Bipolar Disorder Treatment

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that 2.8% of US adults have bipolar disorder. Additionally, 4.4% of US adults have experienced bipolar disorder at some point in their lifetime.

Bipolar disorder is somewhat more prevalent among younger age groups, especially people aged 18 to 29 years old. This disorder can be devastating and hold you back from living your life to the fullest.

There is good news, though. Bipolar treatment is an effective way to reduce symptoms. The most effective treatments for bipolar disorder are therapy and bipolar medication.

Are you looking for information about bipolar treatment in Florida? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading this article for everything you need to know about treating bipolar disorder.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is also known as manic depression. The current edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for mental health disorders, the DSM 5, categorizes bipolar under mood disorders.

What are The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

The hallmark symptoms of this disorder are episodes of major depressive disorder and mania or hypomania.

Major depressive disorder episodes feature symptoms of intense hopelessness, sadness, tiredness, and low energy. People may also experience appetite and sleep changes, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and suicidal thoughts.

Manic episodes are the exact opposite. You may feel extremely happy, energetic, and motivated during a manic episode. People report racing thoughts, risky behavior, and decreased need for sleep during mania.

Hypomania is similar, but the symptoms are to a lesser degree than in full-out mania. For many people, it is hard to identify the difference between hypomania and feeling like they’re in a good mood.

What are The Types of Bipolar Disorders?

There are three types of bipolar disorders:

  1. Bipolar I disorder
  2. Bipolar II disorder
  3. Cyclothymia

Bipolar I disorder features alternating episodes of depression and mania. People diagnosed with bipolar I may also experience hypomania at times. However, mania must be present to receive this diagnosis.

Bipolar II disorder features alternating episodes of major depressive disorder and hypomania. The absence of full-on manic episodes marks the difference between this diagnosis and bipolar I.

Cyclothymia is also known as cyclothymic disorder. It is a mild form of bipolar that features depressive symptoms and hypomania. The symptoms may be less severe, but people with cyclothymia experience more frequent episodes.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Genes, environment, and other risk factors are all potential causes of bipolar disorder. Genetics, in particular, may play a major role. Studies show that a gene called AKAP11 significantly increases one’s risk for bipolar disorders.

Childhood trauma may also be a major component of bipolar disorder inheritance. Someone who has the AKAP11 gene may or may not develop this disorder, depending on their exposure to trauma.

What are The Treatments for Bipolar Disorders?

Treatment for bipolar disorder includes therapy and medication. For people with Bipolar I and II, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can also help with severe depressive episodes and symptoms.

Bipolar commonly co-occurs with other disorders like anxiety, substance use, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Addressing these conditions may also be part of your treatment plan.

But how do you know when it’s time to get treated in the first place? If your symptoms start to interfere with work or school, relationships, or finances, you may want to consider seeking treatment.

Suicidal ideation or attempts, significant weight changes, cardiovascular issues, and uncomfortable anxiety are also common reasons why people seek treatment.

Below, we discuss the two most common types of treatments available for people with bipolar disorder.


Psychotherapy in an inpatient or outpatient setting is one of the first lines of defense against bipolar disorder symptoms. Inpatient programs allow patients to reside at a facility full-time to get the therapy they need.

Sometimes, inpatient programs are too much of a time commitment. In that case, you could enroll in an outpatient program. Learn more about the different kinds of outpatient programs for mental health in Palm Beach at this link.

The most common types of therapy used to treat bipolar disorder include the following:

  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Family-focused therapy

IPSRT teaches individuals with bipolar disorder how to create healthy routines. Routines are shown to help with mood management. This form of therapy will teach you how to make a routine around sleep, diet, and even exercise.

CBT is one of the most popular types of therapy. Its goal is to help clients identify unhelpful thought patterns that could lead to inappropriate behaviors. For people with bipolar, this can help with identifying triggers.

People with bipolar often have triggers for their manic/hypomanic and major depressive episodes. CBT can help these individuals learn new coping strategies to better deal with stressful situations that could be triggering.

Family-focused therapy involves the loved ones of the person with bipolar. The goal of this type of therapy is to help loved ones learn how to recognize oncoming episodes and plan for treatment accordingly.

Bipolar Medications

Depending on your symptoms, you may receive a prescription for one or more of the following medications:

  • Mood stabilizers (e.g., lithium)
  • Antidepressants (e.g., fluoxetine or sertraline)
  • Antipsychotics (e.g., olanzapine or risperidone)
  • Antidepressant-antipsychotics (e.g., fluoxetine + olanzapine)
  • Anxiolytics (e.g., benzodiazepines)

Your doctor may prescribe mood stabilizers if you have manic or hypomanic episodes. Antidepressants can help with depressive episodes, but these drugs may exacerbate mania. In that case, you may also need an antipsychotic.

Often, doctors prescribe antidepressant-antipsychotics to people with bipolar II disorder. These drugs can treat depressive episodes while also reducing the risk of mania. They can also mitigate symptoms when mood stabilizers and other drugs are not enough to help with manic and depressive symptoms.

Anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines are not as common for bipolar disorders. However, your doctor may prescribe them temporarily if difficulty sleeping is exacerbating your symptoms.

Searching for Bipolar Treatment in Florida?

Bipolar is a mood disorder that features episodes of mania or hypomania and major depression. When these symptoms start to interfere with your life, therapy and bipolar medication can help.

Are you looking for bipolar treatment centers in South Florida? CWC Recovery offers inpatient and outpatient therapy and medication management for mental health conditions like bipolar disorder.

Learn more about our admissions process today and finally get the help you need.

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