Lithium, the first mood-stabilizing medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of mania, is often very effective in controlling mania and preventing the recurrence of both manic and depressive episodes.
Anticonvulsant medications, mostly valproate (Depakote), lamotrigine (Lamictal), topiramate (Topamax) or carbamazepine (Tegretol), also are widely used as mood stabilizers. Valproate was FDA-approved in 1995 for treatment of mania.

As an addition to medication, psychosocial treatments — including certain forms of psychotherapy (or “talk” therapy) — are helpful in providing support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Studies have shown that psychosocial interventions can lead to increased mood stability, fewer hospitalizations, and improved functioning in several areas. Psychosocial interventions commonly used for bipolar disorder are cognitive behavioral therapy, psych education, family therapy, and a newer technique, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy.

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