What to Expect When Starting Bipolar Disorder Therapy
Table of Contents
What is Bipolar Disorder and How It Affects People
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by severe mood, energy, and activity changes. People with bipolar disorder often experience intense highs (mania or hypomania) and deep lows (depression). These episodes can last from days to months and usually cause difficulty functioning at work, school, and social settings. Bipolar disorder therapy can help.1
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What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but genetics account for 60-80% of the risk. Stressful life events, sleep disturbances, or substance use can also trigger it. There are three main types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymic disorder.2
- Bipolar I: this is the most severe type and is characterized by manic episodes that last for at least seven days.
- Bipolar II: this occurs when a person experiences depressive episodes and hypomania, less severe than mania.
- Cyclothymic disorder: this is marked by more frequent mood swings between low (depressive) and high (hypomanic).
Unfortunately, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. However, with bipolar disorder therapy and lifestyle changes, it can be managed. Therapy and medications can also help reduce the intensity of symptoms and allow people to live a more balanced life.
Bipolar Disorder Prevalence: How Common Is It?
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 1 in every 100 people. It affects both men and women equally and often begins in the late teen years or early adulthood. Bipolar disorder can also occur during childhood or later in life.3
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
About 2.8% of adults and adolescents in the US have bipolar disorder. That’s more than 9 million people living with this condition. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary from person to person. The most common symptoms include:
- Unusual high energy levels with decreased need for sleep
- Feeling “on edge” or easily agitated
- Rapidly changing thoughts and ideas
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
- Extremely positive mood and high self-confidence
- Depression, characterized by extreme sadness or apathy.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis. Everyone’s journey is unique, and it’s essential to find bipolar disorder therapy that works for you.
Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder is based on a physical exam, lab tests, and psychiatric evaluation. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and family history. They may also use rating scales or questionnaires to assess the severity of your illness. Treatment of bipolar disorder therapy needs to be tailored to your individual needs. Share any changes in your mood or behavior with your doctor so they can make the best diagnosis.
The Impact of Bipolar Disorder on Quality of Life
Bipolar disorder can have a significant impact on your quality of life. People with this condition often struggle to keep up with everyday tasks and relationships. It is also associated with an increased risk of substance abuse and suicide. Living with bipolar disorder can often be isolating. Without bipolar disorder therapy, people may have difficulty maintaining relationships or keeping a job. This is due to the unpredictable nature of their illness.4
Bipolar disorder can also take a toll on physical health. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer from other medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. They may also experience fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, and poor appetite. These physical symptoms can lead to decreased energy levels. Bipolar disorder therapy can reduce the intensity of symptoms and allow people to live a more balanced life.5
Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder
The good news is that people can effectively manage their symptoms with proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for bipolar disorder therapy may include medications, counseling (psychotherapy), support groups, education class, or a combination of these interventions.
Medications are the primary treatment for bipolar disorder and can help to regulate mood swings. Common medications for this condition include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. These medications have different mechanisms of action and can be combined to address symptoms. Some people may also benefit from supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B complex, and other herbal remedies.6
Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is integral to bipolar disorder therapy. It often focuses on strategies to identify and manage triggers for mood swings and address any underlying issues contributing to the illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of psychotherapy used to treat bipolar disorder. It helps people identify and replace unhealthy thoughts and behaviors with positive ones.
Support groups can be a valuable resource for people living with bipolar disorder. They provide a safe space to share your experiences and learn from others facing the same challenges. The bipolar disorder therapy group members often understand what living with this condition is like, which can help build empathy and provide a sense of community.
These classes provide education about the illness and teach communication, problem-solving, stress management, and coping strategies. Having a better understanding of bipolar disorder can help people recognize their triggers, respond to them in healthier ways, and build resilience.
It can also lead to greater self-awareness and appreciation for the unique gifts that living with this condition brings. Attending an education class can also give family members and friends of those affected by bipolar disorder a better understanding of this condition and how to support them best.
How Advaita Integrated Medicine Bipolar Disorder Therapy Program Can Help
If you’re looking for bipolar disorder therapy in Raleigh, NC, our team of experts at AIM can help. We offer individualized bipolar disorder therapy plans tailored to meet each patient’s specific needs. Our integrated approach combines medication management, psychotherapy, lifestyle coaching, and alternative therapies to create a comprehensive and holistic program.
The Outpatient Program at AIM is designed for those who may not require the intensity of IOP but would still benefit from a more focused level of care than traditional bipolar disorder therapy. Outpatient services include medication management, psychotherapy, stress reduction techniques, and lifestyle coaching. Through these services, we can help you develop the skills and strategies needed to manage your bipolar disorder and improve your overall well-being.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
The IOP is designed to meet the needs of those with more severe symptoms requiring more comprehensive care. It allows those with bipolar disorder to receive higher care without staying in the hospital or a residential facility.
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