There is an entire group of drugs called hallucinogens that are known for their ability to distort reality. Drugs in this category include:
Not only can these substances trigger psychotic symptoms during the high, but they can also induce a condition called persistent psychosis. This condition is marked by continued hallucinations or delusions that last for years, even after substance use has ended, which makes accurate diagnosis very challenging.
Again, symptoms of bipolar psychosis will typically emerge only during extreme lows or highs. If substances are associated with the symptoms, the drugs are the likely trigger.
Preventing and Treating Bipolar Psychosis
A major force for preventing bipolar psychosis is seeking treatment early. If you have noted the symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or a loved one, make your way to a trustworthy, experienced mental health specialist for evaluation and treatment recommendations.
By keeping bipolar symptoms low, bipolar psychosis will not have an opportunity to materialize.
For some, the process of finding helpful medications for bipolar disorder is a long and frustrating journey. Many times, medications will be changed, adjusted, started, and stopped to find the best combination for you and your symptoms.
Other mental health concerns frequently respond well to just one medication, but bipolar disorder seems to require a combination of several types to stabilize moods and manage the other symptoms.
Depending on your location, various providers can prescribe the medications to aid your treatment:
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors with specialized training and experience in mental health.
- Certified nurse practitioners and psychologists can also prescribe medications in some states.
- Although primary care physicians have the ability to prescribe medications for bipolar disorder, they will regularly lack the specific training and experience to do so with good results.
To improve your medication results, always keep the lines of communication open with your prescriber regarding symptoms and potential side effects of the medications. Ensure you take your medication as prescribed; changing doses or using inconsistently will make it impossible to track your progress.
Medication or therapy can be done independently, but they work better when done concurrently.
Just like with medication, many types of clinicians with various educations and experiences can provide therapy. Look for ones that are licensed by your state, which indicates a certain level of knowledge, education, and experience.
Good therapy will investigate the people, places, things, and situations that seem to spark your bipolar psychosis. Then you’ll practice strategies and interventions that reduce the impact in an attempt to restore control to you, rather than the bipolar.
By building a strong ability to self-monitor, you can learn signs that show that psychotic features are imminent and take steps to reduce the risk.
Bipolar Psychosis Self-Help
Outside of a professional office, there are many steps you can take to prevent, understand, and treat bipolar disorder with psychotic feature. The best options include:
- Always follow the recommendations of your treatment team. Also ensure you’re staying consistent and patient.
- Pay attention to your symptoms. Track the changes as they occur.
- Improve your physical health. By eating well, getting plenty of exercise, and gaining restful sleep, you can manage your symptoms and prevent psychosis. These behaviors help to regulate the neurotransmitters in your brain that influence your symptoms.
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs. Although they may seem like effective coping skills, they make it more difficult to understand your symptoms and the efficacy of treatment.
- Share your condition with people you trust. By letting them know your status, they can look for signs of hallucinations and delusions.
- Build a safety plan. This plan will include information related to your symptoms, how you should respond, and how you would like other people to respond. This will help to avoid emotional conflicts when symptoms are high.
- Know your limits. If you know your psychotic symptoms are beginning, seek a higher level of treatment like inpatient hospitalization. This step may be uncomfortable, but it can avoid future problems like financial or legal issues that result from periods of psychosis.
Bipolar psychosis is an issue that affects many people each day. By understanding the basics of bipolar, the influence of specifiers, and the needed steps for prevention and treatment, you can put yourself in a position to reduce or eliminate psychotic features from your life, now and forever.