Bipolar Disorders

One of the most misunderstood mental health disorders, bipolar disorder, is something we think would be obvious. However, many people with this diagnosis live full, productive lives if their condition is managed correctly.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar is characterized by changes in an individual’s mood, emotions, and energy. This could include intense episodes of depression and/or mania that last days or weeks. Most individuals who experience bipolar begin to develop symptoms during young adulthood, but symptoms do vary. Depending on symptoms, bipolar disorder can be classified into different types, such as bipolar I, bipolar II, or cyclothymic disorder. At Onyx Behavioral Health, we treat individuals diagnosed with any of these types of bipolar diagnoses.

%

of U.S. adults had bipolar disorder in the past year

%

of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.

Let’s take a deeper look at each bipolar classification.

Bipolar I

Characterized by long (7 days or more) and/or severe episodes of mania, bipolar I usually also includes depressive episodes lasting 2 or more weeks. In some cases, mania episodes are severe enough to require hospitalization.  

Bipolar II

Characterized by episodes of depression and hypomania (less severe mania episodes), bipolar II is sometimes misdiagnosed as another mental health condition such as depression.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Characterized by less severe or shorter, but recurrent hypomania and depressive episodes, Cyclothymic disorder can sometimes go undiagnosed for longer periods of time. However, individuals with this condition can benefit greatly from residential treatment programs.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Regardless of which type of bipolar is diagnosed, symptoms can be broken down into depression and mania. Here is what each one looks like:

Depression

N

Frequent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or irritability

N

Lack of energy

N

Difficulty concentrating and remembering things

N

Loss of interest in everyday activities

N

Feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, guilt, or despair

N

Persistent pessimism about everything

N

Self-doubt

N

Delusions, hallucinations, and disturbed or illogical thoughts

N

Lack of appetite

N

Insomnia

N

Suicidal thoughts

Mania

N

Extreme feelings of happiness, elation, and joy

N

Rapid speech pattern

N

High energy levels

N

Feeling self-important

N

Having lots of “great new” ideas and “important” plans

N

Easily distracted

N

Irritability or agitation easily triggered

N

Delusions, hallucinations, and disturbed or illogical thoughts

N

Lack of appetite

N

Insomnia (due to lots of energy)

N

Wreckless or problematic behavior

N

Impulsive decision making

N

Doing/saying things perceived by others as risky or harmful

Diagnosis & Treatment

Like many conditions, getting a diagnosis can sometimes be a process. When symptoms present, it is recommended to start with a visit to your healthcare provider. They will run a number of tests to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms. If there is no physical reason identified to explain your symptoms, a mental health evaluation would be the next step.

In the event of a diagnosis, an individual treatment plan is going to be recommended. Standard treatment may include a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Mood stabilizers and antidepressants are common medications used, but in some cases, an antipsychotic may be prescribed to manage manic episodes.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

We know that most commonly, the onset of bipolar disorder happens in one’s early 20s. However, what actually causes this condition? Is it something a person is genetically predisposed to or is there something that happens to people in their 20s that causes the onset?

Like all other mental disorders, there is usually a mixture of factors that contribute to bipolar disorder. Yes, if others in your family have bipolar, then you are more likely to develop it as well. Yet, it is not a guarantee. According to Mayo Clinic, risk factors for bipolar include:

  • Having a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with bipolar disorder
  • Periods of high stress, such as the death of a loved one or other traumatic event
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Overcoming Bipolar Disorder with Onyx

At Onyx Behavioral Health, we take mental health treatment to the next level. While we provide traditional treatment options for conditions such as Bipolar Disorder, we don’t just stop there. True healing sometimes requires big changes that are challenging to make in your current situation. That is why we provide a highly effective residential treatment program that includes a safe space to focus on recovery, develop coping skills, and make lifestyle changes for the long term.

Discover Healing with Onyx Behavioral Health

At Onyx Behavioral Health, we work to empower our residents to become productive citizens and stable individuals in their respective environments. We hope to guide and ground you in repairing your mind, body, and soul.
Begin Healing

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