Bipolar Disorder Treatment
WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that requires ongoing professional treatment. Because bipolar disorder can be complex to diagnose and treat, it is critical to find an experienced and caring team of mental health professionals who can provide proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.
With appropriate treatment, long-term stability is possible.
Mania is characterized by a euphoric or highly irritable state and can include these symptoms:
- Hyperactivity/increased energy
- Decreased ability or need for sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid speech
Hypomania is a less-severe form of mania, often characterized by:
- Elevated mood
- Increased energy
- Decreased need for sleep
- Reckless behavior
Depression is the opposite cycle, with a patient experiencing symptoms such as:
- Decreased energy
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Decreased appetite
- Hopelessness and helplessness
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Trouble focusing or making decisions
- Suicidal Thoughts
There is currently no cure for bipolar disorder. However, with appropriate treatment, patients can achieve lasting stability and enjoy normal, healthy, joyful, and productive lives. Treatment can alleviate the disabling emotional ‘roller-coaster-ride’ of cycling between the highs of mania and the depths of depression.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar I – In order to be diagnosed with Bipolar I you must experience several symptoms of mania lasting at least a week, and that interfere with your normal functioning. You do not have to cycle into depression. Some individuals experience mixed episodes, where they note symptoms of both mania and depression.
Bipolar II – Bipolar II is a less severe form of bipolar disorder. Manic episodes can be less intense and of a shorter duration, and are usually not disabling. Those with Bipolar II disorder also experience periods of depression.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder affects millions of people – around 2.6% of the population in the U.S. It’s a leading cause of disability worldwide. The median age of onset is age 25; however bipolar disorder can appear anytime from childhood to late middle age. Bipolar disorder appears equally in people of either gender and affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Over two-thirds of sufferers have a blood relative with some type of mood disorder, which indicates there may be a genetic component. The likelihood of a child developing bipolar disorder is higher with one bipolar parent, and climbs drastically when both parents suffer with bipolar disorder.
Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is complex to diagnose. Individuals may also have one of multiple co-occurring diagnoses which also need to be appropriately diagnosed and treated as well. As a result, it is critical to find a team of professionals who can provide a comprehensive evaluation. It is beneficial to have a team of mental health professionals on your side that will stay with you throughout your journey to health.
Treating Bipolar Disorder
At the Mental Health Collective, treatment for bipolar disorder begins with a careful diagnosis. You will receive a comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment by a board-certified psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist. You can then begin an individualized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment. The best results are usually obtained by a combination of therapy and medication.
We will stay with you throughout your journey to stability, and continue with long-term treatment, adjusting your treatment as necessary to maintain stability and optimum health.
Our board certified psychiatrist can support you in finding the medication combination that will result in a stable mood; our entire team of professionals can support you in integrating appropriate therapy and lifestyle changes to support your recovery.
The Mental Health Collective Can Help
At the Mental Health Collective our goal is always to go beyond symptom reduction to help patients achieve a life of stability, maximum health, joy and satisfaction. Your treatment can include practices such as:
- Art therapy