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Treatment: Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

Research indicates that people who take medications for bipolar disorder are more likely to get better faster and stay well if they also receive therapy. Therapy can teach you how to deal with problems your symptoms are causing, including relationship, work, and self-esteem issues. Therapy will also address any other problems you’re struggling with, such as substance abuse or anxiety.

There are three types of therapy which helpful for bipolar disorder:

1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
In cognitive behavioral therapy, you examine how your thoughts affect your emotions. You also learn how to change negative thinking patterns ad behaviors into more positive ways of responding. For bipolar disorder, the focus is on managing symptoms, avoiding triggers for relapse, and problem solving.


2. Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy
Interpersonal therapy focuses on current relationship issues and helps you improve the way you relate to the important people in your life. By addressing and solving interpersonal problems, this type of therapy reduces stress in your life. Since stress is a trigger for bipolar disorder, this relationship-oriented approach can help reduce mood cycling. Social rhythm therapy focuses on stabilizing social rhythms such as sleeping, eating, and exercising. When these rhythms are stable, the biological rhythms that regulate mood remain stable too.


3. Family-focused Therapy
Living with a person who has bipolar disorder can be difficult, causing strain in family and marital relationships. Family focused therapy addresses these issues and works to restore a healthy and supportive home environment. Education family members about the disease and how to cope with its symptoms is a major component of treatment. Working through problems in home and improving communication is also a focus of treatment.


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