Because bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder should be obtained by talking with a doctor that specializes in mood disorders, who may do a physical or mental health evaluation to rule out other causes. Though there is no definitive cure for bipolar disorder, it can be treated and managed with any combination of medication, psychotherapy/counseling, education and support. When treated, individuals with bipolar disorder can lead productive, fulfilling lives. Many people find that keeping track of the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder can help them understand the illness and allow them to prepare themselves and make a plan for future episodes.
Certain types of psychotherapy , used in combination with medication, may provide some benefit in the treatment of bipolar disorders. Psychoeducation has been shown to be effective in improving patients' compliance with their lithium treatment.  Evidence of the efficacy of family therapy is not adequate to support unrestricted recommendation of its use.  There is "fair support" for the utility of cognitive therapy . Evidence for the efficacy of other psychotherapies is absent or weak,  often not being performed under randomized and controlled conditions.  Well-designed  studies have found interpersonal and social rhythm therapy to be ineffective.