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Bipolar Disorder Health Center

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Benzodiazepines for Bipolar Disorder

Benzodiazepines rapidly help control certain manic symptoms -- such as restlessness, agitation, or insomnia -- in bipolar disorder until mood-stabilizing drugs can take effect. They are usually taken for a brief time, up to two weeks or so, with other mood-stabilizing drugs.

Benzodiazepines slow the activity of the brain. In doing so, they can help treat mania, anxiety, panic disorder, and seizures.

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Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

Psychotherapy, or "talk" therapy, is an important part of treatment for bipolar disorder. During therapy, you can discuss feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that cause you problems. Talk therapy can help you understand and hopefully master any problems that hurt your ability to function well in your life and career. It also helps you stay on your medication. It can help you maintain a positive self-image. The types of psychotherapy used to treat bipolar disorder include: Behavioral...

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Benzodiazepines prescribed for bipolar disorder include (among others):

Benzodiazepine Side Effects

Benzodiazepines act quickly and bring on a sense of calmness. They can sometimes cause lightheadedness, slurred speech, or unsteadiness.

Possible benzodiazepine side effects include:

Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming and addictive. It is also dangerous to combine them with alcohol or certain other medications.

If you have been taking the benzodiazepines in high doses or for a long time, you may suffer withdrawal symptoms if you stop the drug suddenly. Talk with your doctor about whether you still need the medication and, if not, how to taper off the drug.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on July 08, 2014

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