. This helps the patient to learn more about him or her and how to make sense of his or her thoughts and feelings. This also helps to get information, support and honest feedback. This is done within a safe and private setting.



Certain things can help in taking care of one’s self. Some of them are as follows

  • Reading and learning about bipolar disorder. 
  • Tracking the moods and symptoms.
  • Trying to learn what triggers mood episodes avoiding those things.
  • Keeping a list of questions and discuss with a professional.
  • Talking with a healthcare provider about joining a support group.


Alternative Therapy

Alternate therapy usually does not work for this condition with an exception of using high doses of omega-3 fatty acids. This is found in fish, flaxseed, some nuts (like walnuts) and oil can be effective as mood-stabilizing medication in treating mild episodes and preventing further attacks.



Hospitalization may be necessary, when there are repeated manic episodes. This can be voluntary or involuntary.

The following are indications for hospitalization.

  • Danger to self
  • Danger to others
  • Total inability to function

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: September 20, 2012