Bipolar Disorder is a psychological disorder that must be addressed and appropriately treated as soon as possible. Bipolar disorder worsens the longer it is left untreated and can have devastating consequences for the person suffering from it and their loved ones. Fortunately, there are many ways to help everyone involved deal with this potentially devastating disorder.

Things You Will Need

Doctor
Psychologist
Psychiatrist
Individual/Family counselor
Internet access
Support Group

See a doctor if symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are exhibited. The doctor will perform a physical exam to make sure there is no medical reason for the symptoms that are being presented. Blood tests will also be done at this point to ascertain whether or not markers for Bipolar Disorder are present in the blood stream. The doctor will refer the individual to a psychologist or psychiatrist for a formal diagnosis. This diagnosis will be given after a family and behavioral history is completed and pattern of behavioral criteria are met. See resource section below for links to information on signs of Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar Disorder is treated in part with medication. Medication must be taken as prescribed and may take 6 - 8 weeks to reach the therapeutic level in blood. This level is, in essence, when the Bipolar Disorder medication has reached an effective and consistent level. Sometimes a person on medication will begin to feel as if they no longer need to take it or don't want to due to side effects. Bipolar Disorder medications must be taken for the rest of the individual's life.

Regularly see a psychologist or other qualified counselor after the diagnosis. The majority of individuals receiving a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder have done some damage to their careers, family life and finances and need therapy to overcome challenges resulting from this. Family counseling may also be highly recommended. Support groups also give those affected by Bipolar Disorder another avenue of learning how to deal with and overcome issues related to the diagnosis.

While Bipolar Disorder can be a devastating condition to live with when not treated appropriately, many people are able to lead fulfilling lives. With an appropriate treatment plan and family support these individuals who suffer from Bipolar Disorder are able to battle their mental illness and create a life they can be content with.

Tips & Warnings

Access all avenues of support that are available.
All medications must be taken as prescribed.