By: Eileen Strungis
Adult Therapist at Rochelle Park
Bipolar disorder, a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings, has a long and complex history. Over time, the understanding and treatment of this disorder have evolved significantly, leading to improved outcomes for individuals living with bipolar disorder. In this blog, we will delve into a historical point in time when bipolar disorder was identified as a mental disorder. Additionally, we will explore the effectiveness of mental health treatments, specifically focusing on the GenPsych program, and present statistics that support the positive impact of these treatments.
Historical Context: Identifying Bipolar Disorder as a Mental Disorder
The identification and recognition of bipolar disorder as a distinct mental disorder have come a long way. Historically, the understanding of bipolar symptoms and its distinction from other mental health conditions was limited. However, significant breakthroughs occurred in the 19th century, marking a turning point in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder.
In 1854, French psychiatrist Jean-Pierre Falret first described “folie circulaire,” a condition characterized by recurring episodes of mania and depression. This groundbreaking work laid the foundation for recognizing bipolar disorder as a separate entity, distinct from other mental illnesses. Shortly after, German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin further advanced the understanding of bipolar disorder, introducing the term “manic-depressive insanity” in 1899.
Throughout the 20th century, researchers and clinicians continued to refine the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) provided a standardized framework for diagnosing mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, further enhancing our understanding and ability to address the condition effectively.
Effective Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
Learn about social rhythm therapy:
Social rhythm therapy is a treatment approach that focuses on stabilizing daily routines and sleep patterns. It recognizes the vital role that maintaining consistent daily rhythms plays in managing bipolar disorder. By establishing a structured routine, individuals can help regulate their mood and prevent episodes of mania or depression. This therapy involves identifying and adhering to regular sleeping patterns, meal times, exercise routines, and social activities. Learning about social rhythm therapy and implementing it into your daily life can significantly contribute to stabilizing mood swings and improving overall well-being.
Find the right medication and take it as directed:
Medication plays a crucial role in managing bipolar disorder. It is essential to consult with a psychiatrist who can prescribe the appropriate medication based on your specific symptoms and needs. The prescribed medications may include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, or a combination of these. It is crucial to take medication as directed, even when feeling better, to maintain stability and prevent relapse. Regular communication with your psychiatrist is essential to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and make any necessary adjustments.
FOLLOW US: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/GENPSYCHPC/
Keep a mood diary:
Keeping a mood diary is a valuable tool for individuals with bipolar disorder. It involves recording daily mood fluctuations, energy levels, sleep patterns, and any significant life events or stressors. By tracking these variables over time, patterns and triggers can be identified, helping individuals anticipate and manage episodes. A mood diary also provides a record that can be shared with healthcare professionals to facilitate more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans.
Ask your loved ones to help monitor your mood:
Bipolar disorder affects not only the individuals diagnosed but also their loved ones. Family and friends can play a crucial role in providing support and helping monitor mood changes. By involving trusted individuals in your journey, they can help recognize early warning signs and provide the necessary support during episodes. Open communication and education about bipolar disorder within your support network can foster understanding and empathy.
Know what to do if an episode is starting:
Recognizing the signs of an impending episode is vital for individuals with bipolar disorder. Symptoms can vary between manic and depressive episodes, and knowing how to respond is essential. Developing a crisis plan with your healthcare professional and support network can help outline specific steps to take during episodes, such as contacting your psychiatrist, adjusting medication, or seeking additional support. Being prepared can help minimize the impact of episodes and facilitate a quicker return to stability.
Find a bipolar support group when graduating from GenPsych Program
Graduating from a comprehensive treatment program like GenPsych can provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to manage bipolar disorder effectively. However, the journey does not end there. Joining a bipolar support group can offer ongoing support, camaraderie, and a safe space to share experiences and coping strategies with others who understand the challenges of living with the condition. Support groups can be found through local mental health organizations, online platforms, or community centers.