Evidence-Based Family Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults With Bipolar Disorder




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An individual can develop bipolar disorder at any age, but emergence during adolescence and young adulthood can lead to a number of problematic behaviors and outcomes. Several drugs are available as first-line treatments, but even optimal pharmacotherapy rarely leads to complete remission and recovery. When added to pharmacologic treatment, certain targeted psychosocial treatments can improve outcomes for young patients with bipolar disorder. Because bipolar disorder affects family members as well as patients, and because adolescents and young adults often live with and are dependent on their parents, the patient’s family should usually be included in treatment. Family-focused treatment and dialectical behavior therapy are promising methods of conducting family intervention. With effective treatment and the support of their families, young patients with bipolar disorder can learn to manage their disorder and become independent and healthy adults.

J Clin Psychiatry 2016;77(suppl E1):e05