Every person living with bipolar disorder has their own personal goals. Feeling well enough to attend a child’s sports events or getting back to work may be yours.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder experience emotional highs known as mania or hypomania (less severe mania), which are followed by periods of low mood (depression). Mood swing episodes may occur several times yearly or every few years.
It is a chronic but manageable condition that is typically treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medications.
There is more than one type of bipolar disorder. In all cases, symptoms can cause distressing changes in mood and behavior. The goals for bipolar disorder treatment may vary depending on an individual’s diagnosis.
- Bipolar I disorder – Is defined as having at least one manic episode that is followed or preceded by episodes of major depression or hypomania.
- Bipolar II disorder – Is defined as having at least one hypomanic and one major depressive episode but no manic episodes.
- Cyclothymic disorder – This is a type of bipolar illness that is diagnosed in people who have had several periods of both hypomania and depression over the course of at least two years.
Other types of bipolar-related disorders can be caused by medical conditions like stroke or Cushing’s disease. Certain drugs and alcohol can also induce bipolar disorder symptoms.
Treatment Goals for Bipolar Disorder
The American Psychiatric Association lists several treatment goals for bipolar disorder. Performing a diagnostic evaluation to assess any contributing conditions, such as a substance use disorder, is the first step in developing an effective treatment plan.
Goals may be divided into short-term and long-term plans. Three of the most impactful goals are safety, stabilization, and stress reduction.
Manic and depressive moods can create unsafe situations for people living with bipolar disorder. Manic behaviors can include risk-taking, hypersexuality, financial chaos, abusing drugs or alcohol, and failing to take care of basic physical needs, such as eating and sleeping. Severe depression increases the risk of self-harm and suicide. Treatments that increase safety are the number one goal.
If you are currently in a manic or depressive state, mood stabilization treatments allow you to regain control of your life. Tools to help people with bipolar disorder stabilize include:
- Therapy sessions
- Establishing a routine
- Family and peer support
- Self-care, such as eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and exercising
Reaching out to your support system can also help during this time. Participating in family therapy sessions or psychoeducational classes may be a recommended part of your treatment plan.
3. Stress Reduction
Managing your stress plays a major role in maintaining good mental health. Stress can initiate the first episode of a bipolar mood swing, and people with bipolar disorder have more difficulty recovering from stressors. In order to reduce the risk of relapse, your treatment plan may include techniques to help you cope with stress more effectively.
Lifestyle changes and mindfulness habits like meditation or journaling may help you reach the goal of stress reduction.
Find Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment at Santé Center for Healing
What are your treatment goals for bipolar disorder? At Santé Center for Healing, we work closely with every client to develop a treatment plan that meets their individual needs. Living with bipolar disorder is challenging, but with evidence-based treatments and the right support, bipolar disorder does not have to rule your life.