Can bipolar disorder be cured? Can people live healthy lives with it?
Thank you for your question. There is no cure for bipolar disorder; however, it is considered treatable. Typically, treatment focus on the prevention of reoccurring symptoms associated with mania and depression []. These symptoms can have a negative impact on a person’s life that may result in loss of jobs, high mortality rate, troubling relationships, and a decreased quality of life. Treatment options may include:
Medication - Mood stabilizers such as lithium and anticonvulsants are often used to treat acute episodes and prevent relapses of symptoms. Other types of medications include antidepressant, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety. Medication is almost always considered as the first choice when developing a treatment plan (*link).
Counselling – Counselling helps to manage bipolar disorder. People can gain a better understanding of the nature and treatment of bipolar disorder. As well as, recognizing early warning signs in an effort intervene when reoccurring symptoms appear. Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy (ECT) – ECT is a controversial treatment that uses electrical shocks through a person’s body. It has been proven beneficial for some members of the population. However, it is unclear exactly how the electrical shocks affect a person’s brain.
Alternative approaches – Several alternative approaches are considered as treatment options. For example, some researchers suggest controlling environmental factors such as maintaining a calm environment, ensuring proper eating habits, taking natural supplements, and getting adequate and regular exercise.
A combination of treatment options is often viewed as most effective. Treatment is considered successful if symptoms are avoided or if there is a lot of time between episodes. There is no way of knowing when a person will experience symptoms, even when they are on a treatment plan. One of the biggest challenges is finding the right treatment and ensuring the treatment plan is followed.
Although bipolar disorder is a life-long illness, people live meaningful, productive and independent lives. There is a lot of information written about ways people manage their illness and stay well. Often it is a learning process with people becoming more aware and confident in their abilities with knowledge and experience. A great resource is personal stories written by people living with bipolar or their family members. These personal tales give insight into how people have found treatment options that work for them and strategies they use to manage their illness.
Three resources I recommend:
1. Hope and Harmony for People with Bipolar Magazine -
2. Victoria Maxwell, Crazy for Life - 
3. Pendulum, Non-profit Organization - 
I would also suggest contacting your local support group to find out other resources in your community.
Back to Cure, Prevention and Prognosis