CRDAMC Homepage | CRDAMC Library Phone #: (254) 288-8366 | CRDAMC Library Fax #: (254) 288-8368

Search Health Library

Talking to Your Doctor About Bipolar Disorder

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with bipolar disorder. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your doctor

About Bipolar Disorder

  • What can I do to keep these symptoms from interfering with my ability to function in my relationships, work, and home life?

About Treatment Options

  • What treatment options are available for me?
  • What medications might help me and how long will they take to work?
  • What side effects can I expect from my medications and what can I do about them?
  • Do you treat people with bipolar disorder?
  • If not, can you provide me with the names of mental health professionals who help people with bipolar disorder?

About Counseling

If you decide to try counseling, interview counselors, social workers, psychologists, and/or family therapists who specialize in working with people (and their families) who have bipolar disorder. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the mental health professional. Some questions you may want to ask are:

  • What training and experience do you have in treating bipolar disorder?
  • How can you help my family members and significant others cope with my disorder?
  • What is your basic approach to treatment?
  • How long will I need to be treated for bipolar disorder?
  • How long are the sessions and how often will I have them?
  • What health insurance do you accept?
  • Do you offer sliding scale fees to accompany various financial circumstances?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Are there any lifestyle changes that can help me to manage bipolar disorder?
  • What resources are available that could help me with:
    • Eating better
    • Exercising regularly
    • Social support
    • Managing stress
    • Sleep and keeping a daily routine

About Outlook

  • What are my chances of successfully managing bipolar disorder?
  • How can I prevent a recurrence of symptoms?
  • What is likely to happen if I don’t take my medication?
PreviousNext

References:

Bipolar disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114738/Bipolar-disorder. Updated September 5, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Bipolar disorder in adults. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated November 2015. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 2014. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 9/17/2014

 

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Health Library: Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
36000 Darnall Loop Fort Hood, Texas 76544-4752 | Phone: (254) 288-8000