Bipolar Disorder (BD) is considered a severe mental disorder characterized by mood swings, up and down energy levels, and varied ability to concentrate. Most bipolar diagnoses can interrupt a person’s daily life. In general, Bipolar is diagnosed when a person has episodes of depression and mania. When someone is experiencing mania, the individual feels like they are on a “high” and has an enormous amount of energy. The depressive episodes are marked by feelings of sadness, and lack of energy and can lead to suicidal thoughts or plans. Bipolar disorders are most often treated with medications and private face-to-face therapy with a professional counselor or therapist.
20.6% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2019 (51.5 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults. (SAMHSA)
Is Therapy Effective For Helping Bipolar Individuals?
Individual therapy is the most in-depth form of therapy that helps someone with bipolar disorder manage their symptoms and improve their condition. The type of individual therapy that is most renowned is behavioral therapy, specifically dialectical behavioral therapy. This type of therapy is a concentrated version of cognitive-behavioral therapy that targets symptoms of mental illness. Individual therapy is always provided by a licensed counselor who specializes in mental health.
Why Does Medication Help With Bipolar Disorder
For people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorders, the benefits of medications are often a lifesaver. Most people with bipolar know how much better they feel and function when they are taking their medicines regularly. The most common medications will include antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Also, medication for sleep or anxiety is usually helpful and included in therapy and treatment plans. Antidepressant medications are also prescribed in most cases to further treat depressive episodes in bipolar disorders.
What Are the Types of Bipolar Disorder?
All types of bipolar disorder involve episodes of depression and mania. It is important to understand that bipolar disorder requires in-depth counseling, ongoing psychiatric assessment, and emotional support. An accurate diagnosis is the first step as other serious mental illnesses can appear as bipolar and vice versa. Bipolar disorders will fall into three categories:
- Bipolar I — the most severe category of Bipolar with regular mood swings that are challenging.
- Bipolar II — a milder form of varying moods with less dramatic and fewer episodes of hypomania and depression.
- Cyclothymic Disorder — a long-term bipolar disorder that is defined by periods of manic symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years.
What Treatment Approach Do Experts Recommend?
The National Institute of Mental Health recommends that every person get an accurate diagnosis by a professional first and how that is completed. Then the patient must engage in regular in-person psychotherapy.
Mental health care providers usually diagnose the bipolar disorder based on a person’s symptoms, lifetime history, experiences, and, in some cases, family history. Accurate diagnosis in youth is particularly important. Treatment can help many people, including those with the most severe forms of bipolar disorder. An effective treatment plan usually includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy, also called “talk therapy.” (NIMH)
How to Begin Treatment For Bipolar Disorder
Therapy for Bipolar 1, Bipolar 2, and Cyclothymia can be challenging, and any of these diagnoses can only be made by a psychiatrist or psychologist. People sometimes go for years experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder without realizing it. Fortunately, mental health specialists are available to help you or a loved one become more stable and emotionally fulfilled. The steps are first to be seen by a mental health specialist and or a psychiatrist. Next, counseling as individual therapy will help the person identify problems and emotional ups and downs. The individual therapy that bipolar patients need is ongoing, and for many, their anchor on how to cope with life and bipolar. At Evoke Wellness, our facilities offer dual diagnosis treatment programs for co-occurring disorders, so contact us today for more information.