Bipolar disorder has no cure, but treatment can drastically improve your symptoms. Most commonly, bipolar disorder is managed with a combination of medication and supportive therapy. Cyclothymia, although it’s considered “milder” than bipolar I or II, is generally treated the same way.
The first step in treating bipolar disorder is getting a clinical diagnosis from a qualified healthcare professional, like a psychiatrist. With Talkiatry, you can see a psychiatrist from the comfort of your home and within days of reaching out to us.Here’s what to expect in your first visit:
: During your first visit with a Talkiatry psychiatrist, you’ll get to meet each other and answer questions about your current symptoms, personal history, medical history, and mental health goals. Your psychiatrist will listen to what you're going through and make sure that virtual care at Talkiatry is the best fit for you.
: Based on the information you’ve shared, your psychiatrist will be able to provide a diagnosis of your condition, if you have one. Getting a diagnosis can feel scary, but it can also feel validating to finally put a name to what you've been experiencing. Your psychiatrist will help you navigate any emotions that come up and work with you on a path to move forward.
: You’ll collaborate with your psychiatrist on the best way to manage your symptoms. If medication is appropriate, you’ll discuss your options, including the benefits and potential side effects of each medication. Your psychiatrist will provide supportive therapy throughout your session, and may also recommend working with one of our therapists. Our therapists partner with our psychiatrists in a collaborative model to provide holistic care.
To get started, take our free online assessment
, to see if Talkiatry is right for you and get matched with a psychiatrist.
The most common medications used to treat bipolar disorder are mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. Mood stabilizers work by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain, which can eliminate and/or reduce the severity of mood episodes.
In people with depressive episodes, an antidepressant may also be added. It may take several weeks for a mood stabilizer or antidepressant to reach full effect. If you don’t respond to one medication, you may respond to another, so it’s important to work with a psychiatrist who can make adjustments based on your personal situation. Ongoing treatment—taking your medication consistently, even when you feel well—is key to managing your condition and keeping your symptoms under control.
Therapy can be an important tool to help people with bipolar disorder to manage their symptoms. Psychoeducation is one type of therapy that can be useful, both for people with bipolar disorder and their families. The goal is to gain knowledge about the condition and its treatment, so you, your loved ones, and your psychiatrist can work together to achieve the best possible outcome.
In addition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
can be helpful with people with bipolar disorder. This form of therapy aims to help you identify patterns of thinking around your condition and its symptoms, along with helping you understand exactly how your thoughts affect your actions.
At Talkiatry, we schedule 60 minutes
for your initial visit and typically 30 minutes for follow-up visits, which allows us to incorporate supportive therapy into your psychiatry appointments. If you and your psychiatrist feel you’d benefit from additional therapy, you can work with one of Talkiatry's therapists, if available or our psychiatrist can provide a referral.