Is Bipolar Disorder Treatable
Figuring out if you have bipolar disorder is just the first step. The next is learning about how and where to get treatment. The good news is this: bipolar disorder is a treatable condition. Like many other mental health conditions, with the help of experienced and skilled professionals, you can find a way to live a full life after a bipolar disorder diagnosis.
We feel its important to acknowledge that a bipolar disorder diagnosis can be frightening, especially at the beginning of the journey when so much is unknown. Its also important for you to understand that if left untreated, bipolar disorder can have serious consequences. Its essential to learn more about how you can recognize symptoms so you can focus on how to treat them.
If youre asking yourself, how do I know if I have bipolar disorder, youre well on your way to a positive path toward finding treatment and learning how to move forward. And if youve recently found out that you have bipolar disorder, its time to start the process of beginning to look at bipolar disorder treatment options and learning how to handle bipolar disorder in relationships.
Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is a general category for a person who only has symptoms of bipolar disorder that dont match the three other categories. The symptoms are not enough to make a diagnosis of one of the other three types.
The signs of bipolar disorder can generally be divided into those for mania, and those for depression.
How Can You Tell If You Have Bipolar Depression
For those with bipolar depression, getting a diagnosis and starting treatment as soon as possible is absolutely essential. Not only does an early diagnosis help increase the effectiveness of your treatment, but it also can help prevent you from damaging your personal and professional relationships.
For those with bipolar depression, getting a diagnosis and starting treatment as soon as possible is absolutely essential. Not only does an early diagnosis help increase the effectiveness of your treatment, but it also can help prevent you from damaging your personal and professional relationships. With that said, it can be very difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder, as the signs and symptoms of the disorder can vary drastically from person to person and can be confused with other disorders, such as depression. If you are unsure if you are suffering from bipolar disorder, contact Alvarado Parkway Institute by calling 667-6125.
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Depressive Symptoms In Children
With bipolar disorder, symptoms of depressive episodes in children can include:
- moping around, acting very sad, or crying frequently
- sleeping too much or too little
- having little energy for usual activities or showing no signs of interest in anything
- complaining about not feeling well, including having frequent headaches or stomachaches
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- eating too little or too much
- thoughts of death or suicide
Manic Symptoms In Children
Symptoms of mania in children can include:
- acting very silly and feeling overly happy
- talking fast and rapidly changing subjects
- having trouble focusing or concentrating
- doing risky things or experimenting with risky behaviors
- having a very short temper that leads quickly to outbursts of anger
- having trouble sleeping and not feeling tired after sleep loss
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How To Know If You Have Bipolar Disorder
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 82% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 378,014 times.
How To Treat It
The main ways to treat and manage bipolar disorder include:
- Medications, like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and sometimes antidepressants
- Action plans to educate you about the disorder. These can help you manage it on your own by helping you know when an episode is coming on.
- Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and family-focused therapy
- Activities that support your treatment, such as exercise and spiritual practices
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Its Hard To Come To Terms With Having A Mental Illness
Even after a person learns they have bipolar disorder, it can be hard to accept the reality of it. Living with any mental illness can be really difficult and bipolar disorder has its own challenges. Sometimes people feel like if they reject the label of bipolar disorder, they can avoid some of those challenges. But bipolar disorder doesnt just go away if you ignore it.
The reality is that labels can actually set you free. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder helps you understand what youre experiencing. It opens up treatment options that can help you feel better. And it puts you in good company with millions of other people around the world, many of whom have accomplished incredible things.
On the other hand, sometimes people who dont know any better use the word bipolar to describe someone who is actually just moody. Be careful pushing labels on people when youre not an expert yourself. If you think your friend has bipolar disorder, encourage them to see a mental health professional who can evaluate and diagnose them. You can also point them to our online bipolar test, which is an easier start than going straight to a professional.
Treatment For Bipolar Disorder
If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you will require ongoing treatment. This shouldnt be cause for alarm, though, as treatment can allow you to resume a normal life without being sidelined with frightening and dramatic highs and lows characteristic of bipolar disorder. Treatment for bipolar disorder usually involves a combination of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches.
You may be prescribed medications called mood stabilizers, which include lithium. The use of antidepressants and/or antipsychotic medications may also be used in treatment, as well as combinations of drugs.
Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is a recommended approach for treating bipolar disorder. As worse adherence to medication regimens is more common right after diagnosis, psychotherapy can help both their patients and family members to accept the diagnosis and the recommended treatment. Since the episodes of mania and depression can be very disruptive and stressful to the individual in treatment for bipolar disorder, this is another area where psychiatrists and psychologists can play an important role by helping the person to recover from the episode, validating what theyre going through, and encouraging consideration of solutions to help them move forward.
Psychoeducation is another aspect of treatment for bipolar disorder, important for both the person diagnosed with the mental illness and his or her family.
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How Do I Get Help If I Think I Have Bipolar Disorder
The usual first step to getting help is to speak to your GP.
It can help to keep a record of your moods. This can help you and your GP to understand your mood swings. Bipolar UK have a mood diary and a mood scale on their website. You can find their details in the Useful contacts section at the bottom of this page.
Your GP cant diagnose bipolar disorder. Only a psychiatrist can make a formal diagnosis. Your GP may arrange an appointment with a psychiatrist if you have:
- depression, and
- ever felt very excited or not in control of your mood or behaviour for at least 4 days in a row.
They might refer you to a psychiatrist at your local NHS community mental health team .
Your GP should make an urgent referral to the CMHT if they think that you might have mania or severe depression. Or there is a chance that you are a danger to yourself or someone else.
Your GP should refer you to your local NHS early intervention team if you have an episode of psychosis and its your first one.
Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it affects everyone differently. Also, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be experienced by people who have other mental illness diagnoses. It can take a long time to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
You can find more information about:
- NHS mental health teams by clicking here.
Should I See A Doctor
It is always a good idea to speak with a doctor when there is concern about severe mood swings that seem to come and go or make it difficult to work.
The best person to start with may be a primary care physician or family doctor. However, they will likely refer someone with these symptoms to a psychiatrist, or a specialist who cares for people with mental health disorders.
Someone who notices these symptoms in a friend or loved one can also speak with their doctor about their concerns. The doctor can help find local support groups or other mental health resources.
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How To Know If You Might Have Bipolar Disorder
It can feel overwhelming to find an answer to the question: How do I know if I have bipolar disorder? While many consider it daunting, this is not the case. You may be seeking answers to understand the issue better if you suspect you or someone you love suffers from it.
When navigating a bipolar diagnosis, knowledge is power, which is incredibly accurate. By understanding your mental health condition, you will be able to improve your quality of life and cope better.
In this article we will discuss how to know if you have bipolar disorder, what treatment options are available, and more as we discuss the signs and symptoms of the condition.
Who Develops Bipolar Disorder
Mental health experts say that bipolar disorder usually develops during a persons late adolescent or early adult years. Although rare, it can also occur during childhood. Bipolar disorder can also run in families, so if there is a family history of bipolar disorder, you may be at higher risk of developing it.
According to a 2005 study, about 2.6 percent of the population of the United States or 5 million people had some form of bipolar disorder. The APA, meanwhile, puts the percentage at 6 million people diagnosed with the mental illness.
As for male-female incidence of bipolar disorder, both men and women are equally likely to develop it. Women, however, tend to be somewhat more likely to go through rapid cycling than men. Rapid cycling refers to four or more distinct episodes in a year. Another distinction between men and women with bipolar disorder is that women tend to experience more time in the depressed period than men.
Using drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings during the manic or depressive periods of bipolar disorder is also common. In addition, those diagnosed with bipolar disorder may also have other mental health disorders, including co-existing anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and seasonal depression.
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Clear Signs Of Sadness
The single most prominent sign of a depressive episode is extreme feelings of sadness. Like feelings of happiness, they may appear suddenly.
This sadness can be overwhelming. A person may not find humor in things that they used to laugh at. They may withdraw from important activities and social gatherings.
Other negative feelings may accompany sadness. A person may feel empty. They may feel like they dont have anything important to say.
Despite knowing that they are in a depressive episode, they may feel like their sadness will never go away. They may notice that their feelings are making other people sad.
This can cause their feelings to get worse. They may remain unconvinced of their worth, even when shown examples of it.
Whats The Difference Between Feeling Good Vs Hypomania
It takes time to know the difference. Everyone enjoys being happy and feeling good. But feeling good doesnt always mean you are good. Over time, youll start to understand yourself and learn the warning signs that you may be starting to have an elevated mood that is different than just feeling good.
Ask family and close friends who you trust, and have frequent contact with, to give you feedback. Ask them to tell you when they see beyond normal changes in your mood or behaviors.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Bipolar Disorder Medications
Side effects of bipolar disorder medications are common and vary by medication. Its important to talk with your healthcare provider about what you can expect when taking certain medications. Its also important to tell them if youre experiencing side effects.
Never stop taking your medication unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so. Abruptly stopping medication can cause severe side effects and trigger severe episodes.
The most common side effects of bipolar disorder medications include:
- Akathisia feelings of restlessness and agitation with a compelling need to move, rock or pace.
Information For Family Carers And Friends
How can I get support?
You can speak to your GP. You should be given your own assessment through NHS mental health services to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.
These are some other options for you:
- Join a carers service
- Join a carers support group
- Ask your local authority for a carers assessment
- Read about the condition
- Apply for welfare benefits for carers
Rethink Mental Illness run carers support groups in some areas. You can also search for groups on the Carers Trust website:
- Rethink Mental Illness: www.rethink.org/about-us/our-support-groups
- Carers Trust: www.carers.org/search/network-partners
How can I support the person I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with bipolar disorder if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills.
You should be aware of what you can do if you are worried about their mental state. It can be helpful to know contact information for their mental health team or GP.
You could find out from your relative if they have a crisis plan. You could help your relative to make a crisis plan if they dont have one.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. But you dont have a legal right to this. The medical team should encourage the person that you care for to allow information to be shared with you.
You can find out more information about:
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Bipolar Disorder And Suicide
The depressive phase of bipolar disorder is often very severe, and suicide is a major risk factor. In fact, people suffering from bipolar disorder are more likely to attempt suicide than those suffering from regular depression. Furthermore, their suicide attempts tend to be more lethal.
The risk of suicide is even higher in people with bipolar disorder who have frequent depressive episodes, mixed episodes, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, a family history of suicide, or an early onset of the disease.
Suicide warning signs include:
- Feeling worthless or like a burden to others.
- Acting recklessly, as if one has a death wish.
- Putting affairs in order or saying goodbye.
- Seeking out weapons or pills that could be used to commit suicide.
Take any thoughts or talk of suicide seriously
If you or someone you care about is suicidal, call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the U.S. at 988 or visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country. You can also read Suicide Prevention.
Symptoms For Periods Of Mania
WebMD says that during the period of mania , individuals with bipolar disorder may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Excessive excitement, happiness, and hopefulness
- Increased energy and less need to sleep
- Increasing impulsiveness
- Making plans that are grand and unrealistic
- Poor coordination
- Sex drive thats unusually high
- Sudden mood swings: joyful to irritable, angry or hostile
Healthline adds these other symptoms of the mania period: feeling overconfidence, being easily distracted, and talking very fast, often with racing thoughts.
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Signs Of Bipolar Disorder
- Unpredictable and extreme mood swings
- Going from being wired, talkative, and jumpy , to feeling melancholy and depressed
- Co-occurring disorders, such as alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders, anxiety issues, and ADHD
Is This Quiz Accurate
This online screening is not a definitive tool. It will not conclusively guarantee that you may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
However, it can be useful if youre experiencing symptoms and want to determine if additional help or support from a mental health professional is the right option for you.
Only a trained medical professional, such as a doctor or mental health professional, can help you determine the next best steps for you.
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What Are The Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are different types of bipolar disorder.
What is bipolar disorder I disorder?
A diagnosis of bipolar I disorder means you will have had at least 1 episode of mania that lasts longer than 1 week. You may also have periods of depression. Manic episodes will generally last 3-6 months if left untreated. Depressive episodes will generally last 6-12 months without treatment.
What is bipolar II disorder?
A diagnosis of bipolar II disorder means it is common to have symptoms of depression. You will have had at least 1 period of major depression. And at least 1 period of hypomania instead of mania.
What is bipolar I or II disorder with mixed features?
You will experience symptoms of mania or hypomania and depression at the same time. You may hear this being called mixed bipolar state. You may feel very sad and hopeless at the same time as feeling restlessness and being overactive.
What is bipolar I or II disorder with rapid cycling?
Rapid cycling means you have had 4 or more depressive, manic or hypomanic episodes in a 12-month period.
What is bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern?
Seasonal pattern means that either your depression, mania or hypomania is regularly affected in the same way by the seasons. For example, you may find that each winter you have a depressive episode, but your mania doesnt regularly follow a pattern.
There can be some similarities between bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern and another conditional called seasonal affective disorder.