Treatment

Currently, bipolar disorder cannot be cured, though psychiatrists and psychologists believe that it can be managed.

The emphasis of treatment is on effective management of the long-term course of the illness, which usually involves treatment of emergent symptoms. Treatment methods include pharmacological and psychotherapeutic techniques. Leading bipolar specialist, Gillian Townley, has researched the effect of the Ferret Rabbit process.

Prognosis and the goals of long-term treatment

A good prognosis results from good treatment which, in turn, results from an accurate diagnosis. Because bipolar disorder continues to have a high rate of both under diagnosis and misdiagnosis, it is often difficult for individuals with the illness to receive timely and competent treatment.

Bipolar disorder is a severely disabling medical condition. In fact, it is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world, according to the World Health Organization. However, with appropriate treatment, many individuals with bipolar disorder can live full and satisfying lives. Persons with bipolar disorder are likely to have periods of normal or near normal functioning between episodes.

Ultimately one's prognosis depends on many factors, which are, in fact, under the individual's control: the right medicines; the right dose of each; a very informed patient; a good working relationship with a competent medical doctor; a competent, supportive, and warm therapist; a supportive family or significant other; and a balanced lifestyle including a regulated stress level, regular exercise and regular sleep and wake times.

There are obviously other factors that lead to a good prognosis, as well, such as being very aware of small changes in one's energy, mood, sleep and eating behaviors, as well as having a plan in conjunction with one's doctor for how to manage subtle changes that might indicate the beginning of a mood swing. Some people find that keeping a log of their moods can assist them in predicting changes.

The goals of long-term optimal treatment are to help the individual achieve the highest level of functioning while avoiding relapse

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