The National Institute of Mental Health describes Bipolar Disorder as “a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” Manic-depressive is another term for this illness that is known for its severe symptoms and the damaging impact it has on a person’s life. Thankfully there are treatments for Bipolar Disorder.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Sometimes it is difficult to recognize Bipolar Disorder, in part because it is easy to attribute the behavior to other issues, like substance abuse, or because the person feels good during manic episodes and refuses to believe a problem exists. Mental Health America details the symptoms for mania, including:
- Excessive energy and activity
- Extreme euphoric feelings
- Decreased need for sleep
- Exaggerated confidence
- Uncharacteristically poor judgment
- Unusual sex drive
- Provocative or aggressive behavior
After a manic period, the person may have normal moods, but will eventually find themselves in a depressed phase. Those symptoms may include:
- Long periods of sadness or anxiousness
- Changes in sleep
- Loss of interest in activities
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Sometimes a person with Bipolar Disorder can experience both mania and depression at the same time, feeling hopeless but energized at once. In more extreme situations, a person may experience hallucinations or delusions. If you or someone you love experiences any of these symptoms, don’t be discouraged. We cannot stress enough that help is available at LifeLens to treat Bipolar Disorder effectively.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
The most successful treatment plan usually involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Your doctor might prescribe a mood stabilizer, antidepressant, or possibly an antipsychotic drug. Psychotherapy treatment might also be part of your plan, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy or Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy. Sometimes, if medication and psychotherapy aren’t yielding the desired results, electroconvulsive therapy can be used, providing relief for those who haven’t found it in other treatments.
Working with you to identify an effective approach to therapy is what we do best at LifeLens.