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Treating Bipolar Affective Disorder in London

Bipolar affective disorder is a chronic, relapsing and remitting disorder and it is also known as manic depression that causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behaviour-from mania on one extreme to depression on the other. The cycles of bipolar disorder can last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with our ability to function on a day to day basis.

Common Features

Symptoms of Mania include:

  • Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic or extremely irritable
  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
  • Highly distractible, unable to concentrate
  • Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
  • Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)

Symptoms of Depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty.
  • Irritability
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • physical and mental sluggishness appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Treatment Options

Review of literature shows long-term treatment and support are required to minimise the risk of recurrence and optimise quality of life, social and personal functioning. The primary long-term treatments are pharmacological to reduce the severity of symptoms, stabilise mood and prevent relapse. However, psychological and psychosocial interventions have an important part to play.

Evidence Base

NICE guidelines recommend that the most effective treatment strategy for bipolar disorder involves a combination of medication, psychological therapy, lifestyle changes, and social support.
http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/CG38niceguideline.pdf

CBT is helpful for those whose condition is stable and who are fairly verbal and able to reflect about their bipolar disorder.

CBT helps reduce the negative impact of bipolar manic depression by helping individuals to learn to identify and correct habitual and automatic thought and judgment distortions that would lead them to exaggerated and harmful conclusions. This process of learning, help gain bipolar disorder coping strategies and skills of awareness, introspection and evaluation. Improved coping and reality testing skills, help individuals to regulate their mood swings (where possible), reduce the impact of their bipolar illness on their social and occupational relationships. It also improves their motivation to remain on bipolar medication, and to identify triggers and help reduce their chance of a relapse.

If you would like to find out more or book an assessment in London then call on the number below or complete the online contact form.

Telephone: 020 7929 7911