Bipolar

Understanding and Getting Help 

If you or someone you care about is experiencing periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviors, you may be impacted by bipolar disorder. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help you lead a healthy and productive life.

Talking with a doctor or other licensed mental health professional is the first step if you think you may have bipolar disorder. Your doctor can complete a physical exam to rule out other conditions. If the problems are not caused by other illnesses, your doctor may conduct a mental health evaluation or provide a referral to a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist experienced in diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder.

Below you find info and tips from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Treatments and Therapies

Treatment helps many people — even those with the most severe forms of bipolar disorder — gain better control of their mood swings and other bipolar symptoms. An effective treatment plan usually includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy”). Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. Between episodes, many people with bipolar disorder are free of mood changes, but some people may have lingering symptoms. Long-term, continuous treatment helps to control these symptoms.

Medications

Different types of medications can help control symptoms of bipolar disorder. An individual may need to try several different medications before finding ones that work best.

Medications generally used to treat bipolar disorder include:

  • Mood stabilizers
  • Atypical antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants

Anyone taking a medication should:

  • Talk with a doctor or a pharmacist to understand the risks and benefits of the medication
  • Report any concerns about side effects to a doctor right away. The doctor may need to change the dose or try a different medication
  • Avoid stopping a medication without talking to a doctor first. Suddenly stopping a medication may lead to “rebound” or worsening of bipolar disorder symptoms. Other uncomfortable or potentially dangerous withdrawal effects are also possible

Psychotherapy

When done in combination with medication, psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy”) can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder. It can provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families.

Some psychotherapy treatments used to treat bipolar disorder include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Family-focused therapy
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
  • Psychoeducation

Our Bipolar Disorder Management Support Group

Our Bipolar Management Support Group meets in Tulsa on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm at 1870 South Boulder Avenue, across the street from Veterans Park. You may park behind the building and enter through the back door. For more information, call 918.585.1213 or email info@mhaok.org.

The support group is led by a mental health professional, but the real power of the group is getting the chance to interact with other people impacted by bipolar disorder. The group members have been there, and they can offer you advice that may open doors that you thought to be long shut and locked.

DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) Support Group in Oklahoma City

Each Tuesday at noon, and Saturdays at 2 pm, DBSA offers a Bipolar Management Support Group at Lottie House, our peer-run drop-in center in Oklahoma City.

Lottie House is located at 1311 North Lottie Avenue in Oklahoma City. For more information, call 405.943.3700 or email info@mhaok.org.

Call Us For Help!

Seeking bipolar disorder programs, counseling, support groups, and other services require navigating a complex network of community resources. We can help!

Our free Community Referral Line provides you with one-on-one service to help find the best referral for bipolar disorder management options for you, or a family member.

We’re here to work with you to help navigate through the mental health system!

Call our free Community Referral Line at 918.585.1213 or 405.943.3700. We are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm. You may also email us at info@mhaok.org.

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