Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I overcome manic depression?"
I am a 24 year old bipolar woman being treated with lithium. Does any evidence show that talk therapy or other things can better help me overcome my manic depression?
First of all, I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression). Fortunately, you are taking lithium, which is an excellent medication for controlling the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a chronic disease that usually lasts for an individual's entire life. With medications like lithium and others, the symptoms can usually be well controlled. However, because the basis of this disorder is actually in a physical imbalance in brain chemistry, it cannot be cured. A small number of people with bipolar disorder manage their symptoms without medications, but most do continue to need medications for their entire life. In fact, if you are thinking of stopping your medications, you should not do so without talking to your psychiatrist, as this can be very dangerous and will most likely result in your symptoms coming back. Talk therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy do not form an important part of the treatment of bipolar disorder. For some people, they can be useful supplementary approaches, as they help people with the disorder come to terms with dealing over the long haul with the condition. However, they are never a replacement for regularly taking your medications.
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