How Can a PHP Help a Client With Bipolar Disorder?

Facing the challenges associated with bipolar disorder can be difficult. It can be tempting to try to deal with this disorder alone. However, receiving treatment can create many advantages. There are many treatment options, and everyone can find what best works for them. For instance, some people may only need therapy sessions and medication, while others need a more intensive approach. 

Fortunately, a variety of outpatient programs are available for those with bipolar disorder. A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an effective treatment option that provides additional support for those who need more intensive care but not full hospitalization. A PHP can provide significant help for someone with bipolar disorder who is not quite ready to be fully on their own.

What Is a PHP?

According to a publication called The Psychiatric Hospital, a PHP is an outpatient service provided by some mental healthcare facilities to treat serious mental health disorders. A PHP provides care for a client during the day while they live at their normal residence. They will spend multiple hours during the day several days a week at the facility attending therapy sessions and receiving medication management. The program is designed to help with relapse prevention in addiction or mental illness.

It is important to understand that a PHP is not a substitute for inpatient care. The two types of treatment are different and complementary and are appropriate at different points in a person’s recovery journey. 

Most PHPs serve clients who need extra support transitioning from inpatient to outpatient care. A practitioner who thoroughly understands the individual’s history can place them in a PHP. For example, a mental health professional needs to be aware of the individual’s environment, support system, the risk factors presented by the condition itself, and more. This extra level of support preceding full outpatient care can increase many people’s chances of a successful recovery.

What To Expect From a PHP

Sometimes individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) and a co-occurring mental illness such as bipolar disorder may enter a PHP after finishing a detox or residential program. An individual may be admitted to a PHP if they require more intensive care. 

Certain facilities may provide meetings with case managers or therapists to help develop a more personalized treatment plan. This is done to help individuals recover from addiction and trauma. Different therapy techniques can provide relief. Sometimes a medication plan can also help. 

What is Bipolar Disorder?

As stated by Medline Plus, bipolar disorder can be extremely difficult to manage alone. A person with this mental health condition is more prone to SUD. Many individuals with this mental health condition self-medicate with alcohol in an effort to slow down their racing thoughts. 

An individual with bipolar disorder may experience insomnia and irregular sleep patterns due to unstable energy levels that may interfere with their ability to rest. They may experience intense euphoria that may lead to risky and impulsive behaviors. Individuals with bipolar disorder may also experience periods of low depressive episodes.

Although the cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, several factors can play a role. The condition can be caused by a chemical imbalance in one’s brain, abnormal brain structure, or simply genetics. These extreme shifts in mood may impact one’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Depending on the severity of someone’s condition, they may be hospitalized for treatment.

Benefits of a PHP For Bipolar Disorder

Although bipolar disorder can affect one’s ability to function on a normal daily basis, fortunately, a PHP can provide many different benefits to make the path of treatment easier. A PHP may provide just enough flexibility to help one meet their mental and physical goals. This may allow an individual to find balance with different priorities outside of treatment such as: 

  • Staying in their own home
  • Continuing their education
  • Staying employed 
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Working with a case manager
  • Participating in therapy
  • Being part of society 

Outside responsibilities can be taken care of without the added worry or stress that could potentially make the symptoms of bipolar disorder more difficult to live with. 

Getting Started

Taking time to research and study the effects of bipolar disorder can help the individual know what to expect in their journey through treatment. Staying in contact with mental health professionals to best understand the severity of their illness can help determine if a PHP is best for them. 

Reaching out to family and friends can also provide helpful guidance during the entire process. Exploring different facilities to learn about specific services can be a wise step before jumping into something that may not be ideal. Mental health professionals can work to develop an individualized treatment plan

To get the best out of PHP care, it is important to journal symptoms, communicate about one’s mental health, and commit to treatment. A PHP can be an effective choice in addition to other options to improve one’s quality of life. 

Living with bipolar disorder can come with many challenges. A partial hospitalization program (PHP) can provide the flexibility needed to balance both outside priorities and treatment without 24-hour hospitalization. As a licensed and Joint Commission-accredited mental health treatment center, 12 South Recovery is a leader in Orange County mental health treatment. Our PHP, intensive outpatient program (IOP), and outpatient programs include both group and individual therapy as well as dedicated case management. Our mission is to generate a seismic shift in mental health services — creating positive change in the treatment of mental health issues and the facilities themselves. If you need support, our team can help. Call 12 South Recovery at (888) 830-8374.

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