Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition in which you go through extreme shifts in your mood. The cyclical swings from mania, where you go into mental and physical overdrive, to depression, where you struggle just to get up or get dressed, can be difficult to deal with on your own.
There are three types of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar 1 disorder is the severest form of the condition. Manic episodes might last for a week or more, during which time you feel energized and ready to take on the world. Signs that you're in a manic phase include:
With bipolar 1 disorder, these changes are often so severe they disrupt your work, studies, and family life. You might spend extravagantly, rack up gambling debts, or drive recklessly during your manic phase. Substance abuse is also more likely to occur.
Mania inevitably switches to profound depression that can last for months.
Bipolar 2 disorder is similar in most ways to bipolar 1, but it is less severe. You might find that you have periods of relative normality between the shifts from mania to depression and back again. However, bipolar 2 depression can be overwhelming.
People with cyclothymic disorder experience less severe symptoms and frequent, relatively regular mood swings.
Genetics could well play a part in your risk of developing bipolar disorder. Around 90% of people who have the condition also have a relative with bipolar or depression.
Your chances of having bipolar disorder increase if you're under extreme stress, experience poor quality sleep, use substances like illegal drugs, or drink a lot of alcohol.
Bipolar typically starts causing noticeable mood swings before you reach 18 but can develop in older people, too.
Each person who visits CyFair Psychiatry receives a treatment plan individualized to their needs. Your plan might include prescription mood stabilizers like lithium, antidepressants, or anticonvulsant medications.
Psychotherapy is also vital when treating bipolar disorder. Talking about your feelings and the problems you experience helps you better manage your condition.
The team also uses innovative therapies like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for people who aren't responding to other treatments for bipolar disorder.
If you're finding it hard to manage extreme mood swings, or your current bipolar disorder treatment isn't working very well, call CyFair Psychiatry today or book an appointment online.