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What is Bipolar Disorder?

Outpatient Bipolar Treatment

Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a psychiatric disorder that causes a person’s mood to fluctuate from remarkable emotional highs (also known as mania) to destructive emotional lows (can also be considered depression). BD can be extremely debilitating and is actually quite common. Experts believe that there is a combination of brain chemistry, physical, genetics, and social factors that play a role in bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, there is no single known cause for BD.

Bipolar disorder can cause significant interruptions in someone’s day-to-day life. There are three different types of BD that can affect someone differently: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymic Disorder. Although they are all different, each type includes mood fluctuations, hypomanic or manic episodes, and depressive episodes. The difference between each type is the length and the patterns of the episodes of depression and mania. Treatment varies depending on the person and the type of disorder they have.

Bipolar I Disorder

If someone is having episodes that last seven or more days, they may have bipolar I disorder. Another sign of BID is psychotic features, such as breaks from reality. If manic symptoms are severe enough, the person can be hospitalized during the episode. The depressive episodes can also last at least two weeks when you have BID. This does not mean that depressive and manic episodes cannot happen simultaneously

Bipolar II Disorder 

BID is categorized by full-blown mania. However, those with Bipolar II Disorder experience recurring major depressive episodes and hypomanic (a milder form of mania) episodes. Major depressive episodes are a symptom of BID, they aren’t mandatory to be diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. Major depression is a central symptom of Bipolar II Disorder, making it difficult to distinguish between Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and depression.

Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia)

Cyclothymic disorder is the most moderate form of BD. Cyclothymic symptoms include cyclical mood swings, but the highs and lows aren’t extreme enough to be considered mania or major depression. In order to receive a diagnosis, you must be experiencing symptoms for at least two years. If cyclothymia is not treated, it can increase your risk of developing bipolar disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

There is a multitude of symptoms that people with bipolar disorder can experience throughout their lives aside from just manic and depressive episodes. Some common symptoms of bipolar disorder include:

  • Sleep patterns changing or difficulty sleeping
  • Dramatic increases or decreases in energy, agitation levels, and activity levels
  • Being unusually talkative
  • Delusions, disturbed thinking, and hallucinations
  • Partaking in risky behaviors or activities
  • Acting out of character
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Abnormal feelings of despair and guilt
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty remembering and concentrating
  • Increased irritability

Factors That Increase Risk of Bipolar Disorder

Several factors can increase an individual’s risk of developing bipolar disorder. Although genetics represents the largest risk factor in developing bipolar disorder, periods of high stress, traumatic events (especially during childhood) such as a sudden death of a loved one, etc. can lead to the development of bipolar disorder.

Treatment Techniques for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder treatments typically involve a variety of methods to maintain the disorder on a long-term basis. Because BD is a chronic illness, it requires ongoing treatment. Medications are a part of treatment, however, medication is not the only form of treatment for bipolar disorder. With ongoing self-management and ongoing treatment, individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder can reduce the frequency and intensity of the symptoms dramatically. 

At Life Adjustment Team, we offer an assertive case management model that is designed to reach clients with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses who have trouble responding to conventional forms of outpatient therapy previously, or anyone who simply needs more individual and personalized approaches to treatment. The model works where we come to you, come to your home, and learn who you are, and work on developing a treatment plan to accomplish your goals. 

This approach uses consistent, caring, and person-oriented relationships between our clients and our team. We work constantly to improve our clients’ independence and quality of life through mentoring, coaching, therapy, and training that will teach new skills and strategies to cope with the mental illness and problem solving through meaningful activities.

Contact Life Adjustment Team for Bipolar Disorder Treatment Options

Our assertive mental health case management program significantly improves the life of our patients with bipolar disorder. Life Adjustment Team is about one on one support and group support to help you meet your goals and live the life you want in an outpatient program. 

Our therapy sessions with individual cognitive and dialectical behavior therapy sessions help our clients accept themselves, feel accepted and safe, and manage their emotions to help eliminate themselves from self-harm and destructive behaviors. 

For over 40 years, clients have trusted Life Adjustment Team to help them overcome their mental illnesses and take their lives back. If you would like to make progress in your journey to living freely while dealing with bipolar disorder, contact Life Adjustment Team today about our mental health case management program.