Category: <span>Medication Therapy Management</span>

Bipolar Disorder Can Be Devastating, There Is Help and Hope

 

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depressive illness, is a serious psychiatric illness characterized by extreme emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). People with it experience unusual emotional fluctuations – from extremely happy, sometimes referred to as “bipolar disorder mania” or “superman syndrome,” to extremely sad and depressed, sometimes referred to as “bipolar disorder depression.”

bipolar disorder
           

Bipolar sufferers experience alternating periods of mania and depression. They often go from highly active, seemingly energized, to extremely sad and inactive, seemingly paralyzed by depression. The sufferer can experience one episode of mania and depression or multiple episodes of both.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from bipolar disorder, seek medical attention immediately                         

There are several ways to diagnose bipolar disorder. Your doctor will ask about your personal history and present you with a list of questions. The answers to these questions will help the doctor determine if your symptoms are related to another mental health issue, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

When in doubt, get a thorough diagnosis from a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist?

Numerous studies have concluded that bipolar disorder is hereditary and approximately 80% of patients diagnosed with bipolar have some family history of mental illness.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder usually begin in the early to mid-teens and often go undiagnosed, as parents assume this behavior is due to puberty and normal stress associated with teenagers.

Bipolar disorder is widely believed to be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. The chemicals responsible for controlling the brain’s functions are called neurotransmitters and include noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine.

To treat bipolar disorder, the most effective way is through a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

You can choose which medications you use and when to take them. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be prescribed antidepressants or mood stabilizers, which are taken daily. You can also choose between lifestyle changes and other forms of treatment. No matter what treatment options you choose, you should try to find a healthy lifestyle and diet and maintain a regular sleep pattern.

For mild cases of bipolar disorder, lifestyle, and diet changes such as limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding too much stress, exercising, and eating a balanced diet may provide relief and decrease your symptoms.

When suffering from an episode of mania or depression, lifestyle and diet changes aren’t always enough. Medications can sometimes help, as well as therapy. Antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers are commonly prescribed in the treatment. However, they are not for everyone and must be used under a doctor’s care.

Manic episodes and depressive episodes in bipolar disorder are classified as first-degree or major depression and mania.

  • A first-degree bipolar disorder episode lasts for at least four weeks and is directed at the sufferer.
  • A major depression, on the other hand, occurs less frequently and is characterized by at least four or more first-degree episodes that last for a period of six months or more. These episodes may include extreme unexplained anger towards others and may be difficult for loved ones to understand.
  • A manic episode is characterized by a sustained period of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, intense energy, racing thoughts, and other extreme and exaggerated behaviors.

Bipolar disorders are twice as likely to affect people who have first-degree depression or mania compared to those with second-degree depression or mania. Bipolar disorder is also more likely to affect people who have a genetic disposition.

Your medical history and will have a lot to do with your treatment options. Your medical history is often the only basis for the diagnosis, so it’s important to get all your tests and records from your doctor. Your medical history includes details about the types of medications you’re taking, including doses, length of time you’ve taken them, and the results of any diagnostic tests. It includes details about your family medical history, including whether any of your relatives have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder before. Keeping a medical history is critical to getting the right medications and the best treatment for bipolar disorder.                 

Riverview CMHC        

451 SW Bethany Drive, Suite 103
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
772-301-1354

 

Medication Management – 5 Things You Need To Know Today

Managing medication can get confusing for those that require multiple medications on a daily basis. For the patient and their loved ones, the management of medication can seem a bit daunting. With the proper steps and techniques in place, the process becomes much more manageable.

Medication Management Today

The following five steps will help you to safely and effectively manage your medications, or the medications of your loved one that requires them:

  1. Listen to the doctor and pharmacist. When you listen to the doctor and pharmacist, you are given proper instructions to reduce chances of negative reactions. Some medications require you to take them with food. Others require you to have an empty stomach. Some may make you feel tired, while others may keep you awake. Knowing what to expect from the medication being administered is the first step. If something seems unclear, ASK. Do not be afraid to ask questions when it comes to the care of yourself or a loved one.
  2. Organize medications. At the beginning of the week, set up all medications that are needed, in order of the times they are taken. A medication dosage organizer is a great help. They are available in date and time formats that allow you to put the pills in the certain slot where they are required to be taken. There are even applications available on smartphones to assist with organizing medications. Taking the correct amount at the correct time is imperative, and having all doses set up in advance will assist with ensuring that the medication is taken appropriately.
  3. Keep information handy. You need to have a complete list of medications that are taken ready and available in case of an emergency. Medical professionals need to know what you are taking and what is in your system in the event of an emergency, when determining how to give emergency care. Some medications can not be mixed with others. Keep a list of your medications with you in your wallet, so you have it at all times. Make sure it is up to date regularly.
  4. Keep the correct supply in your possession. Make sure that you refill prescriptions when you notice that the bottle is getting low. Usually, a week or two notice should be given for a refill at the pharmacy. Don’t leave it until the last minute, or you may run out.
  5. Notice changes in the medication. If you refill a prescription and the pill or bottle looks completely different, consult with the pharmacy or doctor to make sure that the correct medication is given. Over time, the appearance of the pill or bottle may change, but errors can also occur. Making sure you have the correct one is important to your health.

These five steps should assist in making medication management easier. Keeping a list of medications, dosage amounts, and dosage times, and using a pill organizer are the simplest and most effective ways of managing medication. If you still feel like you could use more help, contact Riverview Community Mental Health Center

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