Often misdiagnosed, bipolar disorder I and II are often mixed with other mental illnesses such as clinical depression and anxiety. The truth is bipolar disorder is a standalone mental disorder that can affect the psyche of people who suffer from this severe illness.
According to research, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition involving severe mood swings and emotional highs and lows. Once known as manic depression, those who experience bipolar disorder can experience episodes of mood swings multiple times a year.
Mania, or the less extreme hypomania, is also experienced by those with the disorder. They are shifts in mood where one can experience extreme euphoria or extreme depression.
Those suffering from bipolar I usually experience manic episodes lasting for several days. These episodes can include severe highs and feelings of euphoria. They can also include bursts of energy where one feels like they’re on top of the world.
On the other end of the spectrum, bipolar I sufferers also experience extreme lows. This can include severe depression symptoms lasting two weeks or more.
Those suffering from bipolar II usually have less severe depressive and hypomania episodes but still suffer from extreme highs and lows. They experience these highs and lows at different times, and these symptoms often last for weeks at a time.
The last and least severe form of bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, is defined as those suffering from short intervals of hypomanic and depressive symptoms.
When someone is manic, it means they are experiencing an extreme high or an extreme low. Symptoms such as feeling very energetic and outgoing on some days and then on others feeling unstable and irritable are signs that you may be experiencing mania or the lesser form of manic symptoms, hypomania.
Experiencing intensified emotions and mood swings or episodes are signs of bipolar disorder. Often severe forms of depression or euphoria, these mood episodes can contribute to a lack of sleep and restlessness, a lack of interest in doing most activities, and suicidal thoughts.
On the other hand, feelings of euphoria can also interrupt sleeping patterns because the energy and arousal during this kind of episode can make one feel they don’t need any sleep and can do anything.
A person can also suffer from other anxiety disorders, misusing drugs and alcohol, and psychosis while having bipolar. Bipolar, while incurable, is treatable, and those who believe they are suffering from possible bipolar should seek treatment from a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health practitioner.
Seeking proper treatment for bipolar disorder can be scary and intimidating. However, not knowing exactly what form you may have can lead to speculation and depression. The first step in seeking proper treatment is reaching out to a licensed mental health professional. Asking for a referral from your primary care doctor is a good step in beginning the process.
Another way to seek out a licensed professional is to research psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists in your area. If you feel like you need immediate help, don’t hesitate to reach out to 911 or visit your nearest hospital.
Treatment programs and group therapy have been shown to help people cope with their symptoms.
Medication has been shown to be effective in treating bipolar I and II. Mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics can help manage your symptoms while also seeking the help of talk therapy or psychotherapy. Typically prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, mood stabilizers can also help with depression and anxiety. Atypical antipsychotics can help. If you are nervous about starting a medication, talk to your doctor about all the possible side effects.
The most important thing to remember about treating your bipolar disorder with medication is to take your prescribed medication consistently. Stopping your medication abruptly or forgetting to take it can increase suicidal thoughts and other unwanted side effects. Even if you are feeling well, it is important to continue medication treatment on a consistent basis because it can help you manage your symptoms.
Psychotherapy and talking to a licensed mental health counselor are beneficial when managing your bipolar disorder. Letting them know how you feel and what has been triggering your symptoms to become worse is vital to get more information on how you can effectively manage your symptoms.
It is recommended that you stick with therapy on a long-term and consistent basis because bipolar does not just go away. Like medication treatment, it is still important to continue with talk therapy even when you are feeling well. This process will help you continue to feel good, and on the days when symptoms worsen, you will have someone who can help you cope.
As with any mental illness or disorder, it is essential to be diagnosed by a medical professional and seek treatment. An accurate diagnosis is vital to receiving proper treatment. There is hope for you if you feel you are struggling with bipolar I and II. While it may require patience, staying consistent in talking to your doctors is key to coping with and managing some of your most stressful symptoms. We here at Sage Recovery are willing to listen and help you through challenging times regardless of your mental health status and would love to help you get the treatment you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us at (512) 306-1394 to learn more about our services and treatment facility.