Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person’s energy level, mood and ability to think clearly. It’s much more than just the period of highs and lows someone may experience on a routine basis.
Most people who have bipolar disorder go through manic (elated, energized or irritable), hypomanic (generally less severe) or major depressive episodes.
The three most common forms of bipolar disorder, as described by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), are:
- Bipolar I disorder: Manic episodes that last for at least seven days or manic symptoms that require a person to immediately enter hospital care
- Bipolar II disorder: Depressive and hypomanic episodes, but not full-blown manic episodes
- Cyclothymic disorder: Periods of hypomanic symptoms and depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years
Bipolar disorder can greatly disrupt a person’s chances of living a healthy, functional life. But treatment is available, and it can help. At Sierra at Scottsdale Outpatient Care, we provide evidence-based outpatient bipolar disorder treatment for adults age 18 and older.
Signs & Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
If you have bipolar disorder, you experience more than just intense emotional swings. You may also notice a significant ebb and flow in your sleep patterns and activity levels.
To best understand the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, we must separate those that occur with manic or hypomanic episodes from those that are linked to major depressive episodes.
Common symptoms of manic and hypomanic episodes include:
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid patterns of speech
- Excessive energy levels
- Feelings of invincibility
- Greater levels of self-esteem
- Elevated confidence
- Bouncing around to different topics during simple conversations
- Proclivity for taking reckless action without regard for consequences
Common symptoms of major depressive episodes include:
- Excessive need for sleep
- Shifts in appetite
- Extreme levels of sadness
- Emotionally distancing from loved ones
- Rapid weight gain or weight loss
- Difficulty staying focused
- Trouble finishing routine tasks
- Subdued mood
If you’re exhibiting any of these bipolar disorder signs and symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help. At Sierra at Scottsdale Outpatient Care, we will provide a comprehensive assessment that can help determine if our outpatient treatment place is right for you.
Bipolar Disorder Causes & Risk Factors
There is no single cause of bipolar disorder. But as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) describes, common bipolar disorder causes and risk factors include:
- Experiencing periods of heightened stress or a traumatic event
- Family history of schizophrenia or other mental illnesses
- Having an adult relative who also has bipolar disorder
- Being divorced or widowed
- Living in a higher-income country
Effects of Bipolar Disorder
The longer you go without receiving proper professional bipolar disorder treatment, the greater the risk for negative outcomes.
If left untreated, potential bipolar disorder effects include:
- Financial troubles
- Chronic unemployment
- Onset or worsening of other mental health concerns
- Suicidal ideation
- Substance use and addiction
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
Bipolar disorder affects men and women almost equally, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
The following are some other statistics to help understand who bipolar disorder tends to affect and how, according to NAMI and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
- About 4.4% of American adults will suffer from bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.
- An estimated 2.8% of U.S. adults have had bipolar disorder within the past year, with 83% of those cases classified as severe.
- The median age of onset for bipolar disorder is 25, though it can present itself anytime from early childhood to as late as 40s or 50s.
- Approximately two-thirds of people who have bipolar disorder have at least one close relative who has bipolar disorder or depression.
Therapies Used in Bipolar Disorder Treatment
When you choose to receive treatment at Sierra at Scottsdale Outpatient Care, you’ll benefit from a personalized bipolar disorder treatment plan that highlights your strengths and accounts for the areas where you’re struggling in order to produce the best possible outcomes.
Once you’re admitted to our outpatient treatment place, you’ll begin a series of programs that include an array of therapeutic interventions. Your bipolar disorder treatment plan may include:
- Medication management services
- Basic medical care
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Experiential therapy
Our staff also uses a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities that can help you better understand your symptoms and make the changes necessary to improve your health. These include:
- Internal family systems
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Trauma-focused CBT
- Motivational interviewing
Benefits of Bipolar Disorder Treatment
There are many benefits to receiving bipolar disorder treatment. One of the biggest is coming to the understanding that you’re not alone in your diagnosis.
Bipolar disorder gives many people a feeling of extreme isolation. At our bipolar disorder treatment center, you’ll engage in programming with other clients who are experiencing similar struggles. You will be able to learn from each other, celebrating your progress and shaking off any setbacks as you work to achieve better health.
You will also benefit from working with a staff of compassionate professionals. These dedicated experts understand the field of behavioral health and are equipped with the skills to help you make significant strides on the road to recovery.
Choosing the Right Bipolar Disorder Treatment Center
There is no time to waste when you’re choosing a bipolar disorder treatment center, and perhaps the most important aspect of this search is finding a place that emphasizes personalized care.
At Sierra at Scottsdale, we understand that a one-size-fits-all approach to bipolar disorder treatment deprives people of focusing on their unique circumstances. We’ll work to understand your specific needs, helping you address the pain of your past and allowing you to see the hope that lies on the horizon.
Once treatment is complete, you’ll receive a detailed discharge plan. This document may include access to support groups, community resources, step-down services and other ongoing care initiatives.
Your progress with us is just the first step. We want to set you up to thrive in the years to come.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Sierra at Scottsdale Outpatient Care.