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Bipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive Illness

Treatments for Bipolar DisorderPsychotherapy

Seeing a psychiatrist, a psychotherapist, or another mental health specialist is another essential part of treating bipolar disorder. Psychotherapy helps you to understand the disease and learn how to cope with the feelings and behavior it can produce.

There are four main types of therapy that can help treat manic depression:

  • Behavioral therapy focuses on behavior that can increase or decrease stress and depression.
  • Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative ways of thinking.
  • Interpersonal therapy focuses on how to improve your relationships with those around you.
  • Social rhythms therapy focuses on how to organize and stick to a daily routine that stabilizes your body's rhythms.

All of these therapies can be done individually, in a group, or with your family. Sometimes it is useful to do all three. The most important thing about therapy is that you trust and feel comfortable with your therapist. If after three sessions you feel it's not working, look for someone else. Don't give up on therapy altogether.

Sixteen-year-old Tony didn't want to see a thera pist. And the first time he saw Dr. Monroe was a disaster. “I'm not going back,” he swore to his parents. “The guy just sat there and eyeballed me. He never talked. Just spent all his time doodling on a pad of paper.”

Tony complained to his friend Alexey about Dr. Monroe. “You shouldn't give up, Tony,” said Alexey. “When my dad died, I was very depressed. I went to see this psychiatrist, Dr. Zucherman, who really helped me. He's a very caring guy and really bright. You should give him a call.”

Tony figured he had nothing to lose. He called Dr. Zucherman's office and made an appointment. “Right from the first session,” Tony recalled, “we got along well. I immediately trusted him and I could tell he cared about what I had to say. I've been seeing him for a year now and have made a lot of progress. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually like going to therapy.”

Keep in mind that psychotherapy is not like medication. There are no overnight cures. But over time, it can really make a permanent difference in helping you to cope with your bipolar symptoms.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaBipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive IllnessBipolar Disorder and Manic Depressive Illness - Treatments for Bipolar Disorder - Professional Help, Types Of Medication, Psychotherapy, Education, Taking Care Of Yourself