Bipolar Disorder is the name given to describe extreme mood swings from the lows known as “depression” to the highs known as “mania”, or “hypomania”, which is a less severe form of mania. Bipolar Disorder could be viewed as a spectrum as each person’s presentation can be quite unique but the common theme is that the person’s mood will swing from depression to mania. The time periods between mood swings can vary widely, and the intensity of the mood can also vary widely. Some people can also experience highs and lows almost simultaneously which can lead to a mixed picture.
There are now two type of Bipolar Disorder recognized as Bipolar I and Bipolar II.
Sometimes people experience psychosis (loss of touch with reality) as part of Bipolar Disorder, and this is the more severe end of the spectrum (Bipolar I).
The causes of Bipolar Disorder are still unknown but there appears to be a biological difference in the brain between a person who suffers Bipolar Disorder compared to a person who does not experience this disorder.
Bipolar Disorder can lead to extreme dysfunction in a person’s life including work life, social life, and relationships. When a person is manic or hypomanic they often make poor choices which could be based on impulse or grandiose thinking, which can lead to life problems. The depressive phase of Bipolar Disorder also leads to dysfunction.
Around 50% of the time a sufferer of Bipolar Disorder will be in a “normal” mood state, but their moods can change quite quickly to the manic or depressed phase.
Bipolar Disorder is now referred to a disorder of young people with onset usually in the teens or early 20’s, but late adult onset can also occur. Due to the tricky nature of this diagnosis, many people are inaccurately diagnosed with depression as this is the state that they usually present in. Sufferers often comment that they actually enjoy the “highs” of Bipolar Disorder, but unfortunately it is the highs that often precede the lows, so it is important to learn to regulate them.
To identify a depressive experience, refer to the section on depression.
The other extreme of Bipolar Disorder is the highs known as mania or hypomania.
The symptoms of mania are:
Here at Go Psychology you will receive cutting edge evidence based treatment for Bipolar Disorder at a very affordable price.
The main treatment approach for Bipolar Disorder is a therapy known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). A well-being plan is also commonly developed to manage the highs and lows associated with Bipolar Disorder. It is extremely important to understand your unique Bipolar Disorder highs and lows in order to manage it, as there is no known cure.
Most people are well on their way to gaining the knowledge and skills to assist them to manage Bipolar Disorder within the 10 sessions that are permitted under Medicare each calendar year.
Psychological treatment is totally natural and non-harmful in any way. You will learn about your condition, and learn natural ways to manage the highs and lows that you are facing with Bipolar Disorder. Psychological treatment is often combined with medications to treat Bipolar Disorder.
The vast majority of sufferers of Bipolar Disorder, with the right treatment for them, go on to live normal and productive lives, many who perform extremely well in life due to the creative side that often coincides with this disorder.