Treatment for Bipolar Disorder


Do You or Someone You Love Need Bipolar Disorder Treatment?

Someone dealing with a bipolar disorder is fighting a difficult battle. They struggle with intense mood swings that go from a manic state (an unusually high or ill-tempered mood, energy levels, and/or excitement) to a depressed state (extreme sadness, low self-respect, loss of pleasure, and low mood). The person struggling with a bipolar disorder also has to fight a litany of stereotypes fraught with social stigmas and prejudices. This psychiatric diagnosis is a painful mood disorder that not only affects the person suffering from the bipolar disorder, but it also affects the sufferer’s loved ones. If it goes untreated, this mood disorder can damage relationships, cause poor personal performances in school or at a job, and can even result in suicide.

Do you need help in dealing with a bipolar disorder? Are your tired of the excessive mood swings? Have you been labeled with some derogatory tag? One of the first steps to healing is to admit there is an issue with mood swings and that you need to seek help in dealing with a bipolar disorder. Do you know a loved one who is struggling with a bipolar disorder? Is that someone extremely high on life and can conquer the world one day and the next day they believe they are worthless? This bipolar disorder causes these wide-ranging emotions. Help is available. Seek the assistance of a bipolar disorder treatment center.

Treatment Plan for Bipolar Disorder

The assistance of others is greatly needed when a person tries to deal with bipolar disorder. A team needs to be created to help with bipolar disorder healing. The team will be made up of loved ones, a therapist, a bipolar disorder healing program, and a support group. These four elements will play a significant role in healing the disorder.

  • Ask for help – Start with family and friends as they will be a vital part in overcoming a psychological disorder. When recovery and healing becomes difficult, they can provide the inspiration to continue.
  • Find a therapist – A therapist who specializes in bipolar disorder will be able to create an individualized treatment plan. They will also aid in the admission to a bipolar disorder treatment facility.
  • Find a bipolar disorder rehabilitation program – A bipolar disorder treatment program will provide support in dealing with any physical and psychological concerns. They will use various treatment strategies to tackle any other co-occurring psychiatric or addiction conditions.
  • Engage in support groups and ongoing therapy – Joining a support group will help contribute to the success of dealing with bipolar disorder. In order to prevent a relapse, the group can offer much needed help. The support group is essential in maintaining abstinence.

Treatment Levels for Bipolar Disorder

There are multiple levels of treatment for dealing with bipolar disorder. Other serious disorders often co-occur in addition to a bipolar disorder such as eating disorders, other mood disorders, or substance abuse. The proficiency of a bipolar disorder treatment program is often needed to completely treat the disorder. The more commonly used treatment levels include:

  • Hospitalization Treatment / Inpatient – Inpatient offers hospital care 24 hours a day. This is for when a patient requires immediate psychological and/or medical stability in a hospital environment before being able to begin or continue recovery.
  • Residential Center (RTC) – This type of care generally involves a stay for at least 30 days and can be extended for up to 90 days. Residential living care directs the attention on the bipolar disorder, but also deals with any co-occurring disorders or drug dependence.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) – This type of program is frequently held in a hospital or residential setting and includes attending groups and individual therapy sessions. This curriculum can run 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, but sessions are commonly held five days a week in the mornings or afternoons.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) – This type of outpatient program offers group and individual services and assistance. The patient’s daily routines can sometimes be maintained since sessions are conducted in the mornings or afternoons.
  • Outpatient Care – Outpatient programs are similar to IOPs but not as concentrated. The patient has fewer limitations placed on them but still include individualized treatment and group sessions.
  • Support Groups – Support groups fill a valuable role in dealing with bipolar disorder. They give the patient acceptance without condemnation as the members have all walked the same road.

Types of Pharmacological Therapy for Bipolar Disorder Treatment

There are many different drugs that are used to treat bipolar disorder. They include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. The mood stabilizers are the first choice for addressing bipolar disorder. With the exception of Lithium, the mood stabilizers are anticonvulsants. A bipolar disorder treatment center can help in determining the best medicinal approach to implement. Examples of these medications include:

  • Mood Stabilizers
    • Lithium
    • Valproic acid
    • Divalproex sodium (Depakote)
    • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
    • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
    • Topiramate (Topamax)
    • Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • Antipsychotics
    • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
    • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
    • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
    • Risperidone (Risperdal)
    • Ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • Antidepressants
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
    • Paroxetine (Paxil)
    • Sertraline (Zoloft)
    • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Types of Therapy for Bipolar Disorder Treatment

In addition to the medicinal treatments, psychosomatic treatments are also incorporated into the healing process. A bipolar disorder treatment center will implement several different therapy techniques in order to help the person obtain healing. A proven successful way to treat bipolar disorder is to apply different modes of rehabilitation. The program will incorporate a mixture of behavioral therapies so the emotional and psychological needs can be addressed.

  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – IPT concentrates on the interpersonal relations and social roles using a short-term supportive psychotherapy, and it tries to help patients find better ways to handle and deal with existing issues or problems. IPT has four main elements which are relationship shortcomings, unresolved grief, role disputes, and role changes.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a treatment therapy that addresses maladaptive thinking patterns in order to affect the patient’s behavior in a more positive manner. This also allows negative coping skills to be replaced with positive coping skills.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – DBT uses the standard behavioral therapies like CBT and IPT for emotion regulation. Mindful awareness and stress management elements are merged into this treatment.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – ACT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies combined in various ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies. This should enhance the patient’s emotional and mental flexibility.
  • Supportive Programs – These are programs like family therapy, group therapy, support groups, etc. These types of supportive programs are beneficial for both the family and the person suffering from bipolar disorder.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – This type of treatment may be used when medication and/or psychotherapy does not work.

Bipolar disorder is a difficult psychological burden to bear. You have to deal with extreme highs and lows, but you can get control of your life back. There are bipolar disorder treatment centers available to help you work with and control the manic-depression.  A normal steady life is obtainable. You do not have to suffer alone. Your family and friends can assist you to get the help you need.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on, Addiction Treatment Directory