Finding the Right Treatment

Depression and bipolar disorder are mood disorders—real physical illnesses that affect a person’s moods, thoughts, body, energy, and emotions. Both illnesses, especially bipolar disorder, tend to follow a cyclical course of ups and downs.

Treatment for these illnesses can also have ups and downs. Wellness might not happen overnight. It is normal to wish you could feel better faster or to worry that you will never feel better. However, you can feel better and you can do things to help yourself.

Relief of symptoms is only the first step in treating depression or bipolar disorder. Wellness, or recovery, is a return to a life that you care about. Recovery happens when your illness stops getting in the way of your life.

You decide what recovery means to you. Talk to your health care provider (HCP) about what you need to achieve this recovery. Your HCP can provide the treatment(s) and/or medication(s) that work best for you. Along the way, you have a right to ask questions about the treatments you are getting and choose the treatments you want. It can also be helpful to work with a therapist, family member, or fellow support group participant to help define your recovery. Your definition may change at different times in your life.

Effective treatments can help you:

  • reach your goals (for example, by helping reduce symptoms such as fear or disinterest).
  • build on the strengths you have and the things you can do.
  • develop a person-centered wellness plan.
  • live your life without the interference of symptoms.