Bipolar Disorder

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Everyone experiences ups and downs in their mood. People with bipolar disorder, however, have severe changes in mood and thinking that disrupt their lives. The condition can harm someone’s school, work, and personal life, often driving away friends and loved ones. Fortunately, people with bipolar disorder can lead full and satisfying lives with expert treatment.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 5.7 million adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder. This disorder is a mental health condition that causes significant changes in energy, concentration, activity levels, and mood. The condition makes it challenging to perform daily tasks and have healthy relationships.
People with bipolar disorder may experience a manic episode, increasing activity levels. They may later experience a depressive episode and low energy levels and feel discouraged and hopeless. These episodes may fluctuate depending on what type of disorder the person has.

What are the types of Bipolar Disorders?

Data from NIMH states that about 4.4 percent of adults in the U.S. will experience one of the primary types of bipolar disorder in their lifetime. The primary types of bipolar disorder include:

Bipolar I Disorder

People with bipolar I (1) show periods of manic thinking and activity lasting seven days. These behaviors may get in the way of maintaining a safe environment, and immediate intervention or hospitalization may be necessary. In addition, many people with bipolar I also experience about two weeks of depressive episodes. During a depressive episode, the person may be unable to work or fulfill family responsibilities or have thoughts of suicide.

Bipolar II Disorder

In comparison to bipolar I, the symptoms of bipolar II are less obvious or apparent. People may experience periods of hypomania. Periods of mania are characterized by increased activity and energy that are not as obvious or out of control as manic episodes.
People with bipolar II usually have one or more manic episodes in their lifetime. However, their primary challenge is their depressive episodes which occur more frequently.

Cyclothymic Disorder

People with the cyclothymic type of the disorder may experience depressive episodes spanning two years or more. The symptoms of the cyclothymic disorder aren’t as full-blown as those in the other bipolar types.

Other Types of Bipolar Disorder

Every person is different, so not all forms of bipolar disorder fit cleanly into the three types of the disorder. For example, some individuals have rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. People with this version of bipolar disorder transition between episodes of depression, hypomania, and manic episodes quickly.
Sometimes they may cycle through mania and depression within days or hours. Because bipolar symptoms can vary from person to person, making the correct diagnosis can be challenging.

Signs and Symptoms of
Bipolar Disorder

The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are different for each person. Depending on the type of disorder, a person may show dramatic changes in mood or show more muted signs instead.
The following are the most common signs and symptoms:

Signs of Manic Episodes:

Signs of Depressive Episodes

The changes in moods seen in bipolar disorder are different from the typical behavior of a person. People with bipolar disorder are often unaware of their symptoms’ harmful or distressing effects on themselves and others. Their intense emotions and impulsive actions may place them in dangerous, high-risk situations that require immediate assistance.

Diagnosing
Bipolar Disorder

There’s no test for bipolar disorder, but meeting with an experienced licensed mental health professional is the first step. Usually, both a physical and a mental health assessment are required. A complete physical review rules out any medical conditions with similar symptoms to bipolar disorder.
Mental health providers diagnose bipolar disorder based on a person’s history, experiences, and symptoms. Sometimes, providers may get a family history or speak with the person’s support system.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that the disorder may be misdiagnosed as borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia. Furthermore, people with bipolar disorder can also have co-occurring mental health conditions like:

Obtaining a correct diagnosis is essential to determining the appropriate treatment.
Young patient during counseling with grey senior therapist

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disorder, and extreme symptoms of bipolar disorder impair a person’s life in various ways. The erratic symptoms of untreated bipolar can have a lasting impact on a person’s life. Bipolar symptoms can damage relationships, affect school performance, influence a person’s professional life, and affect social situations. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disorder, and early identification and intensive treatment are recommended for successful management.

Inpatient Treatment

People with bipolar I (1) show periods of manic thinking and activity lasting seven days. These behaviors may get in the way of maintaining a safe environment, and immediate intervention or hospitalization may be necessary. In addition, many people with bipolar I also experience about two weeks of depressive episodes. During a depressive episode, the person may be unable to work or fulfill family responsibilities or have thoughts of suicide.

Therapy for Treatment

Psychotherapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are an essential part of treatment for bipolar disorder.  According to the American Psychological Association (APA), CBT provides people with the tools they need to change their thought patterns. Psychotherapy also teaches people to identify the signs of a coming manic or depressive episode. Patients will also learn where to seek support when episodes occur.

Bipolar Medications

Identifying the right balance of medications to treat a person’s bipolar disorder may take some time. Licensed practitioners collaborate with their clients to establish the appropriate medication treatment regimen.
Often a combination of medications – along with therapy – may be necessary to manage symptoms and improve everyday functioning. People with bipolar should talk to a medical professional to learn about any potential side effects and what medications might be helpful.

When a Loved One Has
Bipolar Disorder

Friends and family of people with untreated bipolar disorder can struggle to be supportive. Often, symptoms like unstable moods, erratic behavior, and angry outbursts damage personal relationships. Fortunately, treatment for the disorder helps to repair connections and establish new ones.
Loved ones can support people in coping with their illness by:
A support system is an important factor in achieving success with treatment. People receiving effective treatment for bipolar disorder have better outcomes in managing their condition. This is because they have a strong support system that actively participates in recovery.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment in Orange County, CA

Getting help for bipolar may feel overwhelming for some people. However, the right support and treatment center can make the process smooth. Treatment is often the way for people with bipolar to learn how to manage their condition.
Eden by Enhance is a mental health treatment center in Orange County, Ca. We specialize in providing specialized treatment to those struggling with bipolar. If you or a loved one needs support for their bipolar, we are here to help.
Contact us today to learn more about our program and services for treating bipolar disorder.

We Accept Most Major Insurance Plans