There are many medications for treating bipolar disorder, so a psychiatrist, who is best qualified to identify which drugs work best for a specific patient, should oversee treatment. A psychiatrist is trained as a medical doctor (MD or DO).
Psychologists and some mental health counselors (Ph.Ds and PsyDs) can provide psychotherapy, or talk therapy, another critical part of treatment. Through therapy, people can develop coping methods that prevent long periods of illness, extended hospital stays, and suicide.
Since you were recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ask your doctor these questions at your next visit.
1. What are the chances my children or other family members can inherit bipolar disorder?
2. What’s the difference between bipolar I and bipolar II disorder? Which do I have?
3. How do I decide which medications are most helpful for my condition and how do they work?
4. What should I do if I forget to take any of my medications for bipolar disorder?
5. What are the major warning signs...
WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)" and "Effects of Untreated Depression."
WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment. National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Women's Studies."Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.
MedicineNet.com: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."
American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."
Joseph Goldberg, MD on October 27, 2014