24/7 Admissions Hotline +1-805-210-8448

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Table Of Contents

Panic disorders and AddictionBy and maintaining a sense of understanding and respect for bipolar disorder, individuals suffering can reclaim their lives. Though bipolar disorder is a chronic condition, it does not have to get in the way of your happiness or quality of life. With the help of medication, therapy and lifestyle modifications, individuals suffering from any classification of bipolar disorder can find hope again.Dealing with Dual DiagnosisIndividuals with bipolar disorder are capable of leading healthy, happy and satisfying lives; however, they often need in-depth medications and counseling to overcome the distorted messages in their minds. This kind of help can only come about when people who have bipolar disorder obtain the proper diagnosis and get into a treatment program.

Bipolar Cycles

Bipolar disorder is characterized by moods that cycle, regardless of the events that are happening to the individual on the outside. Rather than feeling a mood shift due to some sort of exterior prompt, like a happy surprise or a sudden injury, they feel shifts due to nothing at all that they can point to, and often those shifts result in emotions of great intensity.

For example, people with bipolar I disorder shift from episodes of intense happiness or mania to significant episodes of deep despair or depression. Bipolar II disorder isn’t quite as serious, as people with this variant might not have episodes of intense mania, but these people might still vary from deep depression to subtle mania on a regular basis.

Manic Symptoms

For those who develop bipolar I disorder, manic episodes can be intense. In an article in Salon, a writer who had bipolar mania described the episode as a cycle that began with feelings of creativity and happiness, but those feelings began to deepen and grow, until the writer felt as though he was hallucinating, chased by his own paranoia. He could tell that something about his mind wasn’t quite right, but he was helpless to stop it.

In addition to happiness and paranoia, common symptoms of mania include:

  • Rapid speech patterns
  • Distractibility
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Little need for sleep
  • Impulsivity

Depression Symptoms

While feeling sad from time to time is likely to be a familiar feeling for almost everyone, those in the midst of a bipolar depression episode feel an extreme form of sadness that might make them feel incapable of handling the tasks associated with daily life. They might find it difficult to even get out of bed in the morning, and if they do, they might struggle with concentration and energy. Sleeping seems to be the only thing that provides any relief, and people like this might sleep for days at a time.

Other Signs to Watch For

Inappropriate or unusual moods are the hallmarks of bipolar disorder, but it’s also relatively common for people with this mental illness to deal with issues involving anger and remorse. At one moment, they might fly into a rage and attack the people they love, but moments later, they might desire physical affection. This is also a shift and it could be a warning sign.We naturally respond to the ups and downs of life through our emotions. To experience exquisite moments of joy is one of the most wonderful ways to feel human. While less enticing, it is equally human to experience periods of profound sadness. While healthy emotional expression is a necessary aspect of overall health, not all individuals are able to channel their emotions with such ease.

For individuals with bipolar disorder, normal emotional expression is marked by moments of either extreme mania or dark depression. Classified as a manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder causes erratic shifts in an individual’s mood and energy level. While it is normal for all individuals to experience periodic highs and lows, those with bipolar disorder exhibit more severe shifts in moods – typically drastic and emotionally charged.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, most individuals with bipolar disorder initially experience it during their younger years. Recent data suggests that bipolar disorder affects 2.6 percent of the US population, with an astounding 83 percent of cases deemed severe. Despite the specific type, bipolar disorder is classified as “severe” based on how strongly the symptoms interfere with the individual’s quality of life. More specifically, nearly 50 percent of bipolar cases begin before the individual turns 25.

Mania and Depression

As bipolar disorder is a chronic condition, it requires consistent behavioral and lifestyle modifications. Although each individual will be unique in their symptoms, most individuals with bipolar disorder experience intense mood swings of mania or depression. The following are symptoms associated with a manic episode:

  • Prolonged period of high energy and extreme happiness
  • Engaging in impulsive and high-risk behaviors
  • Talking rapidly and moving quickly from one topic to the next
  • Restless behavior, including sleeping very little

The following are symptoms associated with a depressive episode:

  • Prolonged periods of sadness or “the blues”
  • Fatigued
  • Increased thoughts of death and/or suicide
  • Behavioral changes, specifically with eating or sleeping habits

4 Types

While all individuals with bipolar will vary in the frequency, duration and intensity of their symptoms, the disorder is a chronic condition. According to the DSM-V, there are four distinct types of bipolar:

  1. Bipolar I Individuals will shift back and forth between periods of mania and depression. Typically, each manic period lasts a minimum of seven days and each depressive episode lasts a minimum of two weeks.
  2. Bipolar II Individuals will experience periods of both mania and depression, but not full-blown episodes. While the symptoms are still problematic, the intensity and duration is less severe than those with bipolar 1 disorder.
  3. Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS). These individuals exhibit all of the classic symptoms, but without the severity of bipolar 1 or ll. Typically, individuals with this type of bipolar will experience extreme mania and depression, but to less severe degrees as the other classifications.
  4. Clyclothymic Disorder. These individuals will still experience manic and depressive episodes, often spanning for a minimum of two years, but fail to meet the specific criteria for bipolar 1, ll, or BP-NOS.

If you have any questions about bipolar disorder, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Adjustments Family Services.

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

  • Where do I even begin. I first want to thank everyone at AFS they truly go above and beyond for their clients. I’ve gone to several detox and outpatient programs and this is the first one i felt loved and appreciated. The program has helped me in so many ways. Gave me tools to live life on life’s terms. I wouldn’t be where i am today without this program.

    Amanda L

  • Adjustments Family Services changed my life!! Great food, great staff, wonderful place! Awesome to get to know the amazing clients and see that i was not alone in my recovery. I made friends for life in the short time i got to spend there. Not a better facility anywhere in my opinion!!The team of employees, from the Technicians all the way up to the Owner, all have a patient first mentality.

    Leto M

  • Going to treatment at Adjustments was one of the best programs I've participated in, they helped me get my life back. They have amazing staff and over all good-natured people. They focus on all aspects of counseling , case management, meetings, different types of therapy, including trauma, one on one counseling. This is coming from someone who has been traumatized and neglected. They helped me get to the root of the problem. Which most times can feel very uncomfortable but they provide groups that you participate in and communicate to other addicts and hear their life stories. They really are an organization of team working to help heal the conflicted minds of us addicts that we faced everyday. I would highly recommend this treatment program to anyone suffering from substance abuse or mental health.

    Skyy S

Latest Articles

  • iop rehab california

    How Does IOP for Drug Addiction Work?

    Popular images of rehab see people locking themselves away for weeks or months at a time to beat their addictions before re-entering their world. These in-patient programs do exist, and they are wildly successful. But they do require you to press p

    LEARN MORE
  • 12 step addiction treatment

    How to Correctly Do Step One and Surrender

    For nearly 100 years, the 12-steps have helped countless alcoholics and addicts overcome their challenges. In addition, it helps them learn how to live without turning to the use of drugs or alcohol. Today, there are thousands of Alcoholics Anonymous

    LEARN MORE
  • Community Involvement

    Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) operates two shelters within the county. The large main shelter in Camarillo houses over 400 pets and the administrative offices. Each year, Ventura County Animal Services cares for more than 10,000 animals. &nbs

    LEARN MORE
  • A family happily brought together

    How to Enjoy the Holidays During Outpatient Addiction Treatment

    It’s the holiday season, but when you are in outpatient addiction treatment this time of year can be anything but delightful. With the presents, the family meals, and not to mention the family members that you may not be ready to face after being i

    LEARN MORE
  • 5 Everyday Things to Help Your Recovery from Alcohol Addiction

    A common misconception that a lot of people have in regards to recovery from alcohol addiction, is that you go to rehab, you get better, and then you move on with your life. In a majority of cases, however, in order to maintain your sobriety you hav

    LEARN MORE

This time today, you or your loved one could be in treatment. Get help now!

We Are Here To Help 24/7

+1-805-210-8448