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Mental Health Treatment California

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar affects more than 8 million Americans yearly. Therefore, bipolar disorder is a fairly common mental disorder.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes huge fluctuations in the moods and behavior of a person. The areas affected include their sleeping pattern, energy levels, and emotional disposition.

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. This name signifies high-level energy, excitement, or happiness. Hypomanic is also a mild version of manic disorder

The lows are referred to as depressive periods.

Both males and females have an equal chance of suffering from bipolar disorder.

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT
Review Date: 3/1/2023

What is a Bipolar Person Like?

Someone suffering from bipolar disorder will struggle with their mood and energy levels. This will make daily activities difficult.

While this is true, the impact of bipolar disorder varies. Some people might be less impacted and have a normal life.

What Age Groups Are More Vulnerable to Bipolar Disorder?

Teenagers are more likely to have bipolar than any other age group. However, people between the ages of 12 and 24 have the highest risk.

Bipolar disorder is also linked with major depressive disorder (MDD). Thus, people who suffer from MDD might develop bipolar disorder in their later years.

What are the Types of Bipolar Disorder?

There are three recognized types of bipolar disorder. They are

Bipolar I

This refers to the occurrence of one manic episode or several hypomanic episodes. Some persons might also experience depressive episodes.

Bipolar II

People with bipolar II suffer from hypomanic episodes that last for at least 4 days. They will also have a prolonged major depressive episode.

This might last for more than 2 weeks.


People with cyclothymia will have depressive and hypomania episodes. However, these episodes will be mild with a shorter duration than the other types of bipolar disorder.

To learn more about the type of bipolar disorder you or your loved one might be facing, contact your doctor.

What are the Causes of Biopolar Disorder?

There is no precise cause of bipolar. However, some factors can contribute to its development.

Here are some of those factors

Environment StressorsTraumatic events, disappointing situations, and the loss of a loved one can cause bipolar. However, this usually happens when the person is already vulnerable to bipolar or depression.

Genetics – Family history and genetics can cause bipolar disorder. People that have close family members that suffer from this disorder are at risk.

What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder comes with high and low periods. Both periods are extreme and have their symptoms.

Symptoms (High Energy and Mood)
  • Scatter-brained speech
  • Restlessness/agitation
  • Drug and substance abuse
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Big bursts of energy
  • Extremely high libido
  • Reckless and impulsiveness
  • Overly confident and brave
Symptoms (Low Energy and Mood)
  • Feeling hopeless/low self-confidence
  • Low energy levels
  • Prolonged sadness
  • Slow and labored speech
  • Excessive crying
  • Non-existent sex drive
  • Oversleeping
  • Easily irritated
  • Self-harm
  • Not interested in socializing

While some people might have some of these symptoms, the defining factor for bipolar depression is the abrupt change in mood and behavior.

How is Bipolar Diagnosed?

People usually think there’s only a problem when they are sad or depressed. This can make it harder to diagnose bipolar.

The doctor will run some tests to rule other physical conditions out. Family history and physical examination might also be requested.

The final diagnosis for bipolar disorder will follow the guidelines outlined in DSM-5

If you see signs of self-harm, seek medical help immediately.

Bipolar and Self-Harm

It is easy for people suffering from bipolar disorder to contemplate self-harm or suicide. Here are some signs that self-harm might be around the corner.

  • Consistently talking about suicide or self-harm
  • Prolonged isolation
  • Prolonged depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Consistent feelings of worthlessness
  • Selling of possessions
  • Taking extremely reckless risks

If you see signs of self-harm, seek medical help immediately.

Can Bipolar Disorder Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent bipolar disorder is by seeking help immediately if you notice a mental health issue.

Other preventive measures include

  • Abstaining from drug and substance abuse
  • Taking all necessary medication
  • Treating early warnings with urgency

While these tips might help, there is no exact way of preventing bipolar disorder.

What are Some of the Likely Treatments for Bipolar?

Natural Remedies for Bipolar Disorder

Making some lifestyle changes can ease some of the symptoms of this disorder. These changes include

  • Having a healthier diet
  • Getting enough exercise
  • Getting enough sleep. Creating and sticking to a sleeping pattern can be very useful.
  • Omega-3 supplements
Medical Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Medical treatment involves at least three different forms of treatment. This includes


It’s normal for prescribed drugs to be part of the treatment. Some of these drugs include

  • Antidepressants
  • Lithium or other mood stabilizers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Sedatives
  • Anticonvulsants

The goal of these medications is to relieve the patient’s symptoms. It is not a cure for bipolar disorder.

Other forms of treatment include

  • Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Social rhythm therapy
  • acupuncture

Is Bipolar Disorder Curable?

Bipolar disorder is lifelong. While symptoms will remain, affected persons can still live a relatively normal life with enough care.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you have any symptoms of bipolar disorder, contact your doctor immediately. Treating symptoms immediately gives the best results.

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