Bipolar disorder is a neurological condition with extreme positive to negative mood swings. Positive episodes can be manic, euphoric, impulsive, and violent, In contrast, in depressive episodes, a person can experience symptoms of depression such as suicidal ideation, intense sadness, hopelessness, and disassociation even from loved ones. [1]

Is bipolar disorder curable?

Bipolar is a life-long condition that is not curable and whose symptoms are specific to the individual who has it. Bipolar is a condition that you must learn to manage uniquely, and it will affect how a person thinks, feels and behaves and affect their relationship with themselves and the people around them. [2]

However, bipolar disorder is treatable, and if managed correctly and with support a person from friends and family, can live a happy life. The most important thing is to work on following a course of effective treatment, as without management, bipolar disorder can severely affect a person’s quality of life, both in their relationships, sleep, and professionally. So, adherence to a chosen medical treatment option is key, which means investing time in finding the right combination of medication and long-term therapy. [1]

It is important to identify what adjustments need to be made in your daily life to provide yourself with adequate support to manage bipolar disorder. You can achieve much by keeping a journal of what elements in your life can ‘trigger’ or provoke a mood switch. It is important to avoid self-medicating, social withdrawal, and exclusion. Many people with bipolar disorder suffer from addiction, and often problems with addiction must be overcome before treatment for bipolar disorder can begin. However, having the right support group or the right relationship with your doctor can make this a shared experience. [1] 

It is also important to remember that those with bipolar disorder could go for long periods of life in ‘neutral moods’ without experiencing symptoms of their condition. But a specific life event like a personal loss, a traumatic event, or a relationship ending can trigger bipolar disorder symptoms. [2]

Equally, some suffer from bipolar disorder and do not experience neutral periods. It is extremely important that those with recurring mood episodes must not be made to feel bad, be blamed, or be shamed for this, and it is all the more important to continue engaging with different and individualized methods of treatment. [2]

Having a support network of friends, family and medical professionals is crucial to help identify signs of the condition and keep on top of a treatment plan. Finding the right combination can take a significant period of time, but it cannot stop someone with the condition from living the life they want[3]

There are two main components in the treatment of bipolar disorder:

  • Medications offer several routes of treatment. This includes antidepressants, anti-anxiety, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers such as l It can take time to find the one that works for you, and you may also find that a combination of two drugs rather than just one is the most helpful. It is important to note that medications are not the only route to take and are only part of the solution. [4]
  • Often, therapy attended in tandem with taking medication achieves the best outcome for patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy can provide people who have bipolar disorder with the tools to help reroute negative thought patterns and behaviors. Psychoeducation, functional remediation therapy, family-focused psychotherapy, and integrated care management may all be considered therapy avenues to explore. There is also interpersonal and social rhythm therapy which can help patients to establish a day-to-day routine that may help toward mood stabilization. Speak to your doctor or mental health professional about your options and keep them in the loop while undergoing treatment. [4] [2]

Resources:

  1. Can Bipolar Disorder Be Cured. (2021, April 20). Corner Canyon Health Centers. Retrieved November 16, 2022, from https://cornercanyonhc.com/blog/can-bipolar-disorder-be-cured/
  2. Burgess, L. (2019, February 1). Is there a cure for bipolar disorder? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324349 
  3. Is bipolar curable? (2021, January 23). MHA Screening.  https://screening.mhanational.org/content/bipolar-curable/ 
  4. Can Bipolar Disorder Be Cured? (2020, October 10). Bridges to Recovery. https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/bipolar-disorders/can-bipolar-disorder-be-cured/