Talking to Your Doctor About Bipolar Disorder
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- What can I do to keep these symptoms from interfering with my ability to function in my relationships, work, and home life?
- What treatment options are available for me?
- What medications might help me and how long will they take to work?
- What side effects can I expect from my medications and what can I do about them?
- Do you treat people with bipolar disorder?
- If not, can you provide me with the names of mental health professionals who help people with bipolar disorder?
- What training and experience do you have in treating bipolar disorder?
- How can you help my family members and significant others cope with my disorder?
- What is your basic approach to treatment?
- How long will I need to be treated for bipolar disorder?
- How long are the sessions and how often will I have them?
- What health insurance do you accept?
- Do you offer sliding scale fees to accompany various financial circumstances?
- Are there any lifestyle changes that can help me to manage bipolar disorder?
What resources are available that could help me with:
- Eating better
- Exercising regularly
- Social support
- Managing stress
- Sleep and keeping a daily routine
- What are my chances of successfully managing bipolar disorder?
- How can I prevent a recurrence of symptoms?
- What is likely to happen if I don’t take my medication?
Belmaker RH. Bipolar disorder. N Engl J Med . 2004;351:476-486.
Bipolar disorder. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/topics/topicbipolar.html . Accessed September 9, 2008.
Bipolar disorder. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml . Updated June 2008. Accessed September 9, 2008.
Hirschfeld RMA. Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder . 2nd ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2005.
Hirschfeld RMA, Bowden CL, Gitlin MJ, et al. Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with bipolar disorder (revision). Am J Psychiatry . 2002;159:1-50.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/17/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing
All rights reserved.