Other Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Pychosocial treatments can help support and teach you and your family. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may also be an option for some people.

Psychosocial Treatments

These treatments can lead to better moods and better daily life. The number, how often, and type of sessions should be based on your needs.

Some of these methods are:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT) helps you learn to change thought patterns and actions that are harmful or wrong. You will look at your feelings and thought patterns, learn to understand them, and use coping methods.


This involves teaching you about your health problem and how it is treated. You will learn the signs of it coming back so that you can get early care. It may also be helpful for your family to go.

Family Therapy

This uses methods to lower the level of worry within your family due to your health problem.

This is for you and any person in your family who wants to join in. It involves psychoeducation and teaches you better ways to talk to each other and solve problems.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

This helps how you get along with other people. It also helps you set your daily routines. Routines and better sleep patterns may also help.


ECT may be used when standard methods do not help. It may also be used to treat people who have health issues that make using drugs too unsafe.

ECT sends a small amount of electricity to the brain. It causes brief seizure activity that can cause helpful changes in brain chemistry.


Bipolar disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114738/Bipolar-disorder. Updated September 9, 2019. Accessed October 10, 2019.
Bipolar disorder in adults. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 2018. Accessed October 10, 2019.
Yatham LN, Kennedy SH, et al. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) 2018 guidelines for the management of patients with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2018 Mar;20(2):97-170.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated 11/3/2020

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