What Is Bipolar Disorder?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that every year, nearly 3 percent of U.S. citizens are diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is when the extreme highs, known as mania, are followed by extreme lows, or depressions, which make it difficult to work, maintain relationships and otherwise enjoy life. This disorder does not have to be debilitating. With the right treatment, people can overcome the disorder and regain control of their life.
Bipolar disorder causes disruptive shifts in the mood and energy that can occur over a few days, weeks or months. The fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” lists types of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I disorder: manic or mixed episodes that last for more than seven days or severe manic symptoms requiring hospitalization. Depressive episodes that last at least two weeks might also occur.
- Bipolar II disorder: Lengthy depressive episodes with hypomanic episodes that do not become full-blown manic episodes or mixed episodes.
- Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS): Bipolar symptoms exist in a person and are clearly not within the normal range of behavior for that individual, but they do not meet any of the diagnostic criteria for the above bipolar disorders.
- Cyclothymic disorder or Cyclothymia: A milder form of bipolar disorder where a person will experience hypomania and mild depression for more than two years but they do not fulfill the above diagnostic criteria.
- Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder: a person experiences four or more episodes within one year.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be divided into episodes of manic states, depressive states or a mixed state of both. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are typically grouped by whether they indicate a person is experiencing a manic or depressive state.
Symptoms of a manic state can include:
- Feeling overly happy, outgoing, or high over a long period of time
- Feeling irritable and restless
- Racing thoughts and fast talking
- Engaging in high-risk behavior and impulsivity
- Feeling invulnerable, having an inflated ego or being overly confident
Symptoms of depressive state can include:
- Feeling hopeless and sad over a long period of time
- No longer feeling interested in favorite activities
- Fatigue and a feeling of moving slowly
- A lack of concentration
- A change in sleep patterns and eating habits
- Suicidal thoughts
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Treatment for bipolar disorder is possible and effective, even though bipolar disorder is a life-long disorder. A strong treatment program will not only treat the current condition of the patient, but also equip the patient with the skills to continue a healthy life after treatment.
Sovereign Health is licensed for mental health, while treating all underlying co-occurring disorders, such as addiction, at once. Patients at Sovereign Health will undergo a thorough assessment of their medical history, family history and including a psychiatric evaluation. Any patient who is dealing with a co-occurring condition or addiction, Sovereign Health will develop a personalized treatment plan to treat the individual.
The treatment for bipolar disorder will vary depending on the individual and program. However, most treatment involves a mix of psychotherapy and medication. It is important a patient receives the treatment for all conditions, as an underlying and untreated condition can lead to relapse. If you or a loved one deal with bipolar disorder, or believe to be dealing with it, call our 24/7 helpline listed on this webpage and receive an assessment today.