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A 34-year-old female asked:

im not receiving therapy for bipolar treatment. should i be? or only meds required?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Yes, therapy too: Medications are necessary in bipolar disorder. In most situations these days though, your visits with the psychiatrist are very brief and spread out ("med check" visits). These can be supportive, but do not leave time for working on life difficulties that can arise with bipolar disorder. Working with a therapist will help you develop your life skills and self-care, among other necessary things.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Bipolar: Success rates are higher when medications are combined with psychotherapy, both individual as wewll as group therapy.
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
It depends: If you are stable, have been in therapy and are not stressed and you know your triggers for your illness well enough to seek immediate help upon relapse, have a stable psychosocial system and hopefully are gainfully employed, then you probably don't need therapy. Otherwise you may find therapy to be helpful with dealing with stress, relationships, and in helping you to prevent relapse. It can greatly improve the quality of a person's life and relationships.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali commented
Psychiatry 32 years experience
I respectfully disagree. Refer to my previous answer. MaintenanceTherapy is essential to prevent relapse, prevent recurrence, maintain recovery & provide added support & education to maintain compliance.
Aug 22, 2013
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctor commented
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Provided original answer
It depends upon the person. I have stable patients who had plenty of therapy over the years who no longer need therapy except in a crisis. If you've had thirty years of stability on Lithium, I don't think you are a candidate for therapy unless a psychosocial crisis arises. Therapy is a very precious resource and it is expensive. I have had twenty years of therapy myself. I will return when I need It. However, if everyone with every condition relied on therapy as well as medication I can guarantee you that there would not be enough therapists to go around. Therapy should be used wisely and as the Very precious resource that it is. It should not be Become a one-size-fits-all treatment.
Aug 22, 2013

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Can you please explain bipolar disorder?

7 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Neurobiological prob: Bipolar disorder is a complex, neurobiologic problem that impedes temperament control and has significant mood and anxiety problems. These symptom complexes can cycle quickly or slowly. Bpd starts in childhood and persists into adulthood. It is broken down into subgroups depending on the current cycle stage. It is highly heritable and usually requires intense medical & psychological treatment.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What are the different types of bipolar disorder?

5 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Three: Generally there are 3 kinds: bipolar i, bipolar ii and bipolar nos. The difference depends on the symptoms of mania (severe insomnia, extreme energy, racing thoughts, pressured speech, elated and/or irritable moods). In bipolar i the mania lasts 3-4 days or is severe enough to need hospital stay. In ii the mania is called hypomania and is of shorter duration. In nos not all symptoms of mania exist.
A 21-year-old member asked:

So what does "soft" bipolar look like?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Depends: The term "soft" bipolar has been used by some psychiatrists to explain situations in which individuals who suffer from a mood disorder have episodes in which they experience some symptoms of mania or hypomania. For example, these individuals may have episodes of insomnia with high energy or racing thoughts. However the episodes may be very brief (1-2 days at most). This idea remains controversial.
A 28-year-old member asked:

Is it possible for a bipolar person who's on meds to still have an episode?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Yes: There many possible explanations for relapse in bipolar patients (bpd). Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, caffeine, illnesses, insomnia, psychosocial stressors, and other medications used intercurrently that interact with maintenance medications can throw bpd into imbalance.
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A 32-year-old member asked:

What happens if bipolar disorder is untreated for a long time?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Depends: It depends on the severity of the bipolar illness but often times there is a significant and clinical worsening of one's symptoms that can affect work as well as personal life. So it would be a good idea not to go off treatment for this. Not treating bipolar usually has negative consequences for the patient and loved ones involved.

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