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Bipolar disorder happens to be one of the most challenging mental health disorders to live with. From one day to the next, those who struggle with bipolar disorder are never sure which mood state will dominate. Because this mental illness affects the ability to maintain employment, friendships, and relationships, finding psychiatric solutions is critical.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that features extreme and often unpredictable shifts in mood and energy. Changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, emotions, and behaviors accompany the mood swings, causing disruption in daily functioning.
Bipolar disorder usually appears in the teen or early adult years. According to NAMI, this mental health disorder affects 2.6% of the U.S. adult population, or about 5.7 million people.
Symptoms of a manic phase may include:
- Sudden burst of energy.
- Increased activity levels.
- Reduced need for sleep.
- Jittery and agitated.
- Talkative, rapid speech.
- Intense irritability.
- Racing thoughts.
- Engaging in risky behaviors.
- Taking on many tasks at once.
Symptoms of a depressive phase may include:
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Loss of interest in usual hobbies and activities.
- Decreased activity level; slowed movements.
- Very low energy.
- Changes in eating habits.
- Lack of joy or pleasure.
- Changes in sleep habits.
- Excessive fatigue.
- Thoughts of suicide.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
Ongoing research continues to seek the cause of bipolar disorder, which is still a matter of debate. Meanwhile, science has discovered some factors that are believed to contribute to bipolar disorder. These risk factors include:
- Genetics, such as where there is a family history of bipolar disorder or other serious mental illness.
- Irregular brain functioning or structures or a possible chemical imbalance.
- Environmental factors that may include a history of childhood abuse, the death of a parent, or a stressful home life.
- Some substances, such as cocaine, hallucinogens, or meth, are known to cause bipolar-like symptoms.
The 4 Types of Bipolar Disorder
To diagnose bipolar, the doctor looks for the prevalent symptoms to determine which type of bipolar is present. There are four different types of bipolar disorder, each having unique features.
The common features of bipolar involve sudden and intense mood swings, shifting from manic episodes to depressive episodes. Resulting changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, emotions, and behaviors accompany the mood swings.
There are unique symptoms that place the disorder into one of four subtypes. These include:
Bipolar I Disorder: Extreme mood swings that shift between manic episodes and depressive episodes, but with stable periods in between.
Bipolar II Disorder: This type features at least one depressive episode and one hypomanic (less severe mania episode) or severe meltdown. Depression symptoms are more prevalent in this type.
Cyclothymic Disorder: This type of bipolar involves milder versions of both mania and depression that occur often.
Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified: This is a type of bipolar with symptoms of mania and depression that do not meet diagnostic criteria for the other versions.
Bipolar Disorder and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder
Living with the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be very difficult. Many times, the person may resort to using a substance to numb these symptoms, and that can evolve into addiction. Statistics reported by the American Journal of Managed Care show that 56% of patients with bipolar have also experienced addiction. The presence of both bipolar disorder and a substance use disorder requires specialized psychiatric solutions to manage recovery.
This type of treatment is referred to as a dual diagnosis treatment program. These programs have a psychiatrist on staff as well as addiction specialists. A customized treatment program is designed that takes into account the specific type of bipolar and which substance is involved.
Psychiatric Solutions for Bipolar Disorder
The main goal of helping someone with bipolar disorder is to stabilize the illness and bring about improved wellness and functioning. Treatment in a residential setting provides the highest level of care for someone struggling with the effects of bipolar.
Different types of therapy for bipolar disorder treatment include:
- Individual therapy sessions. Private therapy sessions provide a more tailored approach to the bipolar disorder. CBT is used to help the patient identify distorted perceptions or thoughts that may lead to irrational behaviors. CBT treatment allows the patient to change disordered thought patterns and learning different responses to the triggering events. Other therapies that are useful for the treatment of bipolar include social rhythm therapy and interpersonal therapy.
- Group therapy sessions. Group sessions provide a forum that allows peers with bipolar disorder to learn new coping skills while also receiving support.
- Medication. Drug therapy like the antidepressant sertraline is often part of the treatment plan for relieving the symptoms of bipolar.
- Family therapy. Bipolar disorder can be very difficult on the family as a whole. Family-centered therapy gives loved ones a better understanding of mental illness, and to learn how to be supportive.
- Holistic. Treatment will focus on new ways to manage and regulate emotion states. This is done via holistic methods like yoga, meditation, guided imagery, massage therapy, acupuncture, light therapy, and art therapy. These help to induce relaxation and promote emotional healing.
- Lifestyle. Patients are taught how to change their daily habits in order to reduce the mood swings. These include keeping a regular sleep schedule, regular exercise, and a healthy diet.
If you or a loved one is suffering from the effects of bipolar disorder, you are likely to be seeking psychiatric solutions. This involves making decisions about your treatment options, such as level of care and medications, for example.
Elevation Behavioral Health Residential Mental Health Treatment Center
Elevation Behavioral Health provides residential psychiatric solutions for bipolar disorder. Our serene setting and luxury amenities provide a safe environment conducive to healing. If you or a loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder, please call us today for guidance at (888) 561-0868.