Bipolar disorder causes shifts in energy levels, mood swings, anxiety, and sleep problems which can be a roller coaster for the diagnosed person, as well as their loved ones. Since symptoms can affect every aspect of one’s life, and make things feel out of control, finding the best treatment plan is usually equally challenging. Medications alone can help you manage some of the symptoms, but they can also cause adverse side effects.
At BasePoint Psychiatry, we offer solutions to managing and treating bipolar clients with less invasive options and more holistic remedies including: psychological counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, TMS treatment and support in making lifestyle changes.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we want to help you manage symptoms through holistic treatment plans. Our team members are skilled and ready to work to help you take back control.
What is Bipolar Disorder? What are the signs?
Bipolar disorder (previously referred to as manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a disorder that triggers unpredictable and erratic shifts in moods, energy, concentration, and sometimes even causing difficulties in carrying out the simplest day to day tasks. Bipolar creates high energy mood shifts referred to as mania. These manic episodes can cause a reduced need for sleep and loss of touch with reality.
Eventually, the manic episode ends and then leads into unavoidable lows that may include symptoms such as low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. These episodes are commonly known as depression. Of course, symptoms can be experienced differently and at many different levels. Any of these mood episodes may last from days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.
Bipolar can only be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional, but there are a number of symptoms that can be observed to help identify if you or your loved one may be suffering from the disorder. Besides Bipolar Disorder, the symptoms listed below could indicate a myriad of different health conditions, so visiting a qualified professional is the first step to gaining control of these symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
When experiencing depression, some symptoms may include:
- Lack of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness and extreme sadness
- Difficulty in remembering things
- Feeling worthless
- Having self-doubt
- Lack of appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
Signs and Symptoms of Mania
Symptoms in the manic phase can include:
- Extreme and unusually fast talking
- Increased energy levels with very little sleep and no desire to sleep
- Feelings of euphoria
- Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next and easily distracted
- Lack of appetite
- Low Impulse control and impaired judgment
- Acting recklessly without concern for consequences
- Unable to identify possible disastrous outcomes as results of manic behavior
- Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases).
Patterns of Depression and Mania
With bipolar disorder, there are times when depressive episodes may increase and manic episodes dwindle, or vice versa. The patterns are different for everyone, and sometimes those diagnosed have experienced rapid cycling , which includes episodes of mood swings in a quick motion from high to low with no breaks and no time that they aren’t experiencing the symptoms of one extreme or the other. There are also patterns known as a mixed state: this is when a person experiences mania and depression symptoms together. Either of these patterns can be extremely taxing for everyone involved and following an effective treatment plan with a qualified professional is the best way to get symptoms and episodes to a place that is manageable.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
There has been no provable or specific cause of bipolar disorder. Medical professionals believe that there are a few factors that can combine to increase the likelihood of symptoms appearing and even triggering the condition. Some of these factors include:
- A chemical imbalance in the brain – When the levels of noradrenaline (a chemical responsible for controlling the mind) are too high, there is evidence that it can lead to mania and manic episodes.
- Genetics – A person whose family members have had bipolar disorder or other mental health disorders could be at a higher risk of having the condition in the future.
- Environmental factors – Stressful situations can initiate symptoms related to this mental disorder – even long after they are over.
Some other possible contributing factors could be:
- Sleep disruptions
- Certain illnesses
- Overwhelming and/ or extremely stressful or traumatic situations and experiences.
What You Need to Know about Bipolar Disorder
- Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental condition that involves extreme and unpredictable mood swings.
- Episodes of depression cause low moods, and symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, a desire to withdraw from the social world, and loss of interest and enjoyment in hobbies and activities.
- Manic episodes create high energy levels on little sleep and feelings of euphoria, resulting in decision making that is logical with no regard for outcomes.
- Bipolar is experienced differently by different people and this can include how the cycling of moods can occur.
- If bipolar disorder is diagnosed early and proactively treated, a person can live a healthy and fulfilling life.
- As much as certain medications can be essential to treat the symptoms of bipolar, a holistic approach including psychotherapy is also necessary.
- Antidepressants and mood stabilizers have proven to be effective in conjunction with the right treatment plans, especially if the symptoms are severe.
- Bipolar has also been referred to as manic depression or manic-depressive illness
We Are Here to Support You and Your Journey
Bipolar disorder can be emotionally and physically draining, but you and your loved ones do not have to go through that alone. Reach out to BasePoint Psychiatry, and we can help find the path to living without the extreme ups and downs. Our team of dedicated professionals offer guidance and treatment to people affected by a multitude of mental health disorders. We can provide the education, treatment options, resources, and support you need to achieve the best outcomes. We advocate for you and your healing journey. Reach out to us today, and let us help you take control.