Bipolar Disorder Treatment Center
Turning your weakness into strength
Bipolar disorder is a mental health issue that should be taken very seriously. Formerly known as “manic depression,” bipolar disorder causes shifts in a person’s mood and energy throughout the day, which disrupts their daily life including school and work. These changes can occur over a few days, weeks or months.
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adults in the U.S. or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is an acute mental disorder, characterized by sudden and drastic mood shifts, ranging from episodes of mania and aggression to the lows of depression.
People with bipolar disorder experience noticeably intense emotional states that occur over various periods, termed “mood episodes.” Each mood episode represents a drastic change from a person’s usual mood and behavior. An overly joyous state is referred to as a manic episode. On the other hand, an extremely sad or hopeless state is defined as a depressive episode.
Such mood changes cause alterations in energy, activity, sleep and behavior. A person with bipolar disorder may also experience delusions, hallucinations or other psychotic episodes.
Experiencing successive episodes of mania and depression that alter the mood and behavior of a person are the main symptoms of bipolar disorder. There are times when a person can experience both a manic and depressive state at the same time, which is known as a mixed state.
Symptoms of a manic state:
- Feeling overly happy, outgoing or “high” over an extended time period
- Feeling irritable or restless
- Racing thoughts, fast talking, jumping between ideas
- Easily distracted
- Participating in more activities, risky behavior or being impulsive
- Feeling invulnerable, egotistical, or overly confident about one’s abilities
- No feelings of fatigue or tiredness; staying awake instead of sleeping
Symptoms of a depressive state:
- Feelings of hopelessness or sadness over an extended time period
- A loss of interest in favorite activities
- Irritability or restlessness
- Fatigue, moving slowly, sluggishness
- A lack of concentration; problems with memory; inability to make decisions
- Change in sleeping and eating patterns and other activities
- Thoughts of suicide
Causes of bipolar disorder
While the exact cause of bipolar disorder has not been identified yet, researchers do know that the disorder has a genetic component. More than two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression, indicating a genetic component.
Risks for developing bipolar disorder include:
- A family member/blood relative with bipolar disorder
- Alterations in brain structure and functioning
- Chronic stress
- Significant life changes such the death of a loved one
Some people who struggle with bipolar disorder also deal with coexisting conditions that need to be treated simultaneously, such as anxiety disorder, ADHD or a substance abuse problem. Additionally, it is important to look for and treat problems like heart disease, thyroid problems or obesity. Coexisting conditions create a higher risk of relapse and because of this it is important to find the right treatment and to continuously remain in contact with a doctor in order to obtain adequate care for the disorder.
Diagnosis is crucial for bipolar patients, as there is no fixed testing method. The initial phase of testing normally includes a physical exam and tests in order to rule out other conditions that could cause extreme mood swings such as thyroid problems, stroke or a brain tumor. The patient’s family history of bipolar disorder or any other mental health problems is evaluated. If the best possible diagnosis is bipolar disorder, then a doctor will send the patient to a mental health specialist for further examination.
It is important that a person discusses his or her entire health history, including all mood swings, with the doctor. Many people who seek treatment while in a depressive state are often misdiagnosed.
Treatment with Sovereign
Even though bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, it can be treated and controlled. For half the patients, symptoms do linger at varying levels. Therefore, the right treatment focuses on providing opportunities for patients to regain control of their lives and learn to manage the lingering symptoms.
Our treatments incorporate several kinds of medications such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants and antipsychotics, depending on what suits a patient’s individual needs the most. Psychotherapy is important for treatment of bipolar disorder and is integrated into treatment in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy (training the patient to alter negativity), interpersonal/social psychotherapy (helping the patient manage relationships and commitments), family-focused therapy and psychoeducation (educating the patient to recognize and deal with changes in mood). Intensive residential programs can also be particularly helpful, as they provide a secure, supportive environment to heal.
Our highly qualified, experienced and multi-disciplinary staff specializes in treating mental health patients with a combination of group and individual psychotherapy along with activities like yoga, meditation, art therapy, equine therapy and process group therapy.
Bipolar disorder can wreak havoc in a person’s life, but with the right treatment, despite lingering symptoms, we take pride in teaching our patients to harness their weaknesses and learn to live life to the fullest.