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Bipolar Disorder Therapy

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong psychiatric condition characterized by extreme fluctuations in mood swings between extreme highs (manic or hypomanic highs) and depressive lows.  These shifts can have a profound impact on the patient’s quality of life, relationships and function. Between episodes, many people are free of mood changes, but some can have lingering symptoms. Long-term, continuous treatment can help people to manage these symptoms. Psychotherapy is an integral component of a comprehensive treatment plan, often combined with pharmacological interventions and lifestyle modifications.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly utilized forms of psychotherapy for treating bipolar disorder. It focuses on identifying dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors and aims to replace them with healthier coping mechanisms. It can help to identify triggers for bipolar episodes, learn stress management and coping skills.  CBT is often effective in treating depressive episodes and preventing relapse by helping patients become aware of their thoughts and behaviors and how they influence their mood.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy is specifically tailored for individuals with bipolar disorder. This modality focuses on stabilizing daily rhythms such as sleeping and eating schedules for mood management. By regulating these social rhythms, IPSRT aims to stabilize mood swings and improve interpersonal relationships. The therapy works on the premise that a stable routine can mitigate some of the triggers that lead to mood episodes.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy was initially developed for treating borderline personality disorder but has shown promise in treating bipolar disorder as well. It focuses on teaching emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. Skills taught in DBT sessions can be especially useful for individuals with bipolar disorder to manage their extreme mood swings.

Family-focused therapy involves family members in treatment sessions. It is predicated on the understanding that the family environment plays a critical role in the course of the disorder. The therapy aims to educate family members about the condition, improve communication within the family, and develop problem-solving skills. Family support can be instrumental in recognizing early symptoms and preventing full-blown episodes.

Psychoeducation is an integral part of treating bipolar disorder. It involves educating the patient and their family about the disease, its treatment, and coping mechanisms. Knowledge is empowering, and understanding the nature of the disorder can help in reducing the stigma, improving medication adherence, and recognizing warning signs of mood episodes.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

In extreme cases, particularly where medication and therapy have proven ineffective, or in the presence of severe depression or mania, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered. ECT involves passing electric currents through the brain to induce controlled seizures, which can bring rapid symptom relief.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is under study to learn if this novel therapy can yield rapid improvements for patients with Bipolar I who have treatment resistant depression.

Future therapies

Advancements in the understanding of the biological roots of bipolar disorder are paving the way for new therapeutic options. From identifying genetic markers to exploring the role of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress, research is ongoing to develop more targeted therapies.

Therapy is an indispensable part of the holistic treatment approach for bipolar disorder. At Mercie Health we offer all evidence-based modalities to address various aspects of the disorder.

All treatment plans are tailored to the needs of each individual.

Mercie Health is a psychiatric and wellness clinic in Katy, Texas. Mercie Health regularly sees patients from Richmond, Cinco Ranch, and Sugar Land, Texas. We take a humane and personalized approach to treating mental health disorders. Stigma is associated with mental health disorders and can keep a person from seeking help. Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame. You will always be treated with respect and dignity at Mercie Health. Contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about bipolar disorder, receive the correct diagnosis and all your treatment options.

At a Glance

Dr. Sylvia Udokoro Nwakanma

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Double Board Certified in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C)
  • SAMSHA Certified Addictions Nurse Practitioner
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