Can Bipolar Disorder Be Cured?

Posted on April 20, 2021 by Cheryl K, LCSW, CEO, Co-founder and Partner
A woman suffering from bipolar disorder and wondering if it can be cured.

Sometimes referred to as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is characterized by significant shifts in energy and mood. Affecting approximately 2.8% of U.S. adults each year, impairment can be moderate to severe. Those living with bipolar disorder experience mood swings that alternate between extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression).

Although there is not a “cure” for bipolar, it is a highly treatable condition, with a success rate as high as 80%. Those who seek treatment can achieve a much higher quality of life by reducing the severity and frequency of their symptoms.

If you or a loved one have bipolar disorder, there is hope to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

There isn’t a “cure” for bipolar. However, this is true for most mental illnesses. Since the causes of bipolar and other mental health conditions are so complex and not entirely understood, there is no single go-to treatment.

The silver lining is that many effective treatment options exist, helping individuals heal on a more personal level. When you seek an evidence-based, ongoing treatment plan, you can significantly improve. The key is seeking professional support and adjusting your life according to your customized treatment plan. Targeting aspects of your lifestyle will be important and will differ from one individual to the next. For example, some patients must overcome their struggles with alcohol while others benefit from the development of a stronger support system.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a neurological condition that causes changes in your mood, energy levels, and ability to function in day-to-day life. Emotional states are often intense, occurring during periods that last days or weeks. These episodes involve manic and hypomanic mood swings, meaning you can be extremely happy, irritable, or depressed. These periods are much more severe than someone’s average highs and lows.

If you have bipolar disorder, you know neutral moods are also possible. When treated effectively, you can live a full and productive life.

What Are Bipolar Disorder Symptoms?

Bipolar disorder symptoms differ from one individual to the next.

Although no single pattern of symptoms is present in every individual, there are distinct episodes that can occur.

Symptoms fall between two mood states — bipolar mania and bipolar depression. When you are depressed, you may feel hopeless, sad, and worthless. During periods of mania, you can feel elated and full of energy.

Bipolar depression symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Low energy levels
  • Crying spells
  • Depressed mood
  • Changes in appetite
  • Body aches and pains
  • Lack of interest in activities

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Mania?

  • Euphoria or irritability
  • Racing thoughts
  • High energy levels
  • Impulsivity
  • Hallucinations or delusions

Recommended reading: Misunderstood Symptoms of Depression

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

There are several treatment options available depending on your unique circumstance. As discussed, no single cure exists. However, when you engage and commit to your treatment plan, you can achieve immense success. As long as your treatment plan is individualized to meet your specific needs and is based on evidence-based strategies, you can significantly improve.

The two most common treatment approaches include medications and behavioral counseling. 

There are many options for medications, ranging from mood stabilizers to anti-anxiety drugs. 

Although these medications can help support your treatment process, they alone will not help you fully manage your symptoms. That is why you must seek therapy. Again, there are several options available, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). One 2017 study found that CBT is effective in improving depressive symptoms, mania severity, and psychosocial functioning. 

This form of therapy can also decrease the relapse rate.

Can Behavioral Counseling Help Those with Bipolar Disorder?

Diving deeper into the benefits of behavioral counseling, there are various types of talk therapy options available. Behavioral counseling can help you combat bipolar symptoms while helping you better cope with a mood episode.

Options include:

  • Individual counseling — These one-on-one sessions help you better understand bipolar disorder, address your personal triggers, and develop intervention strategies. Sometimes, patients live with both bipolar disorder and substance use disorder. These conditions are then treated concurrently. There are many individual therapy options, ranging from experiential therapy to dialectical behavioral therapy.
  • Group counseling — Group therapy is highly effective, allowing you to share your experiences and coping strategies with those who understand your hurdles and achievements.
  • Family counseling — In most cases, bipolar extends beyond those diagnosed. This form of counseling often involves family members to help identify warning signs and sometimes seek support themselves.

Corner Canyon Health Centers Is Here for You

Corner Canyon Health Centers addresses mental health disorders and addiction, offering individualized treatment plans that change lives. We are here to help! As we say, freedom is a call or click away. Please contact us today in order to begin your road to recovery!