What Is Bipolar Disorder And What Is The Treatment

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Everyone has both good and bad moods, however, individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) experience such drastic shifts in mood and behaviors that the ability to live normally is disrupted.

Bipolar disorder is often assumed rare but is far more prevalent than most people know. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, BD affects roughly five million people in the United States. The condition affects both men and women equally and can coincide with other mental health conditions such as depression or even addiction. What is bipolar disorder, and what is the treatment? Get a closer look below.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Everyone has both good and bad moods, however, individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) experience such drastic shifts in mood and behaviors that the ability to live normally is disrupted.

Bipolar disorder is often assumed rare but is far more prevalent than most people know. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, BD affects roughly five million people in the United States. The condition affects both men and women equally and can coincide with other mental health conditions such as depression or even addiction. What is bipolar disorder, and what is the treatment? Get a closer look below.

What Is Bipolar Disorder? 

Once known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by frequent and extreme mood shifts. People with bipolar disorder often go from highly elevated periods of mania to periods of severe depression. Episodes of either mania or depression can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Managing the mood episodes associated with BD can be difficult. The shifts can be drastic and oftentimes sudden. Clinically speaking, there are three types of BD, including bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder. These different types of BD are defined by the intensity, frequency and duration of manic or depressive episodes. Not all presentations of BD will neatly fit, however, into just one category.

BD is often diagnosed early in life as a teen or young adult after a thorough mental health evaluation and assessment of symptoms. BD impacts individuals in unique ways and symptoms look different during manic and depressed states:

Manic symptoms:

  • Extremely high, touchy or irritable mood
  • More active than usual, possibly even wired or jumpy
  • Sleeping less
  • Talking fast and changing ideas frequently
  • Excessive desire for sex, food, alcohol or other pleasure-giving activities
  • Grandiose ideas of feeling powerful or important

Depressive episode symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • Talking slowly or not talking much at all
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Lack of interest in most activities
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideation

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

Bipolar disorder treatment is often a lifelong but necessary effort. Without treatment, BD can worsen, which also means the severity of manic or depressive episodes can intensify. Medications meant to stabilize moods like lithium and valproate are one of the most common forms of treatment, however, therapy and counseling can be exceptionally important.

Therapeutic treatment for BD can help individuals by:

  • Identifying symptoms and how they present in the individual’s life
  • Pinpointing triggers that set off manic or depressed episodes
  • Showing the individual how to deal with emotions and thoughts to manage symptoms
  • Teaching the individual skills to cope with fluctuations in mood
  • Ensuring the individual has a strong support system in place through family therapy and other resources

Thriving With Bipolar Disorder Is Possible With the Best Treatment

Bipolar disorder can get in the way of many aspects of life, but it doesn’t have to control you. With the right treatment plan in place, you can thrive and gain control. Legacy Recovery Center can help with an individualized treatment plan for bipolar disorder that is specifically catered to your needs. Reach out to learn more about how we can help.