Outpatient Treatment for Bipolar

Medication

Mood stabilizers are a great help to those with bipolar. Some of these are lithium, carbamazapine and divalproex. Antidepressants are sometimes needed, but must be used with care, as they can trigger a manic episode.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy helps people with bipolar to manage their moods, work out relationships and improve their functioning in society. The three main types of psychotherapy used with bipolar patients are cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal and social rhythm, and family-focused therapies.

Stress Management

Since stress can be a major trigger for mood swings, especially mania, keeping stress under control is a goal of outpatient treatment. Yoga and meditation are used, as well as breathing exercises.

Education

It is important for people who have bipolar and their families to understand the disorder. Knowing the triggers and symptoms for the different mood states is helpful in controlling them before they get out of hand. Learning about treatments allows patients to better participate in their own care.

Lifestyle Adjustments

If you have bipolar, a stable lifestyle is even more important to you than it is to others. You must avoid sleep deprivation, alcohol and illicit drugs, and overwork. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help as well. "Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year," according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Outpatient treatment is preferable to hospitalization in most cases.