What is the treatment for manic depression?
Because depression has shown to often co-exist with other medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, and other psychiatric disorders, such as substance abuse, or anxiety disorders, seeking early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to recovery. A diagnosis is often made after a careful psychiatric examination and medical history performed by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.
Specific treatment for manic depression will be determined by your physician based on:
- your age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the disease
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
Treatment may include either, or a combination of, the following:
- medication (i.e., mood-stabilizing anticonvulsants such as lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine, and/or antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil)
- psychotherapy (most often cognitive-behavioral and/or interpersonal therapy that is focused on reframing the individual's distorted views of themselves and the environment around them, working through difficult relationships, and identifying stressors in the environment and how to avoid and cope with them)
- electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Recognizing the varied and extreme mood swings associated with manic depression is crucial in obtaining effective treatment, and avoiding the potentially painful consequences of the reckless, manic behavior.
In most cases, long-term, preventative treatment is necessary to stabilize the mood swings associated with manic depression.