I work in something called a bipolar clinic where patients are referred to the clinic who are presumed, or thought to possibly have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In making the diagnosis of what we call bipolar II — which is one of the types of bipolar disorder where people don’t have, what we call, full manic episodes, but have hypomanic episodes — it can be very difficult for a patient, sometimes, to provide us with the history that we need. And in that situation, especially with bipolar disorder, it’s very important that we get information from people who know a patient well. So we often will ask that family members come in, at least to the initial assessment. And it can be very helpful to us to have family members come when we are providing follow-up care to make sure that the patient is doing well.
We want people to be able to utilize different treatment options. In practice I certainly utilize psychotherapy. Some patients are on no medication. Some patients I’m doing just medication consultation. And some patients I’m doing both psychotherapy and utilizing medication.