Bipolar disorder or manic depressive disorder is a medical/psychiatric condition characterized by alternating moods - manic and depressive. The manic mood leaves the person feeling powerful and with grandiose perceptions of self while the depressive phase can make the person feel ‘empty’ and in the darkest moods with thoughts of suicide and self loathing. The earlier the treatment of bipolar disorder is set in motion the better it is. The condition can be a lifelong one filled with varying states of highs and lows and treatment of the bipolar disorder differ from person to person. The earlier it is diagnosed by a mental health professional, the better the chances for recovery and staying well.Treatment of bipolar disorder can make you return to your normal life and routines and no longer be hampered by the alternating mood swings.

Effective treatment methods can alleviate symptoms significantly, lessen the mood swings and return efficient functioning in day to day life. Successful treatment of bipolar disorder involves a combination of choices and treatment regimes. Over and above all, it is essential to know the condition thoroughly and be able to suspect and identify the onset of a manic or depressive episode.Attending various group sessions, therapy, medication, lifestyle changes are all part of the treatment of bipolar illness. While treatment and recovery are not an overnight phenomenon, it is important to stay committed to winning over the condition. Time will be required to determine the right combination and dosage of medication that will work best for you. Having a supportive family and friends who understand and accept your situation are crucial to overcome this disorder.Some things to keep in mind:·       

Differentiate between the real you and the symptoms:Bipolar disorder can leave you feeling disoriented and disconnected. It is important to recognize that it is not you but a part of your illness that has to be treated and done away with. Self-blame or addiction to the manic phase of your illness will only prove detrimental to your recovery process.·       

Involve family, educate family :Whenever possible, try to involve your near and dear ones in your treatment plan and in psychiatric seminars which will give them a better understanding of your illness. It is important to surround yourself with a few people who understand the illness and are supportive of your journey to recovery.·       

Correct diagnosis:Bipolar disorder consists of different types and it is important to clearly identify which type you are suffering from. Transparency is essential regarding your medical history, investigation of past history, use of substances and so on. Your therapist can help you better if you could be completely honest about your background.

Medication and treatment:When taking medication, take a note of the differences and discomforts if any. Be sure to talk to your therapist about them and work out with time what medicines work best for you and understand your condition better. It is not advisable to try self medication or alter medicines without prior consultation. It could prove detrimental to your progress!

Sources:1) Textbook of Abnormal Psychology- Carson, Bucher and Mineka