Psychoeducation and bipolar disorder
Strong evidence – there is lots of high-quality evidence that some young people find this treatment option helpful.
Psychoeducation involves teaching you and your family more about bipolar disorder and how it can be treated. It is an essential part of any treatment for bipolar disorder. It can involve your family, or you could be offered individual psychoeducation.
Usually your doctor will give you information about bipolar disorder when you are diagnosed and when you start a new treatment. Your CAMHS worker might also give you information about bipolar disorder during any contacts with them.
There are different types of psychoeducation that you could be offered. Sometimes people might have a more formal psychoeducation programme which means working through a set number of sessions on different topics related to bipolar disorder.
Psychoeducation should include information about:
- mood monitoring
- recognising and managing stressors
- developing relapse prevention plans
- having daily routines
- stabilising sleep patterns
- encouraging medication adherence
- reducing self-stigma
- avoiding alcohol and drug use
- encouraging a healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise, and stopping smoking)
Psychoeducation can be delivered as a group programme and these are often run by voluntary organisations such as Bipolar UK. As bipolar disorder in young people is rare, there may not be enough young people in your area who need psychoeducation at the same time as you to run a group specifically for young people. Some groups for adults will also allow 16 and 17 years old to join if they come with a parent or carer. If you do attend an adult psychoeducation group, it’s important to remember that adults may have different issues they want information and advice on, and some of the treatment strategies are different for adults.
Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.