Swinging between high highs and low lows can have a dramatic impact on people, their families, and their lives. Our goal is to help you find balance so that you can live the life you want.
Life has its ups and downs. Everyone has days where they feel up and full of energy, ready to take on challenges and try new things, and days where they feel low, and it’s hard to get through the day. A variety of factors influence a person’s mood and ability to function in day-to-day life, but for people with bipolar disorder, these shifts are extreme.
Although it is relatively common – an estimated 1 in 100 people will be diagnosed with bipolar disorder at some point in their life – there is still a great deal of stigma and misinformation surrounding bipolar disorder.
If you believe that you or someone you care about might be suffering from Bipolar Disorder, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn more about:
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact emergency services or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for immediate assistance.
Bipolar Disorder (sometimes referred to as Manic Depression) is a condition that causes dramatic shifts in mood and ability to function. People with Bipolar Disorder experience periods of high energy and impulsivity (mania) as well as periods of low mood and lethargy (depression). Unlike mood swings, these episodes can last weeks or even months.
There are two types of Bipolar Disorder:
Bipolar Disorder is often portrayed in pop culture, but it is rarely portrayed accurately. “Bipolar” characters are often simply ones whose moods change quickly. Sometimes these characters are depicted as completely insane. Not only is this a simplification of the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, it also misrepresents Bipolar Disorder in a way that paints the condition as mere mood swings.
Like depression, Bipolar Disorder is a serious mood disorder that can be fatal if left untreated. Misrepresentations of Bipolar Disorder are dangerous because they add to the stigma surrounding Bipolar and other mood disorders, which can make life harder for those living with the condition and prevent people who need help from seeking it.
Bipolar Disorder is characterized by periods of mania as well as periods of depression. The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on what kind of episode a person is experiencing.
Symptoms of manic episodes include:
Symptoms of depressive episodes include:
Some people with Bipolar Disorder – particularly Bipolar II in which manic episodes are not as pronounced – may initially be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.
Learn more about depression causes, symptoms, and treatments >>
Bipolar Disorder is a complex mental health condition, and a variety of factors affect an individual’s risk of developing it. The exact causes of Bipolar Disorder are unknown, but it is likely caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
Research suggests that people who have an immediate relative – such as a parent or sibling – with Bipolar Disorder are more likely to develop Bipolar Disorder themselves. We have not isolated a particular gene that causes Bipolar Disorder, but it does have a tendency to run in a family.
People with Bipolar Disorder have differences in biological structures in their brains compared to people who do not have Bipolar Disorder. More research needs to be conducted as to the significance of these physical differences.
First episodes of Bipolar Disorder can be triggered by environmental factors, such as experiencing a traumatic event or going through a period of high stress.
Individuals who have trouble coping with stress or indulge in risk-taking behaviors could be more likely to react to environmental factors that might trigger a bipolar episode. Drug and alcohol use can also trigger the first episode of the disorder.
As with many mental health conditions, Bipolar Disorder treatment can include a number of components that work together to alleviate symptoms. Treatment for Bipolar Disorder could include:
At Transformations Care Network, we are dedicated to helping people in our communities access life-changing mental health care. If you believe that you are experiencing a mood disorder like Bipolar Disorder, contact us today to learn what our compassionate care providers can do for you.