Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, is characterized by mood swings as high as mania and as low as depression. These mood shifts could occur as infrequently as a few times in a year, or as often as multiple times in a day. Sometimes, bipolar disorder can lead to the experience of depressive and manic symptoms at the same time. On the positive side, bipolar disorder can be controlled with a long-term treatment plan from a qualified bipolar disorder therapist.
Bipolar disorder can be classified by a number of subtypes. The symptoms of bipolar disorder center around the extremes of depression and mania. On the depression side, individuals may experience:
- suicidal thoughts,
- loss of interest in life,
- and irritability.
As for manic symptoms, individuals may have:
- rapid speech,
- risky, impulsive, and aggressive behavior,
- racing thoughts,
- poor judgment,
- and poor performance at work or school.
These are particularly apparent in rapid mood swings.
There’s no consensus on the exact cause of bipolar disorder, but there are several agreed-upon factors that lead to and trigger bipolar incidents. For one thing, bipolar patients have physical differences in their brains, including an imbalance in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Other causes include hormonal imbalances and inherited traits. Environmental factors like abuse, loss, stress, and trauma can also play a role.
Bipolar disorder isn’t curable and will require lifelong treatment by a skilled bipolar disorder therapist and psychiatrist to manage. In emergencies like suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior, or psychosis, hospitalization is necessary. Otherwise, medication, psychotherapy, a wellness plan (exercise, yoga, etc…) can work to control and contain bipolar disorder. A range of options include:
- electroconvulsive therapy,
- transcranial magnetic stimulation,
- and various medications like;
- and anti-convulsants.
Many individuals who follow through with a treatment plan can function normally and lead successful lives.
There isn’t anything like a guaranteed method for preventing bipolar disorder, but by getting a bipolar disorder evaluation and treatment at the earliest possible date, you stand the best chance of preventing it from getting worse. Pay attention to various symptoms and warning signs, particularly episodes of depression and mania. Avoid alcohol and street drugs. In addition, only take medications as directed, which means you should take them even if you’re feeling well. Consult with mental health professionals before making a change to your treatment plan.
Why Choose New Horizons to Treat Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a difficult disorder to manage, which is why our licensed professionals are here to help. If you have noticed any recurring symptoms of depression or mania in yourself or a loved one, consider getting evaluated by a qualified professional. Stop by our office or give us a call to begin.