901-682-5136

It is extremely important that patients have options for the treatment of bipolar disorder in Memphis. These options for the treatment and therapy of bipolar depression need to be in alignment with their needs as well as their wishes. People are different and there should be a number of different approaches considered.

The same patient is very likely to have different needs over the course of their struggles and during the course of treatment for bipolar disorder. When determining which form of therapy to use, the preferred approach is what’s called “matched care.” This is when the clinician openly discusses various options with their patient and they come to an agreement on which approach would help the most.

Psychological Therapies

Psychological therapies used in the treatment for bipolar disorder, depressed phase would include cognitive behavioral therapy, educational group therapy, interpersonal and family therapy. Each one of these options gives the patient a chance to talk about their experiences in a relaxed and nonjudgmental environment. They receive help in determining what may be causing their problems and encourages them to keep going. They all help the patient develop some skills and strategies to prevent the recurrence of problems.

Road to Recovery

The therapist should customize their therapeutic approach to fit the patient, always reassessing and revising their approach as things develop and change. Despite the need for psychological therapies and all the available evidence that shows this is effective, only a small number of people using mental health services are able to get access to psychological therapy. This must change.

Medication Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

People who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder often receive a prescription for medication. This medication falls into three distinct categories: antidepressants for depression, neuroleptics for mania, which are often called major tranquilizers, and mood stabilizers. Prescribing doctors, usually a psychiatrist, recommend that patients take their medication every single day, even when they aren’t experiencing symptoms, and sometimes this goes on for years after a single episode. The right medication can be very helpful for many patients, but it doesn’t work for everyone who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Each individual must weigh the pros and cons, as it applies to them, of being on medication treatment for bipolar disorder. For example, it can be very helpful in preventing the symptoms and problems from coming back, but it can certainly come with adverse side effects. The medication may affect a person’s creativity, and this could be very important to them, even to their livelihood. When on medication the people may not recognize themselves. They feel as if their own identity is being compromised.

It is critical for the person that their prescribing physician should regularly review the medication and this should be done collaboratively with the patient. Evidence shows that this is not being done enough. Medical providers should not demand that all people view their problem as an “illness” that requires medication. There is an abundance of evidence that shows that talking therapy can be very beneficial and this form of therapeutic intervention should be made more available in the treatment for bipolar disorder. A trusting, collaborative partnership between the health care provider and their patient is a prerequisite if any kind of treatment or therapy has any chance of working.

People seeking treatment should be offered all the information and be given a choice on all aspects of their treatment, not just psychiatric hospitalization. The patient is the ultimate expert on their individual experience dealing with their problems. Medical and psychological professionals should draw on this expertise. This can improve the treatment and be used to train their staff. More research is needed that is not based on the medical model of bipolar disorder.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder