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How can psychotherapy help prevent suicide in people with bipolar disorder?

There are specific psychotherapy interventions for suicide that can be performed by a therapist or psychiatrist. The therapy of bipolar illness should typically include the following elements: patients, and if possible family members, should learn how to recognize depression, mania or hypomania, and mixed states. It is best if a mood chart is used to spot seasonal and other patterns. Also, charting the mood helps a person recognize that it is the illness making them feel badly, not just the events in their daily life.

Once a person knows how to identify specific mood states, they can then receive cognitive behavioral therapy to learn skills to deal with the feelings and distorted thoughts in each mood state.

The therapist can also work with the patient and their family to make the home safer. In addition, the family can implement strategies to lessen social isolation and help their bipolar loved one to find one's gift, and applying it so as to gain a sense of usefulness and worth. The therapist can also monitor and encourage medication compliance since noncompliance with medications is a common dilemma with people with bipolar disorder, which in turn can lead to suicidal thoughts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.