Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating moods of depression and mania, usually with episodes of normal moods in between. Fluctuating mood changes can be distressing and overwhelming and can affect your daily life.
Let’s learn more about the disorder, how to cope with it, and where you can go in Virginia for world-class healthcare.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
It is normal for everyone to have ups and downs, but for some, these episodes may be more severe and could be caused by a condition called bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, known as manic depressive disorder, typically develops in the late teens and early twenties, affecting both men and women. These mood episodes, or states, may last for days or weeks, or even months.
Although the exact cause of the bipolar disorder is unknown, research suggests that a combination of factors, including brain chemistry, a family history of the condition, and environmental factors, such as intense stress, substance abuse, and lack of sleep, contribute to the disease.
If you have bipolar disorder, you’re likely to experience:
- Manic or hypomanic episodes – include a range of intense feelings, such as sudden rage and poor temper control or feelings of euphoria and extreme happiness. You may feel energetic, hyperactive, and have little need for sleep.
- Depressive episodes – include feeling extremely low, thinking a lot about death, feeling suicidal, or harming others.
- Sometimes psychotic symptoms may be experienced during manic or depressive episodes, such as grandiose delusions that you have special abilities or connections with famous people or God.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
In a majority of cases, bipolar disorder can be treated successfully with mood stabilizing medication and psychotherapy. Bipolar disorder is a recurrent condition, so lifelong medication may be necessary, even if you feel better.
Talking therapies, such as psychotherapy and family therapy, can enable you to live with and manage the condition better. Your provider may also work with you to help you identify:
- Clear emotional and social recovery goals.
- How you are feeling day-to-day
- A crisis plan so you know what to do if you experience any early warning signs/triggers or start to feel very distressed.
- A medication plan to be regularly monitored and reviewed.
Coping with Bipolar Disorder
There are lots of things you can do to help manage your symptoms and improve your wellbeing:
Get to know your moods. By monitoring your moods over time, you can recognize if there are any patterns or triggers, which can help manage the condition better.
Understand what can trigger changes in your mood. These vary from person to person but may include:
- Feeling busy or overwhelmed
- Going through stressful periods
- Having too much social contact
- Lack of sleep
- A significant life event, such as getting married, becoming a parent, or losing a loved one
- Periods of change or uncertainty
- Changes/problems with your treatment program
- Other physical/mental health concerns
Learn your warning signs. You may start to notice a pattern before you have an episode, such as changes to your sleep pattern, eating pattern/appetite, or behavior. Being aware of your mood change can help you find suitable support systems in place and focus on looking after yourself.
Stick to a routine. This may include eating meals and going to bed at a regular time each day, incorporating relaxation, mindfulness, hobbies, and other activities into your day, and taking medications on time.
Build a support network around you, such as close friends, family, or others you trust and can talk to. They can help you by listening to you and offering you the support you need.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment near me in Danville, Martinsville, and Richmond, Virginia
If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, contact the experienced and compassionate providers at EPIC Health Partners LLC. We are a community-based behavioral health facility providing clinic-based and community-based mental and behavioral health assessments and services and telepsychiatry services to both adults and children.
Our highly-qualified providers treat a wide range of mental health issues, including bipolar disorder. We can assess your personal needs and provide you with treatment designed to help you lead a productive and rewarding life.
To find out more about our behavioral or mental health services, contact EPIC Health Partners today at (434) 835-4601. Alternatively, you can use our convenient and secure Request an Appointment online form.