Episodes of depression in patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder are seen more commonly than the episodes of mania which also accompany this illness. The depression symptoms with bipolar disorder can be difficult to treat because the medications which are used to treat the depression can trigger episodes of mania.
The symptoms of depression with this disorder can have devastating effects if they are left untreated or treated improperly. Not to long ago these symptoms were treated with medications that kept patients under heavy sedation, however, there are better medications commonly called mood stabilizers which are currently being used today along with various forms of therapy.
There is a variety of psychotherapy therapy methods used in treating patients with a bipolar disorder. Psychotherapy is typically used in combination with medications to help treat the symptoms of this illness.
Psychotherapy focuses on educating the individual with this disorder on how to manage their symptoms and is beneficial in numerous ways as it allows the person to express their feelings in regards to how this illness has affected them as well as their family, and also helps them with advice on how to improve their social skills or deal with employment issues which may have been affected by their illness.
Phototherapy or Light Therapy
Light therapy or phototherapy is a form of medical treatment that has typically been used to treat skin disorders such as psoriasis; however, some researchers now believe that this form of therapy may be beneficial in the treatment of depression symptoms that can occur in mental illnesses which include bipolar disorder.
During light therapy patients are exposed to a bright light directly onto their eyes which is accomplished by using a "light visor" or a "light box" for a period of thirty minutes up to two hours. In cases of bipolar depression, this form of treatment is used to lessen the severity or length of the episode and may only be used for brief periods of time. The advantages of light therapy include fewer side effects and a quicker response to the treatment in some individuals.