Doctors judge the severity or phase of the episode to prescribe the kind of treatment for bipolar disorder in a patient.  If the phase is mild then, he/she is treated as an outpatient. Severe outburst would require inpatient care. If the phase has been moderate but the attack does not seem to have subsided completely then, partial inpatient treatment is suggested.

 Earlier, doctors would conduct psychosurgery like a frontal lobotomy.  But this practice has been discontinued today as lobotomy is now defunct.  Hence, surgery as a treatment for bipolar disorder is ruled out.   Additionally, the doctor will consult a psychiatric colleague such as a psycho- pharmacologist if the patient fails to respond to treatment and medication.

Doctors would monitor the patient’s diet if he is on a monoamine oxidase inhibitor.  Otherwise, they would only suggest that they do not alter their salt consumption as this would reduce the Lithium levels.  Besides, lower salt consumption would only increase the SerumLlithium levels as well as toxicity. The doctors would even prescribe greater physical activity after an episode as a treatment for bipolar disorder but this has to be done under regulated conditions.  The exercise level and the regularity have to be maintained.  Any drastic or significant changes would lead to increased perspiration and increase the serum levels of Lithium and its toxicity. The most significant part of the treatment would be prescribing the medicines.

 The type of medication depends on the phase of the disorder.  Antipsychotic medicines which are available under the brand names of Lorazepam and Clonazepem are prescribed.  The trend nowadays is to use atypical antipsychotics for both severe manic attacks as well as mood stabilizers.  ECT or electroconvulsive therapy as well as antidepressants are used only if the episode is very extreme and immediate help is required.  After the convulsions have stopped, different drugs are prescribed for preventive and maintenance purposes.

Today, other medications used extensively as treatment for bipolar disorders are mood stabilizers. The most effective and most commonly used drug for prophylaxis is Lithium.  Scientists have recently discovered that it has neuroprotective roles too.  Other forms of Lithium are called Lithium Carbonate under the brand names of Duralith, Eskalith and Lithobid.  The prescribed dosages should be strictly followed for adults and for children. 

 Though these generic drugs are used for the treatment of bipolar disorder, it is the overall coordination of treatment that would effectively cure the patient.  Drugs alone cannot cure the patient.  He needs a buffer from triggers that cause these outbursts.  Therapy and counseling should also be involved for the medication to be effective on the patient.