What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that results in mood and energy changes, including episodes of mania and depression. When in manic episodes, individuals with the disorder have an unrealistic high state of mind and can lose touch with reality. At the other extreme, they may think they have superpowers, or a little less extreme, impulsively shop for items they do not need and usually cannot afford.
Bipolar disorder can occur at any point in life but typically develops in the adolescent or young adult years. It’s estimated that every year, 2.9% of the U.S. population is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with 83% of cases being classified as severe. Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
Those suffering from bipolar disorder may have dramatic shifts in mood from a depressed state to distinct mania or may experience both extremes simultaneously and in rapid sequence. Although rare, severe bipolar episodes may include psychotic symptoms of hallucinations or delusions. Someone experiencing a milder manic phase may report an ability to be more creative, spontaneous, or overly productive; however, they are often easily frustrated or irritable and feel little need to sleep. The diagnosis of a full manic episode occurs if for most of the day daily for at least a week, an elevated mood occurs with three or more symptoms relating to sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior, with these symptoms interfering with an individual’s ability to function. Four or more symptoms are needed for diagnosis if irritability is present.
Following a manic phase, many people with bipolar disorder will lapse into a depression. It can be so disabling and pervasive that they may refuse or be unable to get out of bed. They may have difficulty falling and staying asleep or sleep more than usual. Those suffering from depression may become obsessed with feelings of loss, personal failure, guilt, or helplessness. This negative thinking can lead to thoughts of suicide. Depression associated with bipolar disorder may be harder to treat. Friends and loved ones are often confused by this shift in behavior because it is so dramatically different from their earlier elevated state.
The Importance of Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Substance abuse is often present in people with bipolar disorder, and they can be used to self-medicate or increase euphoric symptoms, becoming a repetitive cycle. Substance misuse can also worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder. In instances where substance use disorders are present, it is important to provide bipolar disorder treatment and substance abuse treatment concurrently in an integrated setting.
Bipolar Disorder Therapy at Pasadena Villa
Bipolar disorder can be successfully managed but bipolar disorder treatment must be individualized according to each client’s specific symptoms. A combination of medications and bipolar disorder therapy can be helpful in education and guidance. At Pasadena Villa, we offer bipolar disorder treatment using the most advanced evidence-based methods available, always ensuring that each client’s needs are the number one priority. Using individualized bipolar disorder therapy plans, we help clients in relieving the stress that comes from assimilating back into everyday life and help them achieve the highest levels of functioning and independent living once they leave our bipolar disorder treatment center.