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Getting Help for Bipolar Disorder

bipolar disorderThe latest research indicates that treatment can decrease the symptoms and suffering of people with bipolar disorder. Anyone with bipolar disorder should be under the care of a psychiatrist skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. Other mental health professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatric social workers, can also assist in providing additional approaches to treatment.

People with bipolar disorder often need encouragement to get help. Often people with this disorder are not aware of how impaired they are and may blame their problems on a reason other than mental illness.

The first choice of treatment is usually talk therapy. Treatment can generally include one to two sessions a week with a mental health counselor. It is important that the person suffering with this disorder feel at ease and comfortable with their therapist in order for therapy to be effective.

People with bipolar disorder need strong support from family and friends to seek treatment, and encouragement to stick with treatment. It is important that they take their bipolar medication in addition to having regular checkups or counseling.

Family physicians can play an important role in evaluating the patient and making a recommendation for treatment. 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 making a referral for more definitive assessment or treatment. With the proper 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 ongoing treatment is necessary to keep this disorder under control.

Continued encouragement and support are very important after the person obtains treatment. It may take some time to determine what therapies are best for that particular patient.

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Many people receiving treatment also benefit from joining mutual support groups such as those sponsored by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Families and friends of people with bipolar disorder can also benefit from mutual support groups such as those sponsored by DBSA, NAMI, and SAMHSA.


National Institute of Mental Health. (2016). Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved from on April 9, 2018.

Psychology Today. (2018). Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved from on April 9, 2018.

Getting Help for Bipolar Disorder

Amy Carmosino

Amy Carmosino has been a freelance editor and writer for Pysch Central since 2016.

APA Reference
Carmosino, A. (2020). Getting Help for Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Jan 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Jan 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.