Ketamine Treatment Should be Considered as a Treatment Option for Bipolar Depression
Someone you’re close to goes through ups and downs. Well, don’t we all? But wait. These ups and downs aren’t like the ups and downs most people have. Such as good days and not so good days. These ups and down are intense. Extreme. Depression comes over her and she doesn’t get out of bed. She sleeps. She talks about how hopeless her life is, how worthless she is. Sometimes she screams and throws things. Then, unexpectedly, she’s on top of the world. For no reason. The doctor says she has bipolar disorder.
So what is it? And what’s the best medication for bipolar disorder?
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Mood swings are the hallmark symptom that people with this disorder experience. In fact, bipolar disorder symptoms range from energetic, euphoric, and creative to melancholy, overwhelming shame, hopelessness, feelings of intense guilt, and severe despair.
During the energetic, euphoric phase, she experiences a rapid barrage of thoughts and ideas, talks fast – very fast – often with pressure behind her lips that’s almost like shooting the words out like bullets, and impulsivity.
Depending on the type of the disorder, this phase – called the manic phase – may also be characterized by euphoric behavior. She believes she can do things that are beyond her ability. This has also been called “grandiosity” and combined with reckless behavior, can be dangerous to her and others with her. Reckless driving, unprotected sex, extreme spending sprees, heavy drinking and other substance abuse.
In some forms of bipolar disorder, you don’t experience mania per se, but something slightly milder, called hypomania. Many consider hypomania less dangerous. Sometimes it manifests as an elevated mood and confidence. So the patient sometimes doesn’t see it as a symptom. Except that it also can impair your judgment.
Bipolar depression can be devastating..and life-threatening
During the depressive phrase, which can interrupt the manic phase rather suddenly, you feel more and more hopeless. More and more filled with shame, guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and if this continues to decline, a desire to die and in some cases impulsive suicidal attempts.
Bipolar disorder is a serious illness. Bipolar disorder still mystifies neuroscientists. What causes it?
Neuroscience identified genetic markers that flag bipolar disorder a few years ago. That means it’s very likely inherited. So, don’t let people tell you differently. Some say poor parenting, selfishness, or rebellion causes the bipolar disorder behaviors. This is an archaic, stigmatizing view. The tendency for it is inherited, and you can often look around the family of someone who has this diagnosis and see some form of bipolar disorder or other mood disorders in their relatives.
This serious illness can interfere with every aspect of life, and it needs effective treatment.
Let’s look at the types of bipolar disorder
Types of Bipolar Disorder fall into a few categories:
- Bipolar I, the most severe,
- Bipolar II, which is similar to Bipolar I for the depressive phases, but it causes hypomania on the “up” phases, which is less severe than mania….
- Cyclothymia is milder in its symptoms and each phase can last a couple years or more,
- NOS or Not Otherwise Specified in which the patient has erratic patterns of symptoms such as hypomanic symptoms without the depressive symptoms or rapid swings between symptoms….
Then, there are these variations:
- Rapid Cycling, in which the episodes of manic or hypomanic, and depressive symptoms alternative four times or more in a 12 month period. To put Rapid Cycling in perspective, these swings from mania or hypomania and depressive symptoms can alternate several times a day.
- Mixed states are episodes that contains a mixture of symptoms such as excited arousal, agitation, depressed despair, shame, worthlessness, rapid speech, high energy, and impulsivity… all at once.
Bipolar Disorder is one of the most severe psychiatric disorders. It can be difficult to diagnose. In fact, psychiatrists misdiagnose as many as 70% of people with bipolar disorder at least once. One reason for this is that patients don’t recognize some of their own symptoms. While manic symptoms are more extreme, hypomanic symptoms can just feel like a great day. Who would consider that a bad thing…?
This is why it can be so helpful for someone with bipolar disorder to have a close and dedicated partner to help track symptoms, frequency, severity…and to help with medication management. Whether it’s a family member, a close friend, or a spouse, this “partner” can see what you may miss. Such collaboration can provide your psychiatrist much needed information for treatment.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment Options
Bipolar Disorder treatment options may include mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotic, and anticonvulsant medications. For some, a simple dose of lithium daily can be enough. But for most, it can be difficult to find the right medications that help, since each person is unique.
But for those who find the right combination of medications, they can manage symptoms and allow you to live a productive and fulfilling life. For others, traditional medications fail. The toughest task can be finding the best medications for bipolar disorder.
Studies show that the longer you live with untreated bipolar disorder, the less likely you’ll ever get better. So you can see how important it is to find effective treatment as soon as possible.
IV ketamine treatment may just be the best medication for bipolar depression
IV ketamine treatment has demonstrated robust and rapid effectiveness for treating bipolar depression. Patients report life-changing improvement in their overall well-being after IV ketamine treatment. This extraordinary medicine is powerful and unlike anything psychiatry has ever seen before, and may be the best medication for bipolar disorder not managed by traditional medications. To learn more about IV ketamine treatment go here and here.
At Innovative Psychiatry in South Windsor, CT we see 80% outstanding outcomes for patients with treatment-resistant bipolar depression. Lori Calabrese, M.D. works with her patients to find the most effective treatment for the very best possible outcomes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and have never experienced stability or relief with medications, call us at 860.648.9755 or contact us. We really want to see you living your best possible life.