Bipolar disorder, also know as manic depression, is an illness in which the person’s mood alternates between the high of mania and the low of depression. It affects all areas of a person’s life, including work, relationships and daily functioning. About 5.7 million U.S. adults are living with bipolar disorder. Luckily, however, proper treatment can help patients gain better control of their mood swings and related symptoms. Here are four keys to managing bipolar disorder, and overcoming common barriers.
Medication: Like with most psychiatric illnesses, medication is optional, and individuals can improve with other treatments, but most psychologists agree that bipolar disorder is mainly a psychiatric disorder where medication is absolutely essential. On average people with bipolar disorder take three medicines at the same time.
Lifestyle Management: Cultivating healthy habits makes a difference. Sleep deprivation and substance abuse exacerbate bipolar disorder and derail treatment. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, seek professional help. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Social Support: Family support can play either a positive or negative role in an individual’s treatment. For instance, some families may discourage their loved one from taking medication if they believe they can handle it on their own, while others advocate usage. Support groups in person or online can also be helpful.
Psychotherapy: Along with medication, ongoing psychotherapy is an important part of treatment for bipolar disorder. While medication can help to stabilize mood, therapy helps to change thinking patterns and affects the way an individual feels.
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.