Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
If you suspect that you or someone you know are suffering from bipolar disorder, seek help right away. The earlier you catch bipolar disorder and begin treating it, the better your chances of getting and staying well. An experienced mental health professional can make sure your symptoms are caused by bipolar disorder and get you the treatment you need.
Treatment for bipolar disorder can help you live life on your own terms, without the interference of mood swings. Effective bipolar disorder treatment relieves symptoms, reduces the frequency and intensity of manic and depressive episodes, and restores your ability to function.
In This Article:
What you need to know
Types of bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder vs. depression
Exploring treatment options
Bipolar disorder treatment: What you need to know
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. It runs an unpredictable course of ups and downs. When left untreated, these ups and downs can be devastating. The recurring manic and depressive episodes that characterize the disease make it difficult to lead a stable, productive life. In the manic phase, you may be hyperactive and irresponsible. In the depressive phase, it may be difficult to do anything at all. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you avoid these problems.
Successful treatment of bipolar disorder depends on a combination of factors. Medication alone is not enough. In order to get the most out of treatment, it's important to educate yourself about the illness, communicate with your doctors and therapists, have a strong support system, make healthy lifestyle choices, and stick to your treatment plan.
Recovering from bipolar disorder doesn’t happen overnight. As with the mood swings of bipolar disorder, treatment has its own ups and downs. Finding the right treatments takes time and setbacks happen. But with careful management and a commitment to getting better, you can get your symptoms under control and live fully.
What are some things I can do that might help me feel better?
Know the difference between your symptoms and your true self. Your health care providers can help you separate your true identity from your symptoms by helping you see how your illness affects your behavior. Be open about behaviors you want to change and set goals for making those changes.
Educate your family and involve them in treatment when possible. They can help you spot symptoms, track behaviors and gain perspective. They can also give encouraging feedback and help you make a plan to cope with any future crises.
Work on healthy lifestyle choices. Recovery is also about a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular sleep, healthy eating, and the avoidance of alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior.
Find the treatment that works for you. Talk to your health care provider about your medications' effects on you, especially the side effects that bother you. There are many options for you to try. It is very important to talk to your health care provider first before you make any changes to your medication or schedule.
Source: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Getting an accurate diagnosis for bipolar disorder
Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step in bipolar disorder treatment. This isn’t always easy. The mood swings of bipolar disorder can be difficult to distinguish from other problems such as major depression, ADHD, and borderline personality disorder. For many people with bipolar disorder, it takes years and numerous doctor visits before the problem is correctly identified and treated.
Making the diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be tricky even for trained professionals, so it’s best to see a psychiatrist with experience treating bipolar disorder rather than a family doctor or another type of physician. A psychiatrist specializes in mental health, and is more likely to know about the latest research and treatment options. For help finding psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals in your community, see Resources and References below