Can 'Talk Therapy' Help My Bipolar Disorder, And Can I Be Helped With Talk Therapy Alone?

Question: Can 'talk therapy' help my bipolar disorder, and can I be helped with talk therapy alone?

Answer: There's good evidence indicating that talk therapy -- or psychotherapy -- can be very helpful to people with bipolar disorder. There's two ways in which this can take place. The first one is the benefits that people derive from being in psychotherapy, including things like working on psychological issues, working on relationships with family members, and planning their lives and preventing relapse of episodes of bipolar disorder.

The second way is that people who are in psychotherapy also tend to stay on the medications, which are often the mainstay of treatment. In other words, it becomes a treatment package, and for that reason, they have much better odds of remaining well compared to be people who are not taking medications and not being in psychotherapy.

The question of whether being in talk therapy or psychotherapy can be good enough without any other treatments -- the answer there is really no. The mainstay of treatment for bipolar disorder is pharmacotherapy, or treatment with medications. While psychotherapy has a major role to play, most evidence indicates that by itself it's not good enough to keep somebody with bipolar disorder well.

Next: Can 'Talk Therapy' Help Bipolar Disorder In Children/Adolescents?

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