Identifying the Most Effective Treatment Approach for Bipolar Disorder (for You): A Guide
Why you can trust Lightfully Behavioral Health?

Lightfully’s professional culture is designed to keep everyone connected, motivated and nutured. Why is this so important? We believe the way we treat our employees is how we show up for clients – through encouragement, honesty, and compassion.

Clinically Reviewed 
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by extreme mood episodes that include emotional “highs” (mania) and “lows” (depression). These symptoms can vary widely in terms of their presentation, severity and duration, with some distinct differences in how symptoms present in men and women. The fact that no two people experience bipolar disorder the same way can make it challenging to find effective care. It also underscores the importance of seeking a personalized treatment approach tailored to your individual needs.

Effective treatment for bipolar disorder often involves a multidimensional approach that includes social support, lifestyle modifications, medication and psychotherapy. This guide is designed to help you identify the most effective bipolar disorder treatment for you or your loved one.

What’s the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder?

There is no magic bullet that’s the single best treatment for bipolar disorder. The most effective treatment for bipolar disorder is one that takes the whole person and their unique situation into account. Providers should consider their client’s symptoms, type of bipolar disorder, and co-occurring conditions. Most people with bipolar disorder need a combination of medication and psychotherapy to manage their symptoms and navigate challenges effectively. With psychotherapy, social support, lifestyle modifications, therapy and medication, people with bipolar disorder are able to manage symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

You have several treatment options, including different levels of mental health care. The right care team will provide personalized therapies, medications, interventions and skill sets. All of these will help you get through the extreme highs and lows.

What’s process-based therapy (PBT?)

Process-based therapy is the holistic approach we use at Lightfully to work with each client as a whole person, not a diagnosis. It combines several evidence-based treatments to create a personalized treatment plan for each client with a goal of optimizing core life processes, not minimizing symptoms. 

Our clients work through their challenges to live more intentionally in four key areas: emotions, thoughts, behaviors and relationships. We support them by facilitating the experiences and teaching the skill sets they need. With healthier habits, self-compassion and the courage to shine, people with bipolar disorder taper down to lower levels of treatment as they need less of our support.

What level of treatment do I need to start with?

The first thing to determine is the level of support you need right now. The decision to begin treatment is a big turning point in your life. Many people don’t know there are multiple levels of mental health care between outpatient therapy and inpatient treatment. These include the Residential Treatment, Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient programs listed below.

If you’re experiencing a manic episode, you may need 24-hour support. People who are in an acute crisis and in danger of hurting themselves or others should go to an emergency room. If you’re having suicidal ideation, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.

Ready to find a treatment environment where you can feel grounded, reconnect with yourself, and accept the challenge to start living your fullest, brightest life? One of the following treatment options may be the best place to start:

  • Inpatient treatment — A hospital setting provides short-term psychiatric and medical care for people with serious mental health disorders. 
  • Residential Treatment — For extended care in a more homelike environment with 24-hour oversight, Residential Treatment is the next step down from inpatient treatment.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) — Day programs are available for people who can stay home at night and commute to treatment five days a week. You’ll get the support and skill training you need to get through extreme mood episodes.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) — An IOP is about applying the skills you’ve learned to your life outside of treatment. You’ll taper down to fewer, shorter sessions with three to six hours of treatment per day.
  • Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP) — Virtual IOPs are just as effective as coming to treatment in person, and you can practice your new skills in your home environment.
  • Outpatient therapy — It’s a good idea to maintain a relationship with an outpatient therapist. If you don’t have one, look for a licensed clinical professional with experience treating people with bipolar symptoms like yours. 

Get help for bipolar disorder at Lightfully

We’ve created uniquely calming and cozy treatment environments where you can feel free to be your fullest, brightest self. Our programs are responsive to your moods and your needs so you can find out what works best for you and your support system. 

We’re here to help you shine. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together.

Connect with Admissions

Related Content