General Psychology

Mood Disorders and Psychotic Disorders – Bipolar and Schizophrenia


Can Bipolar and Schizophrenia be Treated?

Treating a mental disorder or psychological impairment can be a daunting task, and there are many different treatment methods which vary from disorder to disorder.  There are pharmaceutical solutions, as well as behavioral answers.  In terms of both, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, both pharmaceutical and behavioral solutions exist.  And some therapists and psychologists will utilize both treatment methodologies for either illness (Chiang, et al., 2017).  Depending upon the degree of either illness, more or less of one of these routine treatment methods might be applicable (Barlow, 2014).


The safety of the patient is one of the most important initial guidelines when treating an individual suffering from bipolar disorder (Goodwin, 2009). Similarly, the safety of the patient is measured carefully in even the most basic treatment plans for schizophrenia (Freeman, 2008). Both illnesses can be considered chronic and will require long term treatment plans (Barlow, 2014). The video (Liberty University, 2017) does outline the many differences in the key symptoms of each illness, ensuring there is a clear definition of both, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Although bipolar disorder may be more prevalent in society, both illnesses can offer complete lifetime debilitation in many areas of daily function (2017).

            In the end, there are many ways to treat an individual suffering from either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.  Treatment decisions may vary from professional to professional, however, it is also more than possible to see both, pharmaceutical and behavioral treatment methods for some patients. Many new technologies are being presented in modern years which allow therapists, doctors, and researchers some additional information about how these illnesses affect the person and how to better treat them.  Some of these technologies include studies involving participants who suffer one of these illnesses utilize VR equipment which forces the participant to experience “stress point” scenarios (Freeman, 2008).  These types of studies can allow a professional to better map and gauge an individual’s response to certain external and environmental stimuli.


Barlow, D. H. (2014). Clinical handbook of psychological disorders, 5th ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN: 9781462513260.

Chiang, K. J., Tsai, J. C., Liu, D., Lin, C. H., Chiu, H. L., & Chou, K. R. (2017). Efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy in patients with bipolar disorder: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PloS one. 12(5), e0176849.

Freeman, D., (2008). Studying and Treating Schizophrenia Using Virtual Reality: A New Paradigm. Schizophrenia Bulletin. Vol. 34(4). Pp. 605-610. DOI:

Goodwin, G. (2009). Evidence-based guidelines for treating bipolar disorder: revised second edition—recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. Journal of Psychopharmacology. Vol. 23(4). Pp. 346–388. DOI: Liberty University (2017). Presentation: Introduction to Bipolar and Schizophrenia. Liberty University. Retrieved from: /LtiMashupPlay?playUrl=/browseandembed/index/media/entryid/0_973sidff/showDescription/false/showTitle/false/showTags/false/showDuration/false/showOwner/false/showUploadDate/false/playerSize/400×285/playerSkin/39959781/

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