Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition that cause disturbance in mood.
These disturbances can range from depression to mania.
People suffering from mania experience fluid states of mania and hypomania.
Bipolar disorder occurs by the imbalances in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
If the neurotransmitters are not in balance, the mood regulating system of the brain will not work as it should.
Discovering a seasonal pattern in bipolar disorder symptoms can lead to better management:
One fifth of the people with bipolar disorder find their symptoms increase and decrease with the seasons. According to experts, decline in energy level, mood and motivation occurs in November and the person returns to normal level in April.
Seasonal influences like temperature and light often affect your mood if you are in depression. This seasonal disorder is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of bipolar disorder, and is treatable with light therapy. It is difficult to look at the extent to which bipolar patients experience normal season mood variation.
If you become depressed during late fall and winter, you return to normal mood during spring and summer. In bipolar disorder, a seasonal pattern patient tends to have manic or hypomanic episodes during specific season of the year.
Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD):
A light box is used for bipolar disorder that occurs in seasons. Light therapy involves exposure to full-spectrum bright light directly onto the eyes using a light source. You should sit in front of the light during morning times from thirty minutes to two hours if you have seasonal affective disorder.
The duration depends on the severity of the symptoms and strength of the light. For bipolar disorder, light therapy is sued for short periods to decrease the severity of depressive episode.
If you have any eye problems, you should consult eye specialist before using light therapy. The eye problems can include retinitis, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and pigmentosa. If you have bipolar disorder, use light box in the mid-afternoon.
Side effects with light therapy:
Side effects with light therapy include headaches, eye-strain and insomnia. All the side effects can be lessened by using a variation called as dawn simulation in which the light intensity is increased slowly as if the sun is rising.
Combination of drugs helps the people with bipolar disorder:
New combination of drugs helps in people to live more normal life. The drugs used are Abilify, an anti-psychotic drug and Lamictal, a drug that treats depression. By combining these two drugs with two different modes of action, future hospitalizations can be cut down and keep their disease from wreaking havoc.
Before following any therapy or medications, it is important to consult the doctor as some treatments can cause severe side effects.