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Diagnosis & Treatment
The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is often made after people exhibit behavior that is so disturbing to themselves or others that medical advice or emergency care is sought. There are several difficult issues that loved ones of people having the bipolar disorder diagnosis must face in the period immediately following diagnosis. One is the length of time that it sometimes takes to find competent and affordable psychiatric care, and medications and treatments that are effective with minimal adverse side effects. Another is the reluctance of some health care professionals to educate and involve family and other loved ones in treatment ‚Äď despite the recommendations of such authorities (linked below) as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). Also, the person diagnosed may not initially be willing to accept the diagnosis or comply with medical treatment. This situation is often simply called Denial, but many find it more useful to see it as impaired awareness of illness (anosognosia).

General Descriptions and Overviews of Treatment
Bipolar Disorder and African Americans A fact sheet from the National Mental Health Association. While the rate of bipolar disorder is the same among African Americans as it is among other Americans, African Americans are less likely to receive a diagnosis and, therefore, treatment for this illness.
Bipolar Disorder: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment From Helpguide.org.
CANMAT 2005 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Bipolar Disorder Produced by the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments. An excellent guide to the management and treatment of bipolar disorder.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents by Mary Beth Cogan, Psychiatric Times May 1996 Vol. XIII Issue 5.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) Diagnostic criteria for different types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I Disorder: DSM IV Criteria, - Bipolar II Disorder DSM Criteria, - Cyclothymic Disorder: DSM IV Criteria, - Major Depressive Episode: DSM IV Criteria, - Bipolar Disorder Today DSM Diagnosis, - Hypomanic Episode: DSM IV Criteria, - Manic Episode: DSM IV Criteria, - Mixed Episode: DSM IV Criteria
ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders Diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder used in European countries and other nations. It is part of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organization, and is currently in its 10th edition. It is an alternative to the DSM criteria used in the United States.
K12Academics - Bipolar Disorder Resources This site serves as a resource for Teachers, Parents, Students, Professionals & District Officials in the K-12 Education system with extensive information on various topics in education and disabilities. The pages on Bipolar Disorder provide an excellent basic overview of our current understanding of the illness, its treatment and current research. Beware of some of the paid resources mentioned, as they are not all of equal merit.
Let's Talk Facts About . . .Bipolar Disorder American Psychiatric Association
Lundbeck Institute CNS Forums Brain Explorer: Click on Focus on Brain Disorders, then on Bipolar Disorder link.
Management of bipolar disorder in adults, children and adolescents, in primary and secondary care From Great Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). This guideline covers:
  • what treatment people with bipolar disorder can expect to be offered, including medication and psychological therapies
  • advice on self-help
  • the services that may help people with bipolar disorder, including psychiatric or specialist mental health services
  • how families and carers may be able to support people with bipolar disorder, and get support for themselves.
Mayo Clinic - Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis and Treatement Options Mayo Clinic brings a compassionate and multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of bipolar disorder. Mayo Clinic specialists evalutate and care for more than 1,000 patients each year who have bipolar disorders, basing treatment on the needs of the patient. They treat people of all ages, on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Mayo Clinic in Rochester has a Mood Disorders Program to facilitate care of patients who have bipolar disorder. Mayo also conducts research to develop better treatments for patients.
MentalHelp.net Bipolar Disorder Select the topic Bipolar Disorder for a good overview of the illness, its treatment, research, coping strategies and other issues.
NHS Treatment Pathway for Bipolar Disorder For those using the NHS in England, there is a published pathway which explains how the system should work for bipolar patients. These evidence-based pathways (or maps) were orginally designed for medical professionals and have now been made available to the public. (The link will not work for those accessing the site from outside the U.K.) The NHS has a comprehensive overview of bipolar disorder and its treatment that is available to everyone at www.nhs.uk/conditions/bipolar-disorder/pages/introduction.aspx
NIMH - National Institute of Mental Health Information and resources on bipolar disorder.
Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder (PDF) American Psychiatric Association
PsychEducation.org Extensive Mental Health Information on Specific Topics, by Jim Phelps, M.D., Corvallis, OR
Resource Guide for Bipolar Disorder Information on bipolar disorder statistics, symptoms, and types. In addition, we also provide information about the different forms of treatment, possible causes and triggers, and how to cope with bipolar disorders. Living with bipolar disorder is not a death sentence, itís a different way of life that you can learn to adjust to and treat.


Specific Forms of Bipolar Disorder and Related Conditions
Bipolar Disorder Research Current clinical trials listed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Co-Occurring Collaborative of Southern Maine Bridging Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The Co-Occurring Collaborative of Southern Maine advocates for best practices, encourages professional development, and maximizes collaboration among individuals and organizations that serve people affected by co-occurring issues involving mental health and substance use.
Thyroid and Bipolar Disorder There is a clear connection between the process of thyroid hormone regulation and bipolar disorder. The problem is, this connection is only just now beginning to become evident, and how the connection works is basically a mystery.


Psychotherapy
Best Psychiatrists in the U.S.A. Specializing in the Treatment of People with Mood Disorders, compiled by, Ivan Goldberg, MD
Choosing a Psychiatrist Advice and suggestions from the American Psychiatric Association
DBT Self Help Life skills for emotional health. This website is a service for people who are seeking information about DBT (Dialectal Behavior Therapy). This site has been created by PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH DBT, not DBT professionals
Highwire Press Stanford University. Browse Journals publishing on Mood Disorders (Including Depression).
Questions to Ask a Psychiatrist about Treating a Patient with Bipolar Disorder


Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
ECT.ORG "I began ect.org in 1995, and itís gone through many evolutions. Despite cosmetic changes, my goals have remained constant: to provide as much information as possible about electroconvulsive therapy for anyone who wants it, and to provide a sense of community and support for those who have had ECT, good or bad. It really is that simple."
Electroconvulsive Therapy - E.C.T. A collection of links on the subject.
Task Force Report on the Practice of Electroconvulsive Therapy Recommendations for Treatment, Training and Privileging, Second Edition (2001)

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