Patients suffering from bipolar were usually treated with strong medications from the point when diagnosis was taken and until the rest of their lives. This popular belief is now changed, and depression in these patients can be treated with some non-medication therapies. New treatments for bipolar depression include: regular daily schedule and physical activity, light therapy and some psychotherapies designed especially for these patients. With the help of these treatments, bipolar patients are able to avoid high doses of antidepressant drugs and also improve quality of their lives.
Regular Schedule and Exercise
Maintaining regular daily schedules and patterns of sleep, as well as some regular physical activity has been proved to give great result in the treatment of depression in bipolar patients. These patients should have regular time to go to bed and regular time to get up in the morning.
Physical activity is also one of the treatments recommended for therapy of bipolar depression in the long run. Scientists recognize positive effects of regular exercise, especially in the terms of its effects to the brain. It is the known fact that people affected by mood changes experience certain brain shrinkage. If they start to exercise regularly, this problem tends to resolve on its own, thus improving their mood. Because of that, doctors advise exercise as the treatment for depression. Even if they feel too depressed to perform some strenuous activity, patients can walk for 15 minutes every day. That much physical activity will make them feel good and it will treat depression.
Standard light box was found out to be more effective for bipolar patients treated for depression than the most commonly used medication (Prozac). This type of treatment is better than medications, since it doesn’t have any harmful adverse effects or any other risks for the patients. Depressive bipolar patients are treated for 30 minutes at the beginning of the treatment with this light box, and all they need to do is to sit in front of the box that emits the light.
Bipolar patients may also use benefits of specialized psychotherapies as mood stabilizing treatment for their depression. There is bipolar-specific cognitive behavioral therapy, or the patient may choose interpersonal therapy with social rhythm therapy. Another choice is family-focused therapy, where patient’s family can join the treatment. Patients and their families may have difficulties in finding the therapist able to provide one of these therapies, but Internet might be the good starting point in this search.