Modern medications have made a wonderful difference and vast improvement in the lives of many people with bipolar disorder. But while lithium, anticonvulsants, antidepressants and other drugs are very important in the treatment of the condition (especially when first treated during a full-blown high or low), it's now commonly accepted that long-term success is best attained when treatment doesn't rely on medications alone.
Instead, treatment should include regular counseling from a trained mental health professional and a treatment support network consisting of family, friends, counselors or group-therapy sessions. It's also important to maintain a steady and healthy lifestyle -- that means proper sleep, diet, exercise and sobriety.
People will be most successful in dealing with bipolar disorder by developing a treatment plan that manages the issue through a variety of different means, and not just with medication alone.