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What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes you to experience periods of extreme emotional highs, followed by periods of lows and symptoms of depression. As a result of bipolar disorder, you experience mood swings where you feel extremely happy and full of energy before your mood shifts to feelings of hopelessness or sadness.
Due to these mood swings, you may find it difficult to work, be social, or navigate life at home. You may experience mood changes on occasion or multiple times throughout the year. People with bipolar disorder experience unusual and intense shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and behavior that can significantly impact their daily lives.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
The exact cause of bipolar disorder isn’t clearly understood. You may be at increased risk for developing the condition due to physical changes in your brain or if you have a family history of the disorder. It is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and biological factors.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary in severity and duration, and may include periods of mania or hypomania, which are characterized by excessive energy, restlessness, high self-esteem, impulsive behavior, and reduced need for sleep. Depressive episodes can also occur, which may include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
In some cases, bipolar disorder symptoms may begin after a stressful or traumatic event. If you abuse drugs or alcohol, you may also be susceptible to developing bipolar disorder. If left untreated, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can worsen and cause additional complications, such as:
- Legal problems
- Financial difficulties
It may also be difficult to maintain healthy relationships with family members or friends. Other common symptoms of bipolar disorder may include difficulty concentrating, irritability, racing thoughts, rapid speech, and changes in appetite and sleep patterns. It is important to note that not everyone with bipolar disorder experiences the same symptoms, and the disorder can be challenging to diagnose due to the similarities between bipolar symptoms and those of other mental health conditions. However, with proper online treatment and support through Mind Health Group, many people with bipolar disorder can lead healthy, productive lives.
Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
While there’s no cure for bipolar disorder, Dr. Weinstein, Michigan psychiatrist and his team create a long-term treatment plan to keep your condition under control. Treatment for bipolar disorder typically involves a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. A psychiatric evaluation is the first step in determining an accurate diagnosis and creating a personalized treatment plan. This may include online mental health assessments, which can provide additional insight into a person's symptoms and help identify the best course of treatment.
Medication therapy can also be effective at minimizing the severity of your symptoms and preventing the development of depression or anxiety. Medications such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics are commonly used to manage bipolar symptoms. Dr. Weinstein, Michigan psychiatrist may suggest mood stabilizers to reduce the number of manic or depressive episodes you experience.
Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychoeducation, can help individuals develop coping skills and manage their symptoms. As bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, Dr. Weinstein works with you and your family every step of the way to ensure you have the support and resources you need. Ongoing therapy is important for controlling your symptoms and helping you enjoy a high quality of life. Even when you’re feeling better, you should continue taking medications as Dr. Weinstein prescribes and follow through with your talk therapy sessions.
Regular follow-up visits with a mental health professional are crucial for ensuring that treatment is effective and adjusting the treatment plan as needed. By combining medication, online therapy, and ongoing support, individuals with bipolar disorder can manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.