Skip to main content
Parkridge Medical Center
Avg ER Wait
Checking ER Wait Time
The feed could not be reached

Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Even if your symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe, mood swings and other symptoms can become stable with treatment. Bipolar disorder is a recurrent illness. Long-term treatment is strongly recommended to prevent future episodes. The best plan is one that combines medicine and psychosocial treatment to manage the disorder over time.

Bipolar disorder is best controlled when treatment is continuous. However, even when there are no breaks in treatment, mood changes can occur and should be reported to your doctor right away. Your doctor may be able to prevent a full episode by adjusting to your treatment plan. Work closely with your doctor and talk opening about treatment concerns and options. This can make a difference in how well treatment works.

Keep a chart of daily mood symptoms, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events. This may help you and your family understand the illness better. This chart also can help your doctor track and treat the illness most effectively.

Treatment will include:

  • Medications to stabilize mood
  • Diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions that appear to be bipolar disorder, such as abnormal thyroid function or kidney failure
  • Psychotherapy
  • Counseling to provide you and your family with support, education, and guidance
  • Possible electroconvulsive therapy in severe cases

Treatment involves the following:

MedicationsOther treatmentsLifestyle changesAlternative and complementary therapies

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2015 -
  • Update Date: 09/17/2014 -
  • Bipolar disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 15, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2013.

  • Bipolar disorder in adults. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Updated 2012. Accessed September 4, 2013.

  • DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: Accessed September 4, 2013.

  • Miklowitz DJ, Scott J. Psychosoical treatments for bipolar disorder: cost effectiveness, mediating mechanisms, and future directions. Bipolar Disord. 200911 Suppl 2:110-122.

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

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Parkridge Health System does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.