Bipolar Disorder can be a devastating mental illness if left untreated. When you have no control over your moods, life becomes unmanageable. Those in a manic phase often burn through bank accounts with extravagant shopping sprees and purchases of drugs and alcohol. This behavior may alienate friends and relatives. On the downward end of the cycle, the depressive phase may cause isolation from friends and loved ones due to inability to engage in normal social relationships.
The Bipolar Enigma
A bipolar disorder includes periods of both mania (highs) and depression (lows). However, there are actually several distinct types of the disorder:
- Bipolar I typically involves significant shifts between mania and depression.
- Bipolar II is a less extreme form of the disorder with periods of “hypomania” (highs that do not reach the level of mania seen in Bipolar I) alternating with depression.
- Cyclothymic disorder involves hypomania interspersed with depressive periods that are less significant and shorter-lived.
- Mixed bipolar disorder occurs when all symptoms of both the manic and depressive cycles happen at the same time.
- Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder manifests with several distinct swings occurring in one year.
Signs of Bipolar Disorder
- What marks someone as bipolar is extreme mood swings. The person’s mood can change rapidly and radically.
- Signs of a manic phase are all about excess: extreme exuberance, overwhelming irritability, unreasonable excitement, uncontrollable restlessness, increased need for sex, decreased need for sleep and a feeling of invincibility that can lead to unrealistic plans, poor decision-making and increased risk of suicide. It is an extreme period of energy that can result in artistic creativity and immense work output. Unfortunately, it can also lead to tremendously bad consequences.
- The flip side of bipolar disorder is depression. Feeling sad or blue and wanting to cry all the time are some symptoms of depression, which may also be marked by irritability and anxiety. Depression makes you feel as if you have no energy, need more sleep and cannot make decisions. Many people end up feeling worthless and hopeless.
When these two states continually alternate, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder may be appropriate. The Casa Palmera staff understands the importance of a correct diagnosis, and we consider many factors in making a diagnosis. Every one of our clients receives a full assessment of their physical health, which may include blood testing and other diagnostic tests. Another important consideration is whether there are concrete reasons behind a sudden burst of extreme emotion, or if there is a spontaneity factor.
Identifying and tracking mood changes is an important piece of the puzzle and is the first step towards healing and change through treatment.
Centering Yourself through Treatment
There are ways to both control manic energy and to overcome the depths of depression that comprise bipolar disorder. Casa Palmera’s holistic healing approach takes into account all facets of the individual: physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Contact Casa Palmera behavioral health facility today to begin your return to a healthy mind, body, and emotional state of well-being.