Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Bipolar disorder is a common mood disorder affecting around 2.3 million adults. Learn more about bipolar disorder treatment here.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder
There is no singular cause of bipolar disorder. However, some of the factors that may play a role in development include both genetic and environmental factors.
Bipolar disorder is also unique in the way mood swings appear. While common misconceptions lead many to believe that bipolar mood swings are rapid from minute to minute, the mood swings occur in phases that can last days, weeks, or even months. Highs and lows aren’t featured in every type of bipolar disorder, which we’ll discuss further below, but at least one type of mood is present. Mood swings and other tell-tale symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary in severity and appearance.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
The exact symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on three factors: the individual, the type of bipolar disorder, and whether it is a manic or depressive episode.
While there is no single, uniform list of symptoms that is identical for everyone, there are several common symptoms that are often experienced:
Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is diagnosed by the presence of manic and/or depressive episodes or mood swings. There are three different types of bipolar disorder, each differing in its symptoms and severity. Regardless of the type of bipolar disorder, the frequency and severity of mood swings can be made worse by several factors including:
Bipolar I is characterized by full manic episodes that are also present. While depressive episodes can occur in bipolar I, they’re more common in bipolar II.
Bipolar II is characterized by more frequent depressive episodes. Like bipolar I, they can occasionally experience mood swings more on the “high” side of the spectrum but not always. The manic stages in bipolar II are also unique, featuring symptoms that lead to them being known as hypomanic episodes.
It is a milder mood disorder, although it is still characterized by the same swings between high and low, like other types of bipolar disorder. Some of the signs and symptoms of cyclothymic disorder can include:
Bipolar Disorder and Related Mental Health Comorbidities
Because bipolar disorder can be treated with medication, discussed in further detail below, misuse or dependency can lead to addiction. However, substance abuse can also alter brain chemistry in such a way to lead to the development of bipolar disorder, especially when risk factors or other significant causes are present.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
One of the proposed causes of bipolar disorder is trauma. As a result, it is not uncommon to see PTSD and bipolar disorder occur comorbidly.
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Many bipolar symptoms, such as impulsivity, elevated energy levels, and increased irritability, can mimic the symptoms of ADHD, despite the latter not being a mood disorder. They may also occur together, which can lead to more severe symptoms.
Treatment For Bipolar Disorders
While navigating bipolar disorder can be challenging, there are treatments available that can help cultivate a better quality of life. By helping manage symptoms and treat the causes of bipolar disorder, this variety of treatments can help individuals with bipolar disorder better connect with those around them and restore the balance in their life.
Medications for Bipolar Disorder
Medication can help treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder and work to help correct any abnormalities with brain chemistry that may be a source of the disorder. Some of the medications used for a bipolar disorder treatment include:
Alternative and Future Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
As technology advances, so do the treatments available for bipolar disorder. From new homeopathic treatments to advance therapies, these are just some of the alternative and future treatments available for bipolar disorder: