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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 669
Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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Can bipolar disorder be treated without medication?

Customer Question

Can bipolar disorder be treated without medication?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, that is such a good question and one I will try to answer as simply as possible. This is not a yes or no answer. Bi-polar disorder is a chemical imbalance so therefore, is treated quite effectively with medication management and supervision. However, I work with many clients who have bi-polar disorder and together we decide what treatment components are necessary based on the severity of symptoms of depression or mania. we look at three levels of intervention for lowering the intensity of symptoms. The first level includes looking at lifestyle areas such as proper sleep habits, nutrition, mood charting, exercise, etc. The second level involves more effort and cost and includes looking at medications, therapy, taking time off work, massage, and many other strategies. Lastly the third level looks at hospitalizations, support systems to provide care, etc. Each client builds their own personalized list of what is most effective for them and gives them the quality of life and freedom from symptoms they desire. I hope you find this helpful. For those dealing with bi-polar disorder it is best to find a trusted professional to build a relationship with to develop the most effective plan. Warmest regards, Linda

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for your answer. I was recently diagnosed as bipolar. My psychiatrist wants me to do a combination of medication and therapy. My therapist believes that I can do it without, since I do not personally want medication.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

If you trust your therapist and work closely with him/her you could try the lifestyle changes I suggested along with others you may be aware of, for a period of time and monitor your moods. You could then re-evaluate whether or not you want to take medications. Good luck with this, there are some very good groups online such as the Bipolar Advantage that are supportive and educational that both you and your therapist can get involved with you as well. All my best, Linda

Expert:  Linda D. replied 1 year ago.

Could you please complete the rating at the top of this page so that I can get credit for helping you with this question? Thanks so much!! Linda