You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with bipolar disorder. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
Specific Questions to Ask Your doctor
About Bipolar Disorder
About Treatment Options
If you decide to try counseling, interview counselors, social workers, psychologists, and/or family therapists who specialize in working with people (and their families) who have bipolar disorder. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the mental health professional. Some questions you may want to ask are:
About Lifestyle Changes
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.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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