Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition in which a person’s mood swings alternate between depression and mania. About 7 million Americans have Bipolar Disorder. Moods can become overpowering and lead to poor decision making, strained relationships and loss of employment, or even housing. It is often referred to as a mood disorder. When you have bipolar disorder, you may either alternate back and forth between manic and depressed moods or have them at the same time.
Manic Phase symptoms may include:
- Lack of sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Poor impulse control and risky behaviors
- Racing thoughts and rapid speech
- An energetic and happy mood
- Feeling like you are the life of the party
Depressed Phase symptoms may include:
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Inability to make decisions
- Negative, self-blaming thoughts
- Avoidance of others
- Tearful and sad moods
- Loss of interest in doing the things you used to enjoy
- Self-injurious behaviors
What Does A Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder Mean?
Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder can be difficult and even frightening. However, it is important to note that the diagnosis of bipolar does not change who you are. You may need to learn about your illness, the different symptoms you may experience, and how to cope with those symptoms, but bipolar disorder treatment can help address many of these challenges. The diagnosis is not representative of your identity, and with the proper help, you can lead a healthy, happy and productive life.
What Is It Like To Have Mania?
When you are experiencing mania, you may feel like you are on top of the world. You may believe that your ideas are brilliant and revolutionary and that the people around you are impressed with everything you say and do. When you are in a manic phase, you will typically not be aware you have experienced mania until it is over.
If family and friends express their concerns, you might dismiss them as overreacting. Experiencing mania can be fun until the party is over. During mania, you may engage in impulsive and risky behaviors and making poor decisions, leading to embarrassing consequences. Seeking bipolar disorder treatment can help you manage the symptoms of mania so that you are not overpowered by these disruptive moods, which can take your life by storm.
What Is It Like To Have Depression?
When you experience the depressed side of bipolar disorder, you may have many emotions going through your head. You may struggle with anxiety or have negative/critical thoughts. These thoughts and anxiety can often keep you from following through on treatment.
In addition, a person with depression, once in treatment often describes struggles in relationships as well as with their friends. They also struggle to enjoy hobbies, sports, and other activities that they used to take pleasure in. Many identify changing eating habits (either not having an appetite or overeating). People with depression often struggle with thoughts of hopelessness and come into treatment seeking assistance to learn ways to cope with those thoughts.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
It is not entirely clear what causes bipolar disorder. There is no singular thing that indicates that someone will develop it. Biological (physical health, genetic vulnerabilities), psychological (resiliency, temperament, and coping skills), and social (environment and family background) are all factors that contribute to someone developing bipolar disorder. Exposure to trauma and the abuse of drugs and alcohol have also contributed to an increase in incidences of the disorder.
What Are The Types Of Bipolar Disorder?
There are two types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar Disorder I and Bipolar Disorder II. In Bipolar Disorder I, the swings between depression and mania can often take weeks or months to alternate between moods. Between episodic phases of mood, one mood (depression or mania) may dominate. In Bipolar Disorder II, depression and mania can occur at the same time.
How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated?
Medications such as mood stabilizers are only one part of the treatment plan. Talk therapy with a professional therapist that you trust is beneficial to learning important coping skills. Some examples of therapists are LCSW, LCPC, Life Coaches, Psy.D., or M.D. Finally, social support is also an integral part of treatment.
Mood stabilizers are often prescribed to treat bipolar disorder to address some of the more debilitating symptoms. Talk therapy often accompanies medication, assisting people as they learn about effective coping techniques.
I’m Afraid To Tell Anyone I Have Bipolar Disorder
Telling anyone you have bipolar disorder is entirely your business and you should not feel obligated to tell anybody. However, many people have polar disorder and it is not something that you should feel ashamed of. You may be surprised to hear that many famous people identify as having the illness—Demi Lovato, Sinead O’Connor, Catherine Zeta -Jones, Russell Brand, Jane Pauley, and Jean-Claude Van Damme to name a few. Fear of how others might feel about you if they knew you have Bipolar Disorder should not prevent you from seeking help.
What Are The Benefits of Bipolar Disorder Treatment?
Understanding your moods and how to manage them is a positive outcome of seeking treatment. Anticipating mood patterns and triggers and mood management can help level out moods so life feels less like a rollercoaster ride. With effective treatment, you may be able to perform better on the job, make healthier, more informed decisions, and improve your relationships.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder at HJK Therapy Services
The professional licensed therapists at HJK Therapy Services are experts in treatment for bipolar disorder. We have years of experience working with and treating persons with this disorder. We are uniquely qualified to understand your symptoms and collaborate with you and your health care professional in developing a treatment plan that feels right for you.
We will be able to connect with you in a therapeutic partnership where you will feel validated and understood. Together we will identify your goals and what is important to you. We will assist you in life planning, reality testing, symptom management, and the development of coping strategies that will allow you to connect and communicate with others in meaningful and effective ways.
Schedule an appointment online via the button below. Or, if you’re still wondering if our therapy center is the right option for you, call 312-778-5115 now for a free, 15-minute consultation.