Previously known as manic depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes a serious shift in levels of energy and activity, mood, and the ability to perform every day activities. The mood ranges from extremely high and feeling energized (manic episodes) to feeling excessively low and fatigued (depressive episodes). Sometimes, the manic episodes may not be too intense. These are known as hypomanic episodes.
Bipolar disorder can be of different types. These may include:
- Bipolar I Disorder – In this disorder, the manic episodes last for at least a week’s time and the symptoms are so serious that a person needs emergency hospital admission. The depressive episodes, on the other hand, last for at least two weeks. Sometimes, both these can occur simultaneously.
- Bipolar II Disorder – In this type, the prevalence of hypomanic and depressive episodes is observed, instead of manic episodes.
- Cyclothymic Disorder or Cyclothymia – In this condition, multiple episodes of depressive as well as hypomanic episodes are observed. These episodes last for a period of at least two years.
- Other specified and non-specified bipolar and related disorders – This includes the prevalence of symptoms of bipolar disorder that do not meet the criteria mentioned above.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
People struggling with bipolar disorder develop mood episodes ranging from periods of intense energy to extreme low.
The symptoms of manic episode could be:
- Feeling elated or very high
- Increased energy levels
- Elevated activity levels
- Feeling wired or jumpy
- Trouble sleeping
- Getting irritated or agitated easily
- Doing risky stuff like thoughtless spending or getting involved in reckless sex
The symptoms of a depressive episode could be:
- Feeling very sad, empty, hopeless, and down
- Feeling lethargic or less energetic
- Decreased levels of activity
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Forgetting a lot of stuff
- Disturbed eating patterns
- Thinking about suicide and death
Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
People grappling with bipolar disorder can lead a productive and healthy life if they are diagnosed and treated timely from a credible bipolar disorder treatment center. If someone thinks that they may have bipolar disorder, talking to a mental health therapist might be of immense help. With proper medication, therapy, support groups, and self-care, the symptoms, as well as the underlying causes, can be managed well.
It is important to note that people suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to reach for help when they are struggling with depression rather than a manic episode. Therefore, a health care provider must investigate the history and not mistakenly diagnose the disease as depression based on only the symptoms. Unlike bipolar disorder, people with depression do not experience manic episodes.
Sometimes, an accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be hard to make as its symptoms may mimic those of other mental illnesses. Moreover, people struggling with bipolar disorder could also be grappling with substance abuse, eating disorder, or an anxiety disorder. In addition, people with bipolar disorder may also be at an increased risk of developing physical disorders like migraine headaches, thyroid disease, obesity, heart disorders, and diabetes among others.
Risk Factors for Developing Bipolar Disorder
Researchers have been investigating the root cause behind the development of bipolar disorder and it has been established that there are multiple reasons behind the etiology. Some of these are:
Brain functioning and structure
Studies have shown that brains of people afflicted with bipolar disorder are somewhat different from those who are normal or suffering from other mental illnesses.
It has been suggested by some researchers that some genetically-predisposed people are more likely to develop the disorder than people who lack these genes. However, genetics is not the sole cause as other factors may also contribute. If one of the twins develops the disorder, it is not necessary the other will also develop it.
It has been noted that bipolar disorder runs in the family. An individual is at a higher chance of developing the condition if it is already affecting a sibling or a family member.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a life-long mental illness and the symptoms keep coming back. Therefore, for successful relief from the symptoms, a long-term treatment is required from a certified bipolar disorder treatment center. Treatment may help those battling with serious symptoms and an effective management plan would consist of medication and psychotherapy.
Different medications work for different individuals. Medications used for the management of bipolar disorder are antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Effective outcomes can be obtained by combining psychotherapy with medication. Psychotherapy can help people with education, support, and guidance. Some of the psychotherapies routinely used for the management of bipolar disorder are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and psychoeducation.
Other Treatment Options
Some of the other treatment options for bipolar disorder include:
Electroconvulsive therapy or ECT – This is especially useful for people not responding to other treatment options. It can also be used during pregnancy, when taking other medications could be too risky. However, ECT could induce some short-term side-effects like memory loss, disorientation, and confusion.
Sleep medications – People struggling with bipolar disorder may often have a problem sleeping. In such cases, sleep medications are prescribed to help them sleep.
Treatment of Bipolar Disorder at Medical Concierge
The mental health treatment center of Medical Concierge offers its clients help with most mental health issues at their state-of-the-art bipolar disorder treatment centers with comprehensive aftercare programs. Our programs are evidence-based and inclusive, taking into account any coexisting conditions, also called dual diagnosis.
Our staff is highly qualified, skilled, and multidisciplinary. We treat our mental health patients with a combination of medication, group and individual psychotherapy along with alternate, experiential activities like yoga, meditation, and art therapy. We create individualized, comprehensive bipolar disorder residential treatment programs for each patient in order to help them cope with their struggles. Our programs are affordable and in sync with most insurance plans.
For more information about our residential bipolar treatment centers, call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline (877) 636-0042 and speak to a member from our admissions team. You can even chat online with a representative for further assistance.