It is best to prepare for your first appointment for a bipolar disorder assessment with a psychiatrist.
You may have already talked with your regular doctor and gotten a referral for a psychiatrist who will assess you to see if you should be given a formal diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Here are some things you can do for your bipolar disorder assessment appointment. You’ll also learn what to expect.
— The psychiatrist will want to know the symptoms you’ve had that led you to believe you have bipolar disorder. Write down everything you’re experiencing health-wise that’s unusual, even if it doesn’t seem to relate to your mental health.
— Make note of recent major life events or stressful situations you’ve experienced in your life.
— Write down the medications and vitamins you take.
— Prepare a list of questions to ask the doctor so that you don’t miss anything you want to know. Also ask questions of the doctor if he or she says something you don’t understand.
You will be asked questions during your appointment to assist the psychiatrist in making a bipolar disorder diagnosis if that is the case.
–Some of the questions the doctor will ask will likely ask include how long you’ve had symptoms of mania, depression or hypomania. He or she will want to know if you have suicidal thoughts and how often your moods change.
— Other questions could include the level of severity of your symptoms and if they impact your daily routine and relationships. Your loved ones may have noticed your symptoms before you so gather some feedback.
— The psychiatrist will also want to know any other physical or mental health conditions you may have even if you don’t think it relates to bipolar disorder.
— You’ll be asked about your sleep habits and about possible use of drugs and/or alcohol.
— The doctor will also want to know if you have blood relatives with bipolar disorder as this can impact your risk level for having the disease.
If you can, take a close friend or relative with you to your bipolar disorder assessment appointment. There is a lot of information to process during your appointment and it’s good to have someone else there with you for support.
If you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, it will be beneficial to buy books on bipolar disorder for your home library. These books not only serve as a resource, but also offer encouragement and helpful advice.
While bipolar disorder books are not a replacement for medical treatment and counseling, you’ll get some additional answers you seek about the disease. This list includes books on living in a bipolar relationship, raising bipolar children and how to manage your own manic depression.
Some of these authors have personally experienced manic depression in their lives. Others are licensed medical professionals writing on the subject. These titles are appropriate to purchase for yourself or to give to a loved one seeking help. Stay tuned for a list of titles divided by topic in the near future.
Here is a list of bipolar disorder books:
Treating bipolar disorder during pregnancy can be a tricky path to undergo. While the doctor does not want to prescribe a medication that could potentially result in a malformed fetus, neither does he want to allow the pregnant bipolar patient to suffer a relapse due to lack of proper medication.
Most psychotropic medications that are used in the treatment of bipolar disorder contain teratogens. Teratogens are harmful pathogens that could negatively affect a child’s development. On the hand, untreated depression or mania during pregnancy has been scientifically linked to low birth weight, early pre term delivery, and dangerous, high risk activities on the part of the bipolar mother that could endanger her or the baby.
There are three primary mood stabilizers that the FDA recommends for bipolar women who are experiencing pregnancy: lithium, valproate, and carbamazepine. All three of these drugs are classified “D”, which means that there is some risk of exposure to teratogens for the fetus; however, the benefits outweigh the risks.
These drugs are primarily thought to increase the fetus’s chances of incurring heart valve damage; however, it is thought this class of drugs will not affect a fetus’s mental development. Another option that a doctor has for treating bipolar disorder during pregnancy is to employ the use of antipsychotics. These Class “C” drugs are often used to treat mania of women because of their sedative properties.
Although they are considered milder than Class D drugs, fetal risk of exposure to teratogens cannot be ruled out. Antidepressants are often used for those with bipolar disorder who lapse into depression during pregnancy. However, because antidepressants do not contain teratogens, they are thought to be significantly safer for a fetus than Class C or D drugs.
A pregnant bipolar patient should consult her doctor for an individualized treatment plan for treating bipolar disorder during pregnancy.
One book that will be helpful for bipolar expectant mothers is Bipolar and Pregnant: How to Manage and Succeed in Planning and Parenting While Living with Manic Depression.
A bipolar mood swing chart is a chart that allows an individual to record information on an individual’s mood, average nightly amount of sleep, and their medications.
Many psychiatrists and psychologists recommend that their patients maintain bipolar mood charts in order to track the severity and frequency of their episodes or to track how effectively a medication is working for an individual. It also allows a person to track, identify, and detect mood swings early on. The first step in creating this mood charting, an individual should begin by starting a journal. Their entries should describe their energy levels and mood status daily. However, a person can also effectively use a wall calendar if they do not wish to record each minute detail.
Quick and accurate notes on a calendar will suffice. Other information that should be included in the journal is a person’s stress levels, their moods, any possible feelings of depressions, and what medications they have taken that day.
A bipolar mood chart should also record a person’s sleeping patterns. An adequate amount of sleep is an essential component of combating bipolar disorder. The amount of hours that a person sleeps a night should be noted, as well as any feelings of sleepiness or crankiness a person feels before going to sleep or upon waking up.
At the end of the month, an individual should write down their monthly numbers for overall moods. Other physical details, such as a person’s weight, should also be written down. Extreme fluctuations in weight and other physical characteristics can be indicative of developing problems. A person should also look at their progress each month. If disturbing patterns or trends are emerging, then he or she should consult their primary care physician immediately. Their doctor will be able to analyze the data further and devise an appropriate course of action.
Bipolar patients may be prescribed at one point or another chlordiazepoxide and amitriptyline tablets. Chlordiazepoxide and amitriptyline can be beneficial to some with bipolar disorder because the drugs treat anxiety and depression.
What is chlordiazepoxide? What is amitriptyline? Amitriptyline falls under the category of tricyclic antidepressants drugs. Chlordiazepoxide, the generic for librium, is under the category of drugs called benzodiazepines.
Here are some benefits and side effects of librium, chlordiazepoxide and amitriptyline.
Amitriptyline hydrochloride helps balance out chemicals in the brain. This is beneficial to bipolar patients with chemical imbalance.
Chlordiazepoxide also balances chemicals in the brain. It addresses a root cause of anxiety and tension in some bipolar disorder patients.
Both drugs are combined in tablet form. This makes it easy for patients to receive this combination drug.
Less serious side effects are dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision and constipation.
Serious side effects are pounding or uneven heart rate, chest pain, sweating, nausea, headache and weakness.
There are other side effects that can occur from taking chlordiazepoxide and amitriptyline. Get medical help if you experience any of these side effect symptoms.