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.
Psychologists and some mental health counselors 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 causes bipolar disorder?
2. What’s the difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II? Which do I have?
3. What medicines can help me, and how do they work?
4. What should I do if I forget to take my medication for bipolar disorder?
5. What should I do if I have a manic episode?
6. What happens if I quit taking the medication?
7. Why do I need psychotherapy in addition to medication?
WebMD Medical Reference: "Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)."
WebMD Assess Plus: Bipolar Disorder Assessment. National Institute for Mental Health: "Step-BD Womens Studies."Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic & Research Program.
MedicineNet.com: "Bipolar Disorder (Mania)."
WebMD Medical Reference: "Effects of Untreated Depression."
American Psychiatric Association: "Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Bipolar Disorder."
Joseph Goldberg, MD on October 02, 2012