Bipolar disorder medication and treatment, along with psychological effects, has typical repercussions on the human body and brain. According to Buturak, “lithium is one of the most common drugs used to help bipolar disorder.” This is because it functions as a mood stabilizer, helping to regulate mood and behavior. However, as stated by Healthline in an article called “What Are the Long-Term Effects of Bipolar Disorder on the Body?”, it comes with several side effects such as the “loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and a frequent need to urinate.” One major long-term side effect of lithium ingestion is the possible development of kidney problems.
Researchers in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Case University School of Medicine in Cleveland suggest that due the side effects caused by lithium treatment, alternatives are needed (Muzina, David J., and Joseph R. Calabrese). One proposed alternative method of treatment was medical cannabis. In a 2015 study conducted by the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research in Lancaster University, a sample of people with either type of bipolar disorder, type I or type II, were subjected to using medical cannabis to subdue manic episode over a period of 6 days. They discovered that the use of medical marijuana in patients may actually harm the patients and lead to even worse psychological outcomes, for instance, a considerable increase in depressive symptoms (Tyler).
Additionally, due to the addictive qualities of cannabis, clients should be aware of their intake, as they might use it as a coping mechanism rather than a form of treatment, inducing the depressive symptoms. This brings awareness to the fact that doctors and psychologists should continue searching for substitutes to aid patients in coping with their episodes. In the prevention of in heightened suicide attempts and manic episodes, alternative treatment should be proposed or developed.