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They symptoms of bipolar disorder can disrupt every facet of your life. While bipolar is a mental health disorder that is not easy to treat, it is manageable with drugs and therapy. Now, a new medication for bipolar disorder, CAPLYTA, offers renewed hope for those who suffer with this complex condition.

Learn About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that features disruptive emotion states and behaviors. The disorder impacts males and females in equal numbers. This is different from major depressive disorder, which affects women at nearly a twofold rate to men. 

Bipolar disorder tends to emerge during the teen or young adult years. The NIMI reports that bipolar affects about 5.7 million people.

Bipolar disorder is a form of mental illness that features extreme shifts between manic and depressive mood states. These mood states may come and go frequently, or may last for prolonged periods.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder include:

Symptoms of Mania. Episodes of mania and hypomania are a common feature of bipolar disorder. The mania symptoms include:

  • Feelings of euphoria.
  • Racing thoughts; difficulty staying focused; easily distracted.
  • Rapid speech.
  • Excessive energy.
  • Aggressive behavior.
  • Irritability or agitation.
  • Reduced need to sleep.
  • Impulsive or high-risk behaviors.
  • Poor judgment.
  • Psychosis

Symptoms of Depression. Like mania, depressive episodes can also emerge without warning. Depressive episodes must be carefully monitored, as there is an increased risk of suicide during these events. Symptoms include:

  • Persistent sadness.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and despair.
  • Crushing fatigue.
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed.
  • Chronic pain with no known medical cause.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Four Types of Bipolar Disorder

The DSM lists four different types of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I. This form of bipolar features manic episodes that may last a week, and depressive episodes that may last two weeks. Bipolar I is the most prevalent form of bipolar disorder.
  2. Bipolar II. This type features at least one depressive episode and one hypomanic (less severe mania) episode. Depression symptoms are more prevalent in this type.
  3. Unspecified. Symptoms don’t fit the other forms of bipolar, but mood fluctuations are outside the person’s normal range of mood states.
  4. Cyclothymic. This milder form of bipolar features less intense bouts of depression and mania.

What is the New Medication for Bipolar?

Those who suffer from this complex mental health challenge now welcome a new medication for bipolar disorder to trial. CAPLYTA (lumateperone) is a new antipsychotic that was recently FDA approved for bipolar and other types of mental illness. CAPLYTA has fewer adverse effects than previous drugs in its class, making it an attractive choice.

What makes this drug different than other antipsychotics is its dual action at the dopamine D2 receptor. As a partial agonist, it has a unique dual action at these D2 receptors, which improves efficacy.

Why is Bipolar Disorder So Hard to Treat?

Bipolar is a lifelong condition that presents many challenges in a person’s life. Because there are different forms of the illness, it is crucial to be diagnosed correctly. Even so, when starting new meds, you’ll need a 4-6 week trial. This is because a drug that helps one patient may not work at all for others.

While medication is the core treatment strategy for bipolar, therapy and lifestyle changes can also improve treatment results. Finding the best type of therapy for the unique features of someone’s bipolar disorder may require time and patience.

Effects of Living with Bipolar Disorder

Living with the highs and lows of bipolar disorder can take a heavy toll. Symptoms caused by the mood swings can adversely impact a career, relationships, and friendships. This is why receiving treatment for the disorder is so critical. Mental health treatment can help to improve your quality of life and increase functioning.

Some of the ways bipolar can impact a person’s life include:

  • Manic episodes may prompt reckless spending that leads to money problems.
  • Relationships are harmed due to hurtful comments and harsh treatment.
  • Substance abuse often goes hand-in-hand with bipolar as a coping method.
  • High-risk behaviors can have extreme consequences.
  • Bipolar may lead to isolation.
  • May have difficulty keeping a job due to effects of mood swings.
  • Sleep disorders.  

Comprehensive Treatment and New Medication for Bipolar Disorder

Treatment for bipolar disorder can be found in either an outpatient or a residential setting. For someone with undiagnosed bipolar, a good starting point is a private practice psychiatrist who is able to prescribe medication and outpatient therapy.

A day treatment program, also called a partial hospitalization program (PHP), offers intensive outpatient programming. The PHP requires you to engage in treatment five days a week, for 25-35 hours per week.

Residential treatment is for someone who has been diagnosed with bipolar, has been on meds, but sees their symptoms worsening. Treatment includes:

  • Medication. Our psychiatric staff prescribes drugs, such as CAPLYTA, to improve your daily quality of life. These drugs help to improve mood, energy, and concentration, while reducing the effects of the disorder.
  • Psychotherapy. You will engage in private therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, and family therapy while in treatment. CBT is a mainstay for the treatment of bipolar, helping you to change destructive thought patterns.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment. You may also struggle with a co-occurring disorder, such as substance abuse. About 40% of patients with bipolar have a co-occurring substance use disorder. Detox, addiction counseling and 12-step program address the substance use disorder.
  • Improve lifestyle habits. This multifold effort places an emphasis on sleep management. Also vital are daily exercise and nutrition.
  • Acquire new coping tools. Psycho-social education offers new positive ways to relate with others to improve social functioning. You will also learn how to keep a journal to track symptoms and the steps you took to manage them.
  • Holistic methods. A holistic approach to wellness uses techniques to help reduce stress. These include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques.

With a blend of meds, therapy, lifestyle changes, and family support, you can manage bipolar and live a fulfilling life.  

LifeSync Malibu Provides Residential Bipolar Treatment

LifeSync Malibu is a luxury residential treatment program for primary mental health. There are new medications for bipolar disorder, including CAPLYTA, which keeps us on the cutting edge of mental health treatment. For more details about our program, please contact us today at (866) 491-4426.