What is bipolar disorder?
Each year, almost 6 million Americans experience bipolar disorder symptoms. Bipolar disorder is a mental health illness that causes extreme mood swings between depression and mania. Contrary to common misconceptions, bipolar disorder doesn’t cause multiple personalities or any of the hallucinations common in schizophrenia.
There are three primary types of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar I causes extreme shifts in mood between depression and mania. In most cases, a patient seeks treatment for bipolar I after a manic episode. Manic episodes tend to last for a week or more, and depressed episodes continue for at least two weeks. If you have Bipolar I, you may also have periods of normal moods between the extremes of mania and depression.
Bipolar II also causes mood swings, although your “high” episodes aren’t as extreme as the manic episodes that characterize Bipolar I and are referred to as hypomanic episodes. In addition to being less severe, hypomanic episodes typically last for four days or more.
Cyclothymic disorder is the mildest form of bipolar disorder. Your mood swings are frequent but less extreme than Bipolar I or II. In most cases, cyclothymic disorder is diagnosed after two years of mood irregularities.
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder symptoms are classified as depressive, manic, or hypomanic.
Depressive symptoms include:
- Feelings of depression and sadness
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Changes in appetite
- Poor concentration and indecisiveness
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Manic episodes cause symptoms such as:
- Feelings of euphoria, grandiosity, and invincibility
- Less need for sleep
- Overscheduling or trying to do too many things at once
- Impulsive or reckless behaviors
- Talking more than usual
- Racing thoughts
Hypomanic symptoms are similar to manic symptoms but less severe. If you feel suicidal, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room for immediate treatment.
How is bipolar disorder treated?
Point of View begins your treatment with a comprehensive assessment of your mental and physical health, including lab work to identify or rule out other medical conditions that could contribute to your symptoms.
Once your condition is diagnosed,we create a personalized treatment plan for each patient, and often combines medicine, therapy, and lifestyle modifications to regulate your bipolar symptoms and improve your overall health.
If you’re concerned about bipolar disorder, call Point of View Mental Health or schedule a consultation online today.
Call Point of View Mental Health or schedule a consultation online today for your comprehensive assessment and personalized care.