Getting Help for Bipolar Disorder
Table of Contents:
Anyone with bipolar disorder should be under the care of a
psychiatrist skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of this
Other mental health professionals, such as psychologists and
psychiatric social workers, can assist in providing the patient and
his or her family with additional approaches to treatment.
Help can be found at:
People with manic-depressive illness often need help to get help.
- University- or medical school-affiliated programs
- Hospital departments of psychiatry
- Private psychiatric offices and clinics
- Health maintenance organizations
- Offices of family physicians, internists, and pediatricians
- Often people with bipolar disorder do not recognize how impaired they are
or blame their problems on some cause other than mental illness.
- People with bipolar disorder need strong encouragement from family and friends
to seek treatment. Family physicians can play an important role for such referral.
- If this does not work, loved ones must take the patient for proper mental health
evaluation and treatment.
- If the person is in the midst of a severe episode, he or she may have to be
committed to a hospital for his or her own protection and for much needed treatment.
- Anyone who is considering suicide needs immediate attention, preferably from a
mental health professional or a physician; school counselors and members of the
clergy can also assist in detecting suicidal tendencies and/or making a referral for
more definitive assessment or treatment. With appropriate help and treatment, it is
possible to overcome suicidal tendencies.
- It is important for patients to understand that bipolar disorder will not go away,
and that continued compliance with treatment is needed to keep the disease under control.
- Ongoing encouragement and support are needed after the person obtains treatment,
because it may take a while to discover what therapeutic regimen is best for that
- Many people receiving treatment also benefit from joining mutual support groups
such as those sponsored by the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association
(NDMDA), the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), and the National Mental
- Families and friends of people with bipolar disorder can also benefit from mutual
support groups such as those sponsored by NDMDA and NAMI.
Learn more about bipolar disorder...
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on
26 May 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt