Even if you’ve only recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, you have probably been on this journey for a long time. You may have been misunderstood or misdiagnosed for years. You may have been up and down with severe mood swings or relapses. You may feel your current treatment is not working, or you may be troubled by the side effects of your medication.
Bipolar Disorder is a serious condition, and each individual’s symptoms are different. Taking ownership of your treatment plan is the first step toward managing your symptoms.
You’re not the only person living with Bipolar Disorder
If your symptoms are not managed, friends and family may feel confused by your extreme changes in mood. It may be constructive for you and your family to attend family therapy together. This can help promote understanding and strengthen relationships.
Friends and family can be tremendous sources of support. They can help you stick to your treatment plan by encouraging you to avoid harmful habits, learning the warning signs of an episode, and sharing the responsibility for care.
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To get the most from your treatment, make sure you talk with your doctor about how you’re feeling on your medication and whether you are experiencing any side effects. Ask about what you can do, other than taking medication, to help treat your symptoms.
Learn how a healthy lifestyle that includes weight management and avoidance of alcohol can help you. Learn more.
Importance of therapy
While there is no cure for Bipolar Disorder, there are effective approaches to help manage these symptoms. Some options may include talk therapy, group therapy, and prescription medication or any combination of these.
Some healthcare professionals encourage patients to track their moods and discuss mood changes with a therapist. Many healthcare professionals agree that sharing this information and establishing a supportive and consistent relationship between a patient with Bipolar Disorder and a therapist can be an invaluable part of the treatment plan.
In addition to having the opportunity to discuss current challenges and ways to cope with symptoms during these sessions, patients with Bipolar Disorder may also be able to discuss and better understand past episodes and behaviors.