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Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Even if your symptoms are severe, they can become stable with treatment. Long-term care can put stop flare-ups. The best plan is one that uses medicines and psychosocial treatment over time.

Bipolar disorder is best controlled when treatment is constant. Mood changes can happen even when there aren't any breaks in care, though. Tell your doctor about any changes right away. Your doctor may be able to put off a flare-up by making changes to your plan. Work with your doctor and talk about your concerns and choices. This can help make treatment work better.

Keep a chart of your daily mood, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events. This may help you and your family learn more about the illness. It can also help your doctor track and treat it better.

You will have:

  • Medicines to steady your mood
  • Psychotherapy
  • Counseling to provide you and your family with support, education, and guidance
  • Electroconvulsive therapy in severe cases

Treatment may be:


Bipolar disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated August 20, 2018. Accessed September 25, 2018.

Bipolar disorder in adults. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Updated November 2015. Accessed September 25, 2018.

Management of bipolar disorder in adults. US Department of Veterans Affairs website. Available at: Published May 2010. Accessed September 26, 2018.

Miklowitz DJ, Scott J. Psychosocial treatments for bipolar disorder: cost effectiveness, mediating mechanisms, and future directions. Bipolar Disord. 2009;11 Suppl 2:110-122.

Price AL, Marzani-Nissen GR. Bipolar disorders: a review. Am Fam Physician. 2012;85(5):483-493.

Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD  Last Updated 9/25/2018