Site Overlay

Bipolar Disorder – The facts, and how to cure kids or adults

Bipolar Disorder – The facts, and how to cure kids or adults

We offer service options designed to treat the whole person, not just a diagnosis.

Our providers offer proven practices alongside the latest advancements in technology and research.
The result: Care that provides hope, answers, and possibilities.
Continue ReadingBipolar Disorder – The facts, and how to cure kids or adults

What, Why, and How?

This is the first item’s accordion body. Depression (major depressive disorder) is a critical medical condition that hurts how you feel, think, and acts. Depression causes a persistent read more …

Intervention outcome statistics

Percentage of respondents in the U.S. who reported symptoms of depressive disorder in the last seven days from April 2020 to April 2022 7:32 PM


Source

Overview

Bipolar disorder, historically known as manic depression, is a mental health illness that involves emotional euphoria (mania or hypomania) and slumps (depression).

Individuals may feel gloomy or helpless when depressed and lose interest or enjoyment in most things. People might feel ecstatic, full of energy, or abnormally impatient when their mood switches to mania or hypomania (a milder form of mania). These mood swings might impact sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior, and the capacity to think effectively.

Mood swings can happen once a year or several times a year. Whereas most individuals will endure some emotional signs between episodes, others may not encounter any.

Bipolar disorder is considered a lifelong diagnosis. But following a treatment regimen might help control your mood swings and other problems. Bipolar disorder is typically treated with medication and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).

Symptoms

Bipolar and associated disorders come in a variety of forms. Mania, hypomania, and depression are examples. Symptoms can lead to erratic mood and conduct, causing severe distress and problems in daily life.

Four Types of Bipolar Disorder

  • Bipolar I Disorder is a mental disease in which persons have had one or more mania episodes. Most individuals diagnosed with bipolar may experience mania and depression, while a depressive episode is not required for diagnosis. Manic episodes must endure at least seven days or be so extreme that hospitalization is needed to be diagnosed with bipolar I.
  • Bipolar II Disorder is considered a subtype of bipolar disorder in which persons have depressive episodes that rotate with hypomanic episodes but never reach a “full” manic state.
  • Cyclothymic disorder, also known as Cyclothymia, is a mental disorder in which persons suffer from hypomania and light depression for at least two years. Those who suffer from Cyclothymia may experience brief intervals of normal mood, although they endure no longer than eight weeks.
  • When individuals do not match the signs for bipolar I, II, or Cyclothymia but have periods of clinically substantial aberrant mood elevation, they are diagnosed with “other specified” or “unspecified” bipolar disorder.

Bipolar II disorder isn’t a milder version of bipolar I disease but rather a distinct diagnosis. People with bipolar II illness can be depressed for extended periods, which can cause significant disability. Manic episodes in bipolar I condition can be intense and harmful.

While bipolar disorder can strike at any age, it is most commonly diagnosed in teenagers or early twenties. Symptoms of bipolar disorder may differ from person to person and change over time.

Mania and hypomania

Mania and hypomania are two distinct types of bipolar episodes with similar symptoms. It is a condition more extreme than hypomania, producing more apparent problems at work, education, social events, and relationship complications. It can also lead to a disconnection from reality (psychosis), necessitating hospitalization.

Symptoms can include:

  • Feeling Weird
  • Getting little sleep but not exhausted
  • A feeling of boredom or distraction
  • Hindered decision-making
  • Absent from work or school
  • Underachievement at work or in education
  • Feeling incapable of accomplishing anything
  • Being pleasant and forthcoming, albeit occasionally aggressively
  • Taking on dangerous situations
  • Libido increase
  • Feeling euphoric or exhilarated
  • having great self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-importance
  • Frequently and quickly speaking
  • Bouncing from one topic to the next while talking
  • Denying or failing to recognize that something is incorrect

Manic Episode

A manic episode is defined as a phase of at least one week during which an individual is excessively elated or agitated for most of the day on most days, has more energy than usual, and exhibits at least three of the following behavioral changes:

  • Reduced sleep requirements (having high energy without getting adequate sleep)
  • Enhanced activity (e.g., restlessness, working on several projects at once)
  • When speaking, uncontrollable rushing thoughts or rapidly switching ideas or topics
  • Speech that is louder or faster
  • Increased risky behavior (e.g., reckless driving, spending sprees)
  • Distractibility

These behaviors must be noticeable to family and friends as deviations from the person’s usual behavior. Symptoms must be extreme enough to cause problems at work, home, or social situations. Symptoms of a manic episode frequently necessitate hospitalization to remain safe.

Psychotic traits include disorganized thinking, erroneous beliefs, or hallucinations in people undergoing manic episodes.

Hypomanic Episode

A hypomanic episode is defined by milder manic signs that last four days instead of a week. Hypomanic symptoms do not pose the same severe issues that manic episodes do.

Major Depressive Episode

A major depressive episode may extend for two weeks and consists of at least five of the following conditions (including any one of the first two):

  • Sadness or misery that is intense
  • Loss of interest in previously appreciated activities
  • Concentration problems
  • Getting an increased level of sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness or shame
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • weight loss or weight gain
  • Slowed speech or movement or restlessness (e.g., pacing)
  • difficulty focusing and remembering
  • irritability
  • Increased sensitivity to noises, smells, and other small things
  • Avoiding work or school, possibly leading to underperformance
  • Frequent suicide or death thoughts

Other signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder

Other indications of bipolar I and bipolar II illnesses, such as anxious distress, melancholy, psychosis, and others, may be present. The frequency of symptoms may apply diagnostic classifications such as mixed or rapid cycling. Bipolar symptoms might also appear during pregnancy or shift with the seasons.

Symptoms in kids and teens

Bipolar disorder signs in kids and teens can be hard to spot. It might be challenging to identify whether these are typical mood swings, the effect of pressure or trauma, or symptoms of a mental health disease apart from bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is most commonly diagnosed in late adolescence and early adulthood.

Kids and teens may experience discrete significant depressive, manic, or hypomanic episodes, but the sequence may differ from adults with bipolar disorder. And sentiments might fluctuate dramatically throughout episodes. Between episodes, some kids may experience periods with no mood issues.

Extreme mood swings that are distinct from regular mood swings are among the most noticeable indications of bipolar disorder in kids and teens.

In teenagers, common manic symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Without signs of fatigue
  • having a very short temper
  • Unusually happy and active
  • Misbehaving or being rude
  • Engaging in substance use
  • Overthinking about sex
  • Being overly sexual or getting sexually hyperactive
  • having trouble staying focused

The following are common signs of a depressed episode:

  • Sleeping too much
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Stress eating
  • Feeling very sad
  • Being too much excited
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Relationship issues with family and friends
  • Suicidal tendency

Causes

Although the specific origin of bipolar disorder is uncertain, various factors might be involved, such as:

Biological characteristics – People with bipolar disorder have physical abnormalities in their brains. The relevance of these changes is still unknown, although they may eventually aid in finding the reasons.

Genetical references – Bipolar disorder is more likely common in individuals with a first-degree relative with the illness, such as siblings or parents. Researchers are looking for genes that may play a role in developing bipolar disorder.

Risk factors

The following factors may raise your chances of developing bipolar disorder or work as a catalyst for your first episode:

  • Having a first-degree relation with bipolar disorder, such as a parent or siblings
  • High-stress events, such as a demise of a family member or another terrible event
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol

Complications

Bipolar disorder, if left undiagnosed, can lead to significant issues that influence every aspect of life, including:

  • Suicide or attempted self-injury
  • Issues with drug and alcohol abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Financial or legal issues
  • Poor performance issues in work and school

Coexisting conditions

If you have bipolar illness, you might have another medical condition that requires treatment in addition to bipolar disorder. Some diseases can exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder or make therapy less effective. Some examples are:

  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid issues
  • Headaches
  • Obesity
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety issues
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Eating disorder

Diagnosis

Your evaluation may entail the following to assess if you have bipolar disorder:

Psychiatric evaluation – Your doctor may recommend you to a psychiatrist to discuss your thinking, emotions, and behavior patterns. A psychiatrist may ask you to go through a self-assessment process or complete a questionnaire. Relatives or good friends might be invited to submit information on your issues with your approval.

Physical examination and lab testing – Your doctor may perform a physical exam and run tests to see if any medical issues are causing the symptoms.

Mood charting – You might be advised to keep a daily journal of your moods, sleep habits, or other aspects to aid diagnosis and treatment selection.

Standard criteria for bipolar disorder – Your psychiatrist might examine your symptoms to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria for bipolar and associated conditions.

Treatment

Different treatments are available to help people treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Medication, counseling, lifestyle modifications, and natural therapies may also be beneficial.

Psychotherapy – Treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy and family-focused therapy are examples of psychotherapy. Therapy provides a safe environment where you can explore solutions to control your symptoms. The therapist could also support you in comprehending thought patterns, reframing troubling emotions, and learning and practicing more effective coping skills.

Psychoeducation – It is a therapy method that focuses on assisting you in learning about an illness and its treatment. This information can help you and the others who care about you recognize and manage early mood symptoms.

Medications – Mood stabilizers, antipsychotic drugs, and lower doses of antidepressants are examples of medications. Antipsychotics, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), antidepressant-antipsychotics, such as fluoxetine-olanzapine (Symbyax), and benzodiazepines, a type of anti-anxiety medicine, and mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid), are also used for short-term treatment.

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy – Such therapy is meant for managing everyday behaviors like sleeping, eating, and exercising. Balancing these routine needs may result in fewer mood swings and milder symptoms.

Complementary health approaches – Therapies include aerobic exercise and alternative health techniques. Mindfulness, faith, and prayer can also aid treatment.

The Systematic Treatment Enhancement for Bipolar Disorder, or Step-BD, is the largest research project evaluating whether treatment techniques are effective for persons with bipolar disorder. Step-BD followed over 4,000 persons diagnosed with bipolar condition throughout their therapy.

Natural remedies for bipolar disorder

Some natural therapies may also help with the symptoms of bipolar illness. However, you should always consult your physician or psychiatrist before attempting these treatments. They may interact with whatever medications you’re using in some situations.

When taken with medicine and therapy, the following medication and supplements might help stabilize your mood and minimize signs of bipolar disorder:

Prevention

Bipolar disorder cannot be prevented entirely. Getting treatment for a mental health illness at the first hint can help avoid any mental health disorders from worsening.

If a person is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, then they can use the following measures to keep minor symptoms from turning into severe mania or depression episodes:

  • Focus on identifying warning indicators – Responding to symptoms as early as possible can help avoid episodes from worsening. You may have seen a pattern in your bipolar episodes and the events setting them off. Call your doctor if you think you’re going through a depressive or manic episode. Encourage relatives or friends to keep an eye out for warning indicators.
  • Resist alcohol and drugs – Drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs might exacerbate your symptoms and trigger them.
  • Take your meds exactly as prescribed – You might be inclined to stop taking them, but avoid such temptation. Quitting or reducing your medicine on your own may result in withdrawal symptoms, or your signs may increase or return.

Despite their mood swings, persons with bipolar disorder frequently fail to understand how much their emotional volatility interferes with their lives and loved ones and hence do not receive the therapy they require.

Consult your doctor or a mental health expert if you are experiencing signs of depression or mania. Bipolar disorder does not improve by itself. Receiving therapy from a mental health expert with experience in treating bipolar disorder can help you manage your symptoms.

Emergency help

Suicidal intentions and conduct are common in bipolar illness patients. If you have suicidal thoughts, dial 911 or your local emergency number, go to the hospital, or talk to a trusted close friend or family member.

Call a suicide hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-TALK in the United States (1-800-273-8255).

A person who is suicidal or has attempted suicide should never be alone. Immediately dial 911 or your local emergency number. Bring the individual to the nearest hospital emergency department if you believe it is safe.

Related Conditions

Bipolar disorder patients may also experience multiple other disorders, such as:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use disorders/dual diagnosis
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Bipolar illness patients with psychotic symptoms may be misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia. Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms can also be identified as bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder can be challenging due to these other disorders and misdiagnoses. Antidepressants and stimulants prescribed to cure OCD and ADHD may exacerbate symptoms of bipolar disorder and potentially cause a manic episode. If you have multiple conditions, make sure you get the right therapy you need.

Bipolar Disorder Case Study

Christina Henderson, a 26-year-old university graduate student, struggled to keep up with her studies owing to a loss of motivation, weariness, and hopelessness, all of which are symptoms of depression and bipolar illness. She went to a TMS Center for an examination after being referred by her doctor, anxiously hoping for some relief.

Christina had already tried various prescription medications for depression and bipolar illness, including Klonopin, Wellbutrin, and Vyvanse, as well as a three-month psychotherapy program.

Conclusion and Summary

Christina underwent an evaluation for sadness and anxiety as part of her examination. Her BDI (Becker Depression Inventory-II®) score was 34, indicating severe depression. She had a 16 on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9® (PHQ-9) for depression, indicating moderately severe depression. She scored a 19 on the Beck Anxiety Inventory® (BAI), which is just below the moderate anxiety limit. She also took a six-week deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) treatment course based on her treatment history and test results.

She had 30 dTMS sessions over seven weeks. Her depression and anxiety evaluation scores reduced considerably after less than two weeks of therapy, and she reported feeling “amazing” and waking up without a sense of “dread.” Christina’s depression scores revealed a remission of depression after five weeks of commencing therapy, and her anxiety assessment score had reduced to a 3, deemed inconsequential. As per her depression scores, she achieved complete remission after treatment, reducing her anxiety levels significantly.

Christina frequently mentioned her absence of despair, how productive she had become, and how terrific she felt throughout the second part of her treatment. She described the shift in her mood as “night and day” after six weeks of therapy. She added that the treatment significantly improved her life, and the medicines had no adverse effects.

Christina continued her studies and acquired an internship in her field of study while in therapy.

Don’t see your plan? Call us at 1-866-500-MIND to see if you are covered.

Insurance plans may vary by location and are subject to change.