What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a type of personality disorder, which was previously called manic depression. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by sudden and severe episodic mood swings from emotional highs (manias) to emotional lows (depressions) with intervals of stable moods. An individual with a bipolar diagnosis will experience episodes that are all consuming, uncontrollable and often debilitating. The duration of an episode will vary and can last from days to weeks long. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can affect a person’s energy levels, activity, social network, financial situation, sleep, behaviors, judgment and family life. The development of bipolar disorder can be attributed to risk factors such as genetics and imbalanced brain chemicals. Bipolar disorder can present at any age, but it is most commonly diagnosed in individuals younger than age twenty-five.
Signs and Symptoms
The Mayo Clinic explains that bipolar disorder “causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).” Due to the fact that there are two distinct extremes of this condition, there are also two different sets of signs and symptoms as they relate to each (mania or hypomania and major depressive). Bipolar disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences three or more symptoms in the mania or hypomania state and five or more symptoms from the major depressive state. The Mayo Clinic provides the following examples of signs and symptoms that can present with bipolar disorder:
- Signs and symptoms during a mania or hypomania state:
- Increased energy
- Easily distractible
- Decreased need for sleep
- Excessive talkativeness
- Lack of judgment
- Atypically upbeat
- Difficulties at work
- Shift in social activities
- Relationship challenges
- Signs and symptoms of a major depressive episode:
- Inability to experience pleasure or loss of interest in social activities
- Crying spells (frequent and random crying throughout the day)
- Depressed mood
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of energy
- Shift in sleeping habits (either sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia)
- Slowed behavior
- Feelings of excessive guilt
- Inability to think clearly
- Suicidal ideations
- Lack of energy
- Shift in appetite resulting in drastic weight loss or weight gain
Every individual is different and will experience a distinct combination of symptoms when it comes to both the mania stage and the depressive stage of bipolar disorder.
The Treatment Process
Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental health condition, but it is important to bear in mind that there are effective treatment options. Successful treatment includes teaching people applicable coping mechanisms and strategies for navigating the symptoms of bipolar disorder. A customized treatment plan will be developed that is specific to each individual so as to ensure all nuanced needs are met. Treatment plans could include a combination of the various types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy, and/ or interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Some individuals may also benefit from including medication (e.g. antidepressants, mood stabilizing medication, antidepressant-antipsychotics, etc.) in their treatment plan.
Why Choose Annandale in Pasadena?
Annandale Behavioral Health is a private wellness center located in the beautiful hills of Pasadena, CA. Our center provides the ideal environment for guests to reconnect with nature while receiving premium and personalized treatment. At Annandale, we honor each person’s individuality and have a core belief that everyone is capable of achieving true wellness. We understand that in order to heal, every person in recovery deeply benefits from a customized and tailored treatment plan, which we carefully develop for each of our guests. Our multidisciplinary clinical team is made up of highly regarded psychiatrists, physicians, therapists, nursing, and support staff.
Annandale Behavioral Health offers a full continuum of care, including medically supervised detox, stabilization, residential treatment, and aftercare services. We are here to support you every step of the way to help you learn how to lead a healthy, authentic, and fulfilling life that both promotes and supports true wellness.
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding substance abuse, addiction, mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about our program here at Annandale Behavioral Health. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process. Feel free to reach us by phone at 855-778-8668 or through our contact form. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.