Bipolar disorder is a mental health issue characterized by periods of mania and depression. Bipolar disorder can go somewhat dormant for long periods. If untreated, thoughts and behaviors can become psychotic or delusional and disrupt interpersonal relationships, employment, and daily activities.
Bipolar Disorder and The Brain
Bipolar disorder typically begins in the late teens to about age 25 and stems from:
- Heredity (it runs in families)
- Brain chemistry (changes in neurotransmitters in the brain)
- Life conditions or triggers, including stress, too much sleep, and family dynamics
Bipolar Disorder and Episodic Behaviors
While behaviors associated with mania or depression in the bipolar person vary, there are commonalities that mental health care professionals identify as they help treat their patients. Bipolar behaviors include:
- Loud talking and one-sided conversation which is difficult for others to interrupt
- Spending sprees
- Starting (and stopping) multiple and complex projects at home and on the job
- High-risk behaviors, such as alcohol abuse, fast driving, and multiple sex partners
- Being excessively tactile and affectionate (touching and hugging friends and relatives)
- Giving away large amounts of money or possessions
- Thinking of one’s self, actions, and goals in grandiose, exaggerated ways (“I am powerful and super smart.”)
- Extreme reclusiveness and isolation
- Lack of quality sleep or excessive sleeping
- Inability to face new challenges, such as a move to a new home or a job change
- Poor motivation to do routine tasks
- Crying excessively
- Eating too much or too little
- Moving very slowly and exhibiting little energy
- Carelessness in actions or attitudes
- Non-responsive to social contact via phone calls, texts, and emails
Sadly, some people experience mixed episodes of mania and depression. These episodes seem to be the most difficult for patients to deal with.
Coping With Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
Treatment of the bipolar disorder is highly individualized, with most people responding best to a combination of medications, professional therapy, recognition of triggers, and support from friends and family. Regular routines of medication, work, meals, sleep, and recreation help most individuals control the symptoms and keep their lives on track.
Real Help for Bipolar Disorder Symptoms in Richmond, VA
Bipolar disorder is more common than you may think: it affects almost six million American Adults, say experts at Cleveland Clinic. However, rest assured that you are not alone in coping with this mental health issue.
If you or a loved one have bipolar disorder, please reach out to Epic Health Partners in Richmond, Danville, or Martinsville, VA. We are a holistic behavioral health practice with an emphasis on living well with mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (835) 434-4601, or request an appointment here.
If you or a loved one are entertaining thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please be realized that this is a true medical emergency. Immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255), or text HOME to 741-741. Caring professionals will provide real help and hope to meet your immediate mental health needs.