What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes major fluctuation in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. People with bipolar disorder experience intense emotional states that typically occur over periods of days or weeks. Mood episodes range from manic episodes (feeling extremely “up,” elated, irritable, or energized) to depressive episodes (feeling very “down,” sad, indifferent, or hopeless).
People without bipolar disorder experience mood fluctuations, as well. However, these mood changes typically last hours rather than days and do not involve extreme behavior changes or difficulty with daily routines and social interactions that people with bipolar disorder demonstrate during mood episodes.
Symptoms of a manic episode may include:
- Feeling very up, high, elated, or extremely irritable or touchy
- Feeling jumpy or wired, more active than usual
- Decreased need for sleep
- Talking fast about a lot of different things (“flight of ideas”)
- Racing thoughts
- Feeling able to do many things at once without getting tired
- Excessive appetite for food, drinking, sex, or other pleasurable activities
- Feeling unusually important, talented, or powerful
Symptoms of a depressive episode may include:
- Feeling very down or sad, or anxious
- Feeling slowed down or restless
- Trouble falling asleep, waking up too early, or sleeping too much
- Talking very slowly, feeling unable to find anything to say, or forgetting a lot
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Feeling unable to do even simple things
- Lack of interest in almost all activities
- Feeling hopeless or worthless, or thinking about death or suicide
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What Treatments are Available for Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder can be disruptive to social relationships and may cause issues at work and/or school when left untreated. Without medications to treat bipolar disorder, patients are likely to experience more frequent and severe symptoms that increase the risks of hospitalization and/or suicide.
When treated, people with bipolar disorder can lead full and productive lives. The ideal treatment plan for bipolar disorder includes medication and therapy.
Bipolar disorder usually requires lifelong treatment with medications. Some patients may at best have only a partial response to the best available treatments, but medications can help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. For the vast majority of patients, the benefits of medications outweigh the risks.
At Neuro Behavioral Center, we offer many different treatment options for bipolar disorder.
Each person has their own unique thoughts and feelings. As such, an individual evaluation is important for the best treatment outcome. We accept most major insurance carriers — including Medicare and Medicaid — so that finances never get in the way of getting the help you need. If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, or another mental health problem, call Neuro Behavioral Center at (508) 660-1666 to schedule a consultation, or request an appointment online.