Treating Bipolar Disorder

Individuals facing bipolar disorder experience serious mood changes. These periods last in time spans of a few hours or days to longer episodes of several months. Several factors related to the nature of bipolar symptoms may present severe challenges.

Bipolar disorder symptoms and challenges

As explained by the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder causes “unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”

While many people with bipolar disorder have the ability to live on their own, work and earn their own income, sudden intense symptoms such as severe depression can jeopardize these benefits.

Major depressive episodes often include symptoms such as indecisiveness, inability to concentrate, insomnia or excessive sleep. Coping with bipolar disorder becomes even more difficult if it is misdiagnosed as another mental health disorder such as schizophrenia. Another factor that complicates bipolar disorder is that those with the illness sometimes have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder.

Challenges associated with treating bipolar disorder

Coping with the highs and lows of bipolar disorder presents challenges not only for the person diagnosed with the condition, but also for professionals offering bipolar disorder treatment center services. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health state that even with treatment, around 37 percent of patients relapse within the first year of treatment and that 60 percent relapse within the first two years. One aspect that both the bipolar disorder patient and the treatment professional must understand about treating this life-long condition is that setbacks happen. Treatment can take long-term, recurring treatment and patience.

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There is always the possibility that the first attempt at treating an individuals’ bipolar disorder symptoms may not work. Perhaps the treatment plan works for a while, but then suddenly no longer works. That simply means that the treatment team will sit down with the person, explore other options and implement any new treatment measures as soon as possible. It is crucial that the individual report any changes in symptoms or any potential medication side effects.

Successfully treating bipolar disorder

John R. Geddes from the University of Oxford and David J. Miklowitz of the University of California, Los Angeles, stressed that “treatment guidelines increasingly suggest that optimum management of bipolar disorder needs integration of pharmacotherapy with targeted psychotherapy.”

While in treatment at a bipolar treatment center, an individual may undergo traditional treatment methods as well as a combination of psychotherapy, individual or group counseling, support services and other interventions. The types of treatment that a person receives at a bipolar disorder treatment center will depend on a number of individualized factors, determined on a case-by-case basis and implemented as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

A person suffering from bipolar disorder can actively participate in the bipolar disorder treatment plan. Actively following treatment guidelines, including following all rules of the facility where the individual receives treatment, keeping all appointments, taking medications and actively participating in group or individual counseling helps ensure the success of the individualized treatment plan.