What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that results in significant mood swings. Clinicians often refer to bipolar disorder as manic depression. As one can see in the name, a person with the mental health condition can exhibit both manic behavior and depressive behavior over short or long periods of time. Depending on the patient, these mood swings can occur up to several times per year.
When a person who suffers from bipolar disorder experiences a manic episode, they often feel elated and energized. During manic episodes, the person may also become delusional and make rash and impulsive decisions. On the other hand, during depressive episodes, the person may exhibit symptoms of depression, including ongoing sadness and a lack of interest in former hobbies.
- Bipolar I disorder - People with bipolar I disorder often experience episodes of mania for approximately one week followed by depressive episodes for approximately two weeks. Individuals with bipolar I disorder may need inpatient treatment during these episodes depending on the severity of symptoms.
- Bipolar II disorder - Individuals with bipolar II disorder experience similar behavioral patterns as bipolar I disorder. The difference between each category is that individuals with bipolar II disorder experience less extreme mood swings. Some clinicians state that people with bipolar II disorder have “hypomanic” episodes instead of manic episodes. Hypomanic episodes are different from manic episodes in that they typically do not cause hallucinations. Additionally, hypomanic episodes are less likely to result in the individual requiring hospitalization.
- Cyclothymic disorder - Cyclothymic disorder refers to a further step down in the intensity of manic-depressive episodes. These individuals experience mood swings, but the mood swings do not fit the criteria of a manic-depressive episode. Adults with cyclothymic disorder have not experienced hypomanic or depressive episodes in two years. Children with cyclothymic disorder have not experienced hypomanic or depressive episodes in at least a year.
Researchers believe that bipolar disorder occurs due to brain structure characteristics and genetic variables. However, the exact causes of bipolar disorder are often unclear. Most people with bipolar disorder receive their diagnosis in their 20s.
What are the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder?
The key feature of bipolar disorder is significant mood swings from manic to depressive episodes. Each type of episode has its own characteristics, and it is often best to think about bipolar disorder signs and symptoms along those divisions.
During manic episodes, common signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling elated, jumpy, or overly excited
- Having accelerated speech and jumping from subject to subject
- Demonstrating impulsive behavior and poor judgment
- Having a high sex drive
- Having racing thoughts
- Being easily distracted
- Having decreased sleep
In bipolar II disorder and cyclothymic disorder, people may experience the above symptoms to a lesser extent during hypomanic episodes. However, in many cases, those individuals may hardly exhibit symptoms and may be completely functional in their daily lives.
Common signs and symptoms of depressive episodes include:
- Experiencing intense and ongoing sadness
- Feeling tired and persistent lethargy
- Experiencing difficulty concentrating
- Having low self-esteem and feeling worthless
- Losing interest in one’s hobbies and social interactions.
It is important to note that each person experiences bipolar disorder differently, and each person can experience symptoms to different extents. Additionally, some people experience symptoms of mania and depressive episodes at the same time.
How Aurora Behavioral Health in Tempe and Glendale can help manage bipolar disorder
Our team at Aurora Behavioral Health has decades of experience treating mental health conditions and behavioral health problems, including bipolar disorder. We understand that bipolar disorder can be extremely overwhelming for individuals and their families, and we are here to help.
At Aurora Behavioral Health, we provide a range of treatment programs for bipolar disorder, including inpatient and outpatient treatment services. Our outpatient services include partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs. Each treatment program for bipolar disorder implements evidenced-based care methods, and patients take part in group therapy programs. We understand that each case of bipolar disorder is different, and we customize our treatment programs to each patient’s unique needs.
Get treatment for bipolar disorder at Aurora Behavioral Health
Getting started with bipolar disorder treatment at Aurora Behavioral Health is easy. Our team understands that each patient has unique challenges and needs, and we provide a customized treatment plan for each patient. We treat patients across Arizona at our Glendale or Tempe behavioral health hospitals.
The first step toward treatment is to contact our team. You can call us directly at 877.870.7012 at any time. A team member is available 24/7. Alternatively, you can contact us online, and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.
We can help answer any question you have about our bipolar disorder treatment programs and our behavioral health hospitals. Additionally, a member of our team can help schedule you or a loved one for a free, confidential mental health assessment.