Bipolar II Disorder Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment (cont.)

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Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is an important part of helping individuals with bipolar II disorder achieve the highest level of functioning possible. While medications can be quite helpful in alleviating and preventing overt symptoms, they do not address the many complex social and psychological issues that can play a major role in how the person with this disease functions at work, home, and in his or her relationships. Psychotherapies that have been found to be effective in treating bipolar disorders include family focused therapy, psycho-education, cognitive therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Family focused therapy involves education of family members about the disorder and how to help (psycho-education), communication-enhancement training, and teaching family members problem-solving skills training. Psycho-education involves teaching the person with bipolar II disorder and their family members about the symptoms of this illness, as well as warning signs (for example, a change in sleep pattern or appetite, increased irritability) that the person is beginning to experience a mood episode. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the mental-health professional works to help the person with bipolar II disorder identify, challenge, and decrease negative thinking and otherwise dysfunctional belief systems. The goal of interpersonal therapy tends to be identifying and managing problems the sufferers of bipolar disorder may have in their relationships with others.

In addition to whether the individual has medical or other mental illness, appropriate treatment or socioeconomic disadvantages, the prognosis of bipolar II disorder is largely connected to how often mood episodes occur. The lower the number of mood-disorder episodes, the better the prognosis for the individual.

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Last Editorial Review: 4/26/2011 3:25:45 PM