Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bipolar and the Treatment Team

Bipolar is an illness with many fronts:
  • The illness itself, its symptoms and treatment.
  • Possible blood pressure problems.
  • Possible blood sugar problems.
  • Diabetes concerns.
  • Heart disease awareness.
  • Weight issues.

Working closely with a doctor means all of the present and potential problems are on the table and are being addressed. A positive, close working relationship with a psychiatrist is basic, of course, but let’s not forget the important roles that families and caregivers play. And therapists, spiritual coaches and support groups can also prove quite helpful in remission and the probability of continuing recovery, both mental and physical.

Relationships are vital in the recovery process and they need to be built on solid trust. Spotty, irregular or infrequent visits to the doctor and other members of the treatment team are not very effective and of minimal help in recovery.

Having a brain illness is serious, so giving it our wholehearted attention and care is required to achieve maximum benefits such as long-term remission.

Taking a half-hearted approach may be more foolish than one realizes. It can forestall recovery and make someone more vulnerable to a number of additional problems--problems that may not only exacerbate the bipolar disorder but also raise the chances of exposure to risks on several additional fronts.

The smart thing to do is be an active and involved member of the treatment team, and look to a trusted psychiatrist as the captain of that team.

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