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Treatment for Bipolar Disorder in California

Alter treats all types of bipolar disorder, including type I, which requires at least one manic episode for diagnosis, and bipolar II disorder, which involves less severe manic episodes.


Generally, the mania and depression associated with bipolar disorder make it incredibly difficult for clients to function and thrive socially, personally and professionally. Alter helps bipolar clients manage their mood via medication, therapy, and holistic support.

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What We Offer for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar looks different for everyone. Some people struggle with psychosis, while others show no psychotic symptoms at all. Our therapies and levels of care are appropriate for the different ways bipolar disorder may present.


Duration of Treatment

An individual with unmanaged bipolar disorder generally admits at crisis stabilization or residential (RTC). As symptoms become more manageable, they usually transition to partial hospitalization (PHP) or our intesive outpatient program (IOP). Bipolar Disorder requires lifelong medication maintenance.

Why Choose Alter for Bipolar Disorder

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Nothing Short of the Best Bipolar Treatment

The clinical and medical teams at Alter work very closely to monitor symptoms of depression and/or mania in clients with bipolar disorder so medication interventions can happen as quickly as needed.


Other treatment programs sometimes have a lack of communication between medical and clinical teams. At Alter, we have a very collaborative team that helps each client throughout their treatment. With bipolar disorder, the proper medication management is crucial, and our team is uniquely set up to get clients on the right treatment plan.

Call Now for Program Availability

Contact our admissions team to learn about our programs and to check availability at our facilities, or submit your insurance to verify coverage.

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Hundreds of Client Transformations

“Alter has been the BEST experience in our son’s 7 year battle against his Bipolar 1 disease! We are from South Carolina and he was in San Diego for a residential sober living program when he experienced a severe manic episode.


Previous crisis stabilization units push him out in 3 to 5 days based on our insurance company’s definition of stable. This is not how Alter handled our son. They go the extra mile to meet his needs and help find follow-up longer term Residential care. The staff actually cares about their patients and family members. They truly understand the difference between stable, safe, and baseline.


The team was a life saver to get our son in their program. Their staff also keeps us informed and is extremely timely in responding to our questions and providing updates on his status. They also have a small number of patients at one time that permits the staff to provide the necessary attention to each patient. Highly recommended!!”


– Paul B.

How Bipolar Disorder Impacts the Family

Living with bipolar disorder can be like riding a rollercoaster, not just for the person diagnosed, but for the whole family. Navigating through the manic highs and depressive lows can add emotional strain to the whole family. Relationships get tense, arguments flare up over the smallest things, and suddenly, everyone’s roles in the family dynamic shift. For caregivers, burnout is a real risk, with the continual social, financial, and emotional attention bipolar requires. But with the right treatment plan, bipolar disorder can become very manageable and can lift the stress from everyone.

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family involvement therapy

Family Involvement in the Treatment Process

Both the medical and clinical teams at Alter make it a point to establish and maintain contact with healthy family support. Depending on what the client allows us to share, we provide progress updates and information on symptoms and medications to the family members. We also provide psychoeducation and resources to families to help them understand their loved one’s diagnosis. If appropriate, families are involved in family therapy sessions as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bipolar Disorder

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience periods of intense emotional highs, known as manic or hypomanic episodes, alternating with periods of deep depression. These mood swings can range from mild to severe and can interfere with daily functioning, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Bipolar I Disorder: This type involves manic episodes that last at least seven days or are so severe that immediate hospital care is needed. Depressive episodes typically occur as well, lasting at least two weeks.


Bipolar II Disorder: In this type, the individual experiences both depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, which are less severe than full-blown mania.

Bipolar disorder is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors.


Genetic Factors: Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component to the condition. Individuals with a family history of bipolar disorder are at a higher risk of developing the disorder themselves. However, having a family member with bipolar disorder does not guarantee that someone will develop it, as other factors also play a role.


Biological Factors: There are several biological factors that may contribute to the development of bipolar disorder, including differences in brain structure and neurotransmitter imbalances. Research has shown that certain brain regions involved in mood regulation may function differently in individuals with bipolar disorder compared to those without the condition. Additionally, abnormalities in neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, have been implicated in bipolar disorder.


Environmental Factors: While genetics and biology play significant roles, environmental factors can also influence the onset and course of bipolar disorder. Stressful life events, trauma, substance abuse, and disruptions in sleep patterns may trigger or exacerbate mood episodes in individuals who are genetically predisposed to the disorder. Childhood trauma, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, has also been linked to an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder later in life.


Bipolar disorder is a complex condition with multiple contributing factors, and individual experiences may vary.

Manic Episode:

  • Elevated mood/irritability
  • Increased energy/activity
  • Racing thoughts/rapid speech
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Grandiosity/overconfidence
  • Impulsivity/risky behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating


Depressive Episode:

  • Persistent sadness/emptiness
  • Loss of interest/pleasure
  • Changes in appetite/weight
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue/loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness/guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating/deciding
  • Thoughts of death/suicide
  • Mood Stabilizers
  • Antipsychotic Medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressant-antipsychotic combination medications

Call Now for Program Availability

Contact our admissions team to learn about our programs and to check availability at our facilities, or submit your insurance to verify coverage.

We Accept Most Insurance

We accept most major insurance providers including the ones displayed here.
Submit your insurance to confirm coverage.

We Accept Most Insurance

We accept most major insurance providers including the ones displayed here.
Submit your insurance to confirm coverage.

Licensed & Accredited

Our facilities have been awarded prestigious recognition and certifications by adhering to rigorous guidelines and exceeding quality standards with consistent, safe & effective healthcare services.