There are many mental illnesses that affect the people around us. Some of them are apparent during childhood and others are not detected until adulthood. Many mental illnesses and hereditary and others can be brought on through the use of drugs or through a traumatic head injury. Many people do not understand that mental illness is a disease and like other diseases with proper treatment, the person can function well. Bipolar disease is one of the mental illnesses that can be well controlled through medications. The difficult thing is convincing the person to stay on their medication.
Bipolar disease, as with many other mental illnesses, involves a chemical imbalance of the brain. Through the use of medication, this balance can be restored, provided that the mediation is taken on a consistent basis. A person with bipolar disease experiences periods of very deep depression. Some people become so depressed that they cannot get out of bed. They do not eat they do not go to jobs, they do not take care of their personal hygiene. At other times they experience extremely elevated moods. They will have high energy levels. They can go days without sleep and are very impulsive in their actions. The medications help to even out the extreme moods. For people with severe bipolar disease, they may still have periods of depression and elation, however, they are not as extreme.
The most difficult part of treating bipolar disease is finding the right medication for each individual. A medication that may be effective for one person; may not work for another. Each person responds to medications very differently. Some people report extreme side effects and the next person will not have any. It is important to keep working with the person until they find a balance in their moods. At times the balance is quite undesirable for the person with bipolar disease. They miss the high energy of the elevated state. They feel that instead of being balanced, they are flat. Many people with bipolar disease will go on and off their medications as a result of not liking the flat feeling. The inconsistency of taking the medication renders it useless. For people with chronic bipolar disease, psychiatrists may resort to medications given as monthly shots. The shots ensure a more regulated level of medication in the bloodstream.
As with all mental illnesses, it is most helpful for the person to be involved in on-going therapy along with medication management. This therapy can be done through groups or one on one. By having consistent therapy it can be detected early if a person has gone off their medications. The faster medication can be brought back into the person’s system the less severe their behavior will become.