Treatment of bipolar disorder centers on (1) medications to stabilize mood swings and (2) counseling with a therapist. However, therapy is more successful with strong support from family and loved ones. Medications don't always work the first time and may need to be changed many times until the right medication or combination of medicines is found. While this change is happening, people with bipolar disorder need to feel that they can count on their friends and family not to give up on them and to bear with them even though their mood swings are causing grief and pain.

  1. Periods of stress may throw people with bipolar disorder into one of the extremes, and they need strong support systems to help them deal with the disease.
  2. Psychiatric hospitalization protects the safety of the person with bipolar disorder and loved ones.
  3. Medical staff can monitor the effects of medications when a person is in the hospital.
  4. Medications can be adjusted more quickly in the hospital than over a series of outpatient visits.
  5. Group therapy or 1-on-1 sessions with a psychiatrist also start while in the hospital.