Is Your Loved One Struggling With Bipolar Disorder?
Erratic behavior. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Often violent when angry. Overly cheerful when happy. Seems to be set off by nothing. Reacts in a way that objective people would term as “over the top” to small changes or upsets. Sometimes has all the energy in the world; other times, can’t get out of bed.
Bipolar disorder is difficult to diagnose in oneself or in a family member. In both cases, you can be too close to the situation to objectively determine whether or not behavior is due to a mental health disorder. However, if you suspect that bipolar disorder may be the diagnosis for you or a family member, treatment can provide the help necessary to get those symptoms under control. Contact us today to hear more about your options.
Formerly known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme shifts in mood and activity level. Unlike the usual ups and downs experienced by everyone, those with bipolar disorder can damage their relationships with their erratic behavior, may harm themselves or others, and find it difficult to maintain steady work performance on the job or at school.
Because the symptoms of bipolar disorder are so disparate, many only identify the ones that are most problematic to medical professionals, which means that an accurate diagnosis is hard to come by. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), symptoms include:
- “Mood episodes.” Either manic or depressive in nature, these episodes are the primary characteristic of bipolar disorder. They are extremes in mood and behavior – and sometimes they are characterized by both mania and depression, called a “mixed state.”
- Long-lasting periods of instability. Moods can be unstable – either up or down – in between mood episodes.
- Multiple episodes over the course of a day, almost every day for weeks.
Manic episodes may make the patient feel “high” or very high energy and cause them to be restless, talk quickly, lose sleep and live in delusions of grandeur, behaving impulsively or indulging in high-risk behaviors. Depressive episodes may make the patient feel listless and depressed with little interest in anything, including sex, and little energy or ability to concentrate or handle responsibilities or decision-making. During depressive episodes, patients can become suicidal.
Bipolar disorder is an easily treatable illness – the hard part is getting the diagnosis you need and getting started. If you believe that bipolar disorder is a problem for you or someone you love, call us at the phone number listed above to learn more about your options in mental health treatment and how you can improve your quality of life starting today.