Attending regular appointments with mental health professionals is important for managing bipolar disorder. You might prefer to attend appointments by telehealth using your phone or computer.

If you have bipolar disorder, treatment can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Your doctor will likely prescribe a combination of medication, psychotherapy, or other treatments to help manage your condition.

Your care team may include multiple healthcare professionals, such as a general practitioner or family doctor, a psychiatrist, and a therapist. Attending regular appointments with them is important.

You might attend appointments in person or virtually with telehealth. Telehealth is healthcare you can access using your phone or computer. It’s sometimes called telepsychiatry, telepsychology, or telemental health.

Many mental health professionals offer telehealth services for certain types of care. For example, you might use telehealth to talk with your psychiatrist about your symptoms, treatment side effects, or test results. You might also be able to receive one-on-one or group therapy via telehealth.

Read on to learn more about telehealth appointments for bipolar disorder.

You may consider multiple factors when deciding whether to attend telehealth appointments.

Here are some potential pros and cons of telehealth:

Telehealth might allow you to access certain mental health services that aren’t available locally. Your current mental health professional might not offer telehealth services, or your insurance provider might not cover them.
You can attend telehealth appointments from home, which may be more convenient or affordable than traveling to in-person appointments.If you don’t have a reliable phone or internet connection or you’re not comfortable using new technologies, it may negatively affect your telehealth access or experiences.
You won’t be in the same room as your telehealth professional, their staff, or other clients, which limits your risk of exposure to infectious illnesses.If you don’t have access to a private area for attending telehealth appointments, it may raise privacy or security concerns.
You might feel more comfortable receiving mental health care by telehealth.You might feel more comfortable receiving mental health care in person.

A 2022 review about telehealth for bipolar disorder found that psychotherapy given via video teleconferencing methods was safe and effective for older adolescents and adults with bipolar disorder. It helped them manage mood, behavior, and suicidal ideation. However, more research is needed.

Consider talking with your psychiatrist or other healthcare professional to learn more about the potential benefits and drawbacks of telehealth appointments.

Only certain types of telehealth professionals are qualified to prescribe mood stabilizers or other medication. These professionals typically include psychiatrists, general practitioners, and other doctors who have a medical degree.

Some U.S. states also allow nurse practitioners or advanced-practice pharmacists to prescribe medication.

Other types of telehealth professionals may be qualified to provide psychotherapy but aren’t typically qualified to prescribe medication.

These include psychologists, licensed professional counselors, and clinical social workers who do not have a medical degree. Most states don’t allow these professionals to prescribe medication.

Different states have different rules about which professionals can prescribe medication.

Some telehealth organizations, mental health professionals, or health insurance providers may have additional policies about prescribing medication by telehealth.

Consider talking with a telehealth professional to learn whether they can prescribe medication.

To find a telehealth professional, consider:

  • asking your current mental health professional whether they offer telehealth services
  • asking your primary care physician for a referral to a telehealth professional
  • searching for telehealth services using an online directory, such as

You may find it helpful to ask the following questions before your first appointment with a telehealth professional:

  • What types of care or services do you provide by telehealth? Do you prescribe medication, provide psychotherapy, or offer other treatments? What specific type of psychotherapy do you provide?
  • What experience do you have treating people with bipolar disorder?
  • What technology or platform do you use for telehealth services?
  • When are you available for appointments?
  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • What fees do you charge?

This can help you learn whether a telehealth professional may be the right fit for you. It’s also crucial to find someone you feel comfortable with. You might need to try more than one to find the right fit.

You may also need to contact your health insurance provider to learn whether it covers a specific telehealth professional or service.

Here are a few steps that may help prepare you for a telehealth appointment:

  • Learn whether the appointment will be hosted by phone or online. Make sure you have the necessary phone number or online link and passcode to connect.
  • If you’re using an online videoconferencing platform to connect, check beforehand to learn whether you need to download an app or browser extension. Download it before your appointment.
  • Find a comfortable, quiet, and private place to sit during your appointment. Make sure your phone or computer is charged or connected to a power source.
  • Log in a few minutes early to make sure you can connect. If you’re using an app, it may prompt you to test your device’s camera and microphone.
  • If you’re not comfortable using telehealth technology, consider asking a friend or family member to help you set up for your appointment.
  • Have a list of your questions, concerns, and any medications or supplements you take. Ask your telehealth professional whether there are any other records or information you should have on hand.

Consider asking your telehealth professional whether there are any other steps you should take to prepare.

Many online resources are available to help you manage bipolar disorder.

You can learn more about bipolar disorder by visiting the following organizations:

Some of the organizations above also run online support groups or peer support services to help people with bipolar disorder connect.

You can also use social media platforms to connect with other people living with bipolar disorder. Consider using the search function on social media platforms to look for groups, hashtag campaigns, or other content related to bipolar disorder.

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself or someone else, get immediate help by contacting emergency medical services or calling or texting 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Your treatment plan for bipolar disorder may include care from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or other healthcare professionals. Attending regular appointments with members of your mental health care team is important.

You might attend appointments in person or virtually using your phone or computer. Talk with a mental health care professional to learn more about the potential benefits and drawbacks of telehealth services.

Telehealth might be the right fit for some people but not others.

Other online resources are also available to help you manage bipolar disorder. These include informational websites, online support groups, and social media communities. Getting more information and peer support may help you manage the challenges of your condition.