Megan has had an unusual year. At times, she has scared herself with her own behavior which did not feel at all like herself. Here’s what happened. A few months ago, Megan was feeling as good as she has ever felt. She did not have a care in the world. She was doing great at her job. After work, Megan had an unstoppable social life. Megan shopped and partied and did what she wanted. Her friends were even concerned about some of the risks Megan was taking because her behavior seemed to have escalated rapidly. However, now they are concerned for a different reason. A few weeks ago, it is like Megan became a different person. Now, she barely leaves her house. She cries all the time. Megan has scaled back to part-time work, and even that has been difficult for her to maintain because she cannot concentrate. Neither of these moods felt like Megan, and neither felt healthy. Her loved ones are beginning to wonder if Megan has Bipolar Depression.
Because of her drastic swings in her state of mind—from mania to depression—Megan may be one of the almost six million people who have been diagnosed with a form of Bipolar Disorder. This mental illness often leaves people and their loved ones feeling confused and scared by the bizarre behavior. But many people are able to manage their Bipolar Disorder because effective treatments are available.
“My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution,
not a sudden miracle.”
– Patty Duke
Bipolar Disorder is not an easy diagnosis to hear, and many people are reaching out for the support they need from a mental health professional. Recovery may be an evolution, but it is possible. And no one has to recover alone.
The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Bristol have helped many people who have Bipolar Disorder find the emotional, psychological, physical, and social support they need for recovery. These clients are living their lives and experiencing happiness and fulfillment.
Bipolar Disorder: What Are Mania and Depression?
Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that involves two phases: mania and depression. In fact, manic depression is a more common name people may use to reference Bipolar. Mania and depression are two opposite states of mind that the illness cycles people through. There are different ways that mania and depression can show themselves within an individual, and there are various subcategories of Bipolar that can be diagnosed. Working with a mental health professional to find a specific diagnosis is often a critical part of the treatment process.
Nonetheless, having a general understanding of what mania and depression could look like within an individual is often helpful. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) gives a detailed definition of Bipolar Disorder, in particular, what both depression and mania look like.
During a depressed state of mind, people will feel empty, weepy, and/or sad for the majority of a day and this mood will persist for a minimum of two weeks. Additionally, individuals will experience a marked apathy and/or indifference toward daily activities as well as three (at least) of these symptoms:
- Feelings of shame, guilt, and/or worthlessness.
- Shifts in eating habits, appetite, and weight—either up or down.
- Challenges with focused attention and decision making.
- Constantly thinking about suicide and/or death.
- Hypersomnia or insomnia—sleeping too much or difficulty sleeping.
- Rapid or slowed psychomotor activity (e.g., heightened speech or slurred speech).
- A drop in stamina and energy.
Bipolar will swing an individual from depression into mania. Many people may think of mania as a euphoric high, and truly, some experience mania as such. However, real mania can also be experienced as irritation. The DSM-5 gives more detail:
- Mania is a heightened state of mind that lasts for a minimum of one week and that may include irritability or happiness.
- When mania manifests as irritation, then four of the following will be presented. When it manifests as euphoria, then three will be presented:
- An inability to focus.
- Excessive energy fueled by little sleep.
- Escalated and racing thoughts.
- Increased focus upon goals and planning for them.
- A distorted self-image—self-aggrandizement.
- Behavior that is dangerous and/or risky.
- True mania results one or more of these scenarios:
- Delusions, hallucinations, and/or psychosis.
- A hospital visit to prevent or to treat harm.
- The inability to carry out daily functioning.
- These symptoms cannot be the physiological effects of a medication or drug.
Appointments for Bipolar Depression with Thriveworks Bristol Therapists
Did you resonate with any of the descriptions of mania or depression? If so, you may be one of the almost six million people in the United States who are fighting Bipolar. If you have been diagnosed with Bipolar or if you think you may have it, know that the therapists at Thriveworks are taking clients with Bipolar. Our professionals have experience and training to help their clients, but more importantly, they caring and supportive.
When you contact our office, we want to support you from the moment you dial our number. A Thriveworks scheduling specialist will answer your call and help schedule an appointment—oftentimes, a new client’s first appointment is within 24 hours of their first call. We also accept most insurance plans, but we do not keep a waitlist. Instead, we offer evening and weekend sessions.
Contact Thriveworks Bristol today. We are ready to help.