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If you or someone you love has bipolar disorder, you’re not alone. An estimated 4.4 percent of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.*
Once known as manic depression or manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder affects males and females equally. And, while the average onset is about 25 years old, it can occur in teens and sometimes children.
Left untreated, bipolar disorder can worsen and often does.
But there’s hope — with treatment, people who struggle with bipolar disorder can lead healthy, happy, and productive lives.
People with bipolar disorder experience rapid mood changes, from extremely high highs (mania) to very low lows (depression). Bipolar disorder symptoms change depending on the type of episode you’re experiencing. A bipolar episode also can include symptoms of both mania and depression.
To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania, a slightly milder condition. Sometimes manic episodes are triggered by a specific event, such as childbirth, but for many people, there is no clear cause for these shifts.
Symptoms of mania or hypomania include:
Symptoms of a depressive episode include:
Bipolar disorder also can cause psychosis — a break from reality that often includes hallucinations or delusions. This is one reason bipolar disorder is sometimes misdiagnosed as schizophrenia. It’s also common for people with bipolar disorder to be misdiagnosed with depression, so it’s important to be evaluated by a mental health professional who understands the disorder.
It’s also not unusual for someone with bipolar disorder to experience other mental illnesses, such as anxiety or substance abuse. This can make diagnosis even more challenging and is another reason to make sure you receive a comprehensive assessment.
Treatment for bipolar disorder will likely include medication and psychotherapy.
Your mental health provider may prescribe different medications, such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants or anti-psychotics. Other medications may help with anxiety or sleep. It may take a little time to find the right combination of medications to ease your symptoms. Be sure to discuss any side effects or other medication concerns you have with your provider.
While medication can help, treatment usually also involves psychotherapy. In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a goal-oriented approach to talk therapy, can help you challenge distorted or negative thinking and build coping skills. Group therapy and family therapy have also been shown to be effective for treating bipolar disorder.
Depending on the level of care you need, you may be recommended for inpatient treatment, which provides 24-hour medical monitoring as you stabilize physically and emotionally. Following inpatient treatment, you may continue your treatment through outpatient services. Others will begin their bipolar disorder treatment as an outpatient. Both inpatient and outpatient services typically provide a variety of therapy options and medication management.
Being correctly diagnosed with bipolar disorder is your first step to recovery. At our facility, you’ll receive a thorough assessment. Our team will ask you about your physical and emotional symptoms, your health history, and any past experiences you may have had with mental illness. You can schedule an assessment by calling or chatting with us anytime, day or night, and we also accept walk-in appointments.
Based on your assessment, our team will work with you to design a personalized treatment plan that addresses your goals and priorities. We offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment for people with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment Programs
*Source: National Institute on Mental Health
We have implemented virtual visitation to continue to offer family and friends the opportunity to connect with their loved ones.
All outpatient programs are now offered fully online, from assessment to treatment.
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