How to Live Well with Bipolar Disorder
If you believe you suffer from bipolar disorder, or know someone that does, you know first hand the kind of havoc that it can cause. It not only affects the individual, but also friends, family, teachers and coworkers. Left untreated, it’s a devastating disorder with devastating consequences.
But being diagnosed with bipolar disorder does not have to mean that your life is over. In fact, with the right treatment, you can greatly minimize the effects of bipolar disorder to the point where you can start to live your life again.
What is bipolar disorder? Those with bipolar disorder have trouble controlling their moods. One day they are full of energy and creativity and nothing can get them down. Then a few days later they can’t get out of bed and feel depressed and overwhelmed. But it is much more serious than an up and down cycle. When they are on their up cycle (called a manic phase), they make poor decisions and exhibit a dangerous invincibility. And when they hit their low cycle (called a depressive phase), they can get so depressed that they start having thoughts of suicide.
Some common manic symptoms include:
• Increased arrogance
• Impulsive behavior
• Sexual promiscuity
And some depression symptoms are:
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Having a hard time concentrating
• Thoughts of suicide
If you see any of these symptoms in yourself or in someone you know, you may have bipolar disorder seek treatment.
The first step is always to see a doctor. Only a physician that specializes in this disorder will be able to tell you for sure if you have it. Bipolar disorder can be tricky to diagnose because of the variations between personalities and physiologies. That is why it is so important to see an experienced physician.
Medication is absolutely mandatory in your treatment plan. Bipolar disorder is a caused by a chemical imbalance in part of the brain. The medication acts to create a balance in those chemicals, making the mood swings more manageable. It allows the bipolar sufferer to be able to live a relatively normal life as long as they are on the medication. There still may be some episodes, but they will be much less frequent and not as severe.
The other piece to the treatment puzzle is therapy. Combining therapy with medication is by far the best way to treat bipolar disorder. The manic and depressive episodes are usually triggered by outside influences such as stress, lack of sleep, and trauma. This is where the therapy comes into play. A professional therapist experienced in treating bipolar can help you structure your life in a way that will keep the episode at bay. He will also be able to give you strategies to use when you start feeling vulnerable to an episode.
Bipolar is a serious disorder. Left untreated, it can lead to addiction, seclusion and even death. But if the sufferer seeks professional help and keeps to his treatment plan, he can get control of his life again and begin to enjoy everything that life has to offer. If you or a loved one is suffering from Bipolar Disorder, seek medical attention.
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 877-845-5235 for more information.