The specific treatment for bipolar disorder can vary for each person, but generally bipolar treatment focuses on a combination of medical and psychological approaches.

Scientific evidence suggests that the mood swings experienced by sufferers of bipolar disorder are caused by disturbances in a number of the brains neurochemical systems. For this reason, medication, with 'mood stabilizers' is the first line of treatment for bipolar.

The medications can help to reduce the severity if not prevent episodes of illness. Many of these medications have also been found to actually protect the brain from the damage that can occur as a result of the chemical imbalances brought on by bipolar disorder.

Psychological approaches have also been shown to naturally complement medication in the treatment of bipolar disorder. A major component of psychological approaches is in the continuing education, sometimes known as psycho-education, for bipolar sufferers.

This aids in the understanding of living with bipolar, the rationale for medication and the identification of stress and triggers as early warning signs. With this knowledge and strategies, people are able to have an improved quality of life and understanding of the illness.

Once a person has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder it can take time to find the right medication and dose, as well as a psychological approach that 'fits' the individual. Not one medication or psychological treatment is right for everyone, and although trying to find suitable treatments can be frustrating, it is a part of the journey to finding those that do work for the individual.

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Author's Bio: 

Sue Lauder is a psychologist who has worked in the area of bipolar disorder for the past 6 years.
She has worked on the development and implementation of a group program for bipolar disorder and is a co-author of 'Living with Bipolar' published by Allen and Unwin.
MoodSwings adapts the effective group program to an online format and is the basis for her PhD.