Post partum disorders are becoming a common concern especially due to their consequences which include committing suicide and infanticide. Attempts have been made to treat and where possible avoid such disorders taking place. This article will briefly outline the steps which can be taken to treat one such disorder: bipolar disorder.
Most of the post partum disorders are viewed as emergencies due to the disastrous potential effects they possess. Bipolar disorder has been found to be more prevalent in women than in men. The incidences of bipolar occur more frequently in women than in men. Pregnant women have been identified as being at risk of being affected by bipolar disorder. Taking care of a woman who has bipolar disorder requires cooperation from the patient, the people next to the patient, and the caretaker or the doctor. The following section outlines the treatment for the bipolar patient and some extra advice on how the treatment should be administered.
Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in women
A variety of treatment options are available: “medication, psychotherapy, and holistic approaches” (Casa 1). The medication that is mainly used for this disorder is that of stabilizing the mood. Samples of the mood stabilizers used are “Lithium, Depakote, Lamictal, Topamax” (Casa 1). Atypical antipsychotic medications are also used, for instance, “Zyprexa, Abilify, Seroquel, Risperdal” (Casa 1) as well as antidepressants, for example, “Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin” (Casa 1).
Psychotherapy has also been identified as an effective form of greatly reducing the manifestation of the effects of bipolar disorder. Psychotherapy treatments which have been identified to work include “cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and psychoeducation” (Casa 1).
It has been reported that with some people holistic approaches such as using herbal supplements have produced good results. Though the herbal supplement field has not been well researched on, it has been claimed that “taking the herb St. John’s wort and increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids” (Casa 1) has shown some positive results. However, a caution has been aired against the use of herbal supplement without the consent of a doctor because of the risk of possible negative reaction with other medication that the patient may be taking.
Care should be taken when the medication is being administered. For instance, it is highly advised that bipolar medication should be avoided in the course of pregnancy. Bipolar medications have been shown to have irreversible effect on the unborn babies. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been pointed out as the option of choice at such a time. But in the case that medication cannot be avoided then the use of lithium is advised but only “shortly before delivery or within 48 hours of delivery” (Casa 1). Lithium administration is to be followed by a close monitoring to avoid cases of neonatal toxicities.
It has also been advised that arrangement should be made for extra assistance at night to allow the mother take enough rest as being too tired and especially with interrupted sleeps may worsen the situation.
Bipolar disorder is among the postpartum psychotic disorders that face women. Bipolar disorder can easily lead to one committing suicide as well killing a new born child. Pregnancy and child birth have been identified as the risk factors for bipolar disorder thus the need to properly take care of pregnant women especially in ensuring that, if they suffer from bipolar disorder, they are treated well to avoid cases of infanticide and committing suicide.
Casa, Palmera. Bipolar Disorder and Women. Casa Palmera, 2009. Web.