Using Psychotherapy to Treat Bipolar Disorder

Using Psychotherapy to Treat Bipolar Disorder

Mental health disorders are on the rise, and finding treatment can be tough. When you suffer from bipolar disorder, it may seem like you’ll never get your condition under control. There are many types of medications available for this condition, but have you considered psychotherapy as an option?

At Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, our team helps you find the right form of treatment for your mental health problem. Leading our team are three expert psychiatrists — Elizabeth Bullard, MDBrian Moore, MD; and Allison Foroobar, MD. Our doctors get you the treatment you need when bipolar disorder is running your life.

Understanding bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that’s marked by periods of extreme changing emotions. Sometimes, you’ll experience emotional highs, which are known as mania. Other times, you’ll have emotional lows, which is considered depression.

The mood shifts that occur with bipolar disorder cause problems with your sleep, judgment, and your overall energy. The intense nature of the changes in your mood also leads to trouble with judgment and your behavior. 

There are several different types of bipolar disorder; each one leads to different symptoms that can affect your quality of life. The four common types of bipolar disorder include:

Bipolar I disorder

Bipolar I disorder is marked by at least one manic episode, which could be followed by a depressive or hypomanic episode. In some cases, the manic episode may lead to psychosis, or a complete break from reality.

Bipolar II disorder

Bipolar II means you’ve had at least one hypomanic episode and one depressive episode. However, in bipolar II, you won’t experience a manic episode.

Cyclothymic disorder

In adults, this disorder is diagnosed after two years of depression symptoms and hypomanic episodes that come and go. In children, the disorder is diagnosed after only one year of the same type of symptoms.

Other types or unspecified bipolar disorder

If you don’t fit into one of the other types of bipolar disorder, our team may put you in this category. This type of bipolar disorder doesn’t follow traditional diagnostic criteria, and may be caused by external factors like alcohol abuse, medications, or a medical condition like multiple sclerosis.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy uses verbal techniques to help you cope with bipolar or any other mental health disorder. It’s also called talk therapy, and involves many different ways to help you recognize problems and find effective solutions.

The goal of psychotherapy is to help you understand why you’re struggling with certain issues and to help you determine how you can control your symptoms. Our doctors use this form of therapy to give you the specialized tools to cope with your mental health problem, and to learn skills to help control your emotions and unwanted symptoms throughout your life.

Psychotherapy isn’t just one treatment alone; it involves several different types of therapy, some of which include:

Our team may use just one of these types of therapy, or multiple types to get you the help you need.

How psychotherapy helps bipolar disorder

Our team takes an integrated approach to help you cope with your bipolar disorder. This means they not only prescribe medications when needed, but also integrate psychotherapy into your treatment plan as well.

Bipolar disorder is often better treated with both medications and psychotherapy, rather than just medications alone. This is because psychotherapy allows you to determine the root source of your feelings and what’s causing you stress. 

For instance, when our doctors use behavioral therapy, it helps you to identify behaviors that aren’t good for your condition. Our team then gives you the tools and skills to change those behaviors to decrease stress and help you cope with symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Cognitive therapy assists you in identifying thought patterns that aren’t good for your mood and wellbeing. Once our team helps you identify these thoughts, they give you the tools to change and modify those thoughts to improve your mental health.

Bipolar disorder also can lead to issues in your personal life, especially with relationships. Our team uses psychotherapy to work with you and anyone in your life that your condition affects. They help to identify issues within your relationships and find tools to improve the outcome.

If you’re suffering from bipolar disorder and would like to try psychotherapy, don’t hesitate to call us today at 919-446-3232, or request a consultation using our online booking tool

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