Monica has had some strange experiences the past six months or so. After her boyfriend broke off their relationship, Monica could barely leave the house for weeks. She cried most of the day, but she could not bring herself to eat or sleep much. Then, one day, it was like Monica was a different person. She would go and go and go. A friend helped her get a part-time job, and within a week, Monica had worked her way up to a full-time position. She was making friends, going out every night, and barely sleeping—but not because she was sad, because she could not stop her mind from racing and planning and going.
Even though she is doing better, Monica’s friends and family members are worried about her. Even Monica mentioned that she does not feel like herself. They are beginning to wonder if these big shifts in Monica’s mood are healthy and if maybe they could be the signs of Bipolar Depression.
“At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of.”
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking
A serious diagnosis like Bipolar Disorder can feel overwhelming and scary. It is important to recognize that the mental health community is learning more about Bipolar and its treatment all the time. There are approximately six million people in the United States who have a form of Bipolar, and many are receiving the treatment and support they need. They are managing their illness and living happy, fulfilled lives.
The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Chesterfield offer counseling for Bipolar Depression, and we are worked with many clients, helping them find the emotional, psychological, physical, and social support they need.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Sometimes, Bipolar Disorder is called manic depression because those are the two phases of the illness: mania and depression. This mental illness swings people’s mood between these two extremes. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) details each phase.
Mania is sometimes stereotyped as constant happiness and energy. Some people do experience this, but other experienced mania’s heightened mood as anger or irritation. The DSM-5 describes mania as follows:
- Mania last for a minimum of one week, during which individuals experience a frenetic state of mind that is either euphoric or irritable.
- If the mood is euphoric, then at least three of the following must be present. If the mood is irritable, then four will be present:
- Thoughts and emotions that will not slow.
- Requiring little rest to maintain the high energy throughout the day and night.
- Difficulty with holding attention and focus.
- Increasing loquaciousness, particularly compared to an individual’s normal talking habits.
- Planning excessively and obsessively for a personal or professional goal.
- A grandiose self-image and over-exaggerated self-esteem.
- Risky and harmful behavior in one’s professional, personal, financial, and/or sexual life.
- A drug or medication regimen cannot be the cause of these behavior for the mania.
- The result of these manic behavior will include one of the following:
- Hospitalization to prevent or treat harm caused.
- An inability to function in normal, daily life.
- Psychosis or delusions.
As if handling mania were not sufficiently difficult, Bipolar Disorder swings individuals from mania to depression. The DSM-5 describes the depression cycle of Bipolar as a sad, weepy, and/or empty mood that lasts for the majority of the day for a continuous two weeks. In addition, people will experience apathy toward daily activities and three of the following symptoms:
- Obsessive thinking about suicide or death.
- Disruptions in sleep patterns—either an inability to sleep or the desire to sleep all the time.
- Lagging energy and endurance.
- Fluctuations in one’s weight and/or appetite—possibly eating all the time or complete disinterest in food.
- Indecisiveness and lack of focus.
- Intense and even irrational negative feelings such as shame, worthlessness, and guilt.
- An increase or decrease in psychomotor activity such as slowed speaking or a rapid toe tapping.
Bipolar Disorder has a number of subcategories that can provide a more accurate diagnosis. For example, people with Bipolar II experience hypomania, a lessened form of mania, but they often go through more intense depression cycles. Working with a mental health provide is of utmost importance in diagnosing and forming a treatment plan for any form of Bipolar.
Therapy for Bipolar with Thriveworks Chesterfield
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Bipolar, you are not alone. If you suspect you may have a form of Bipolar, help is available. Thriveworks Chesterfield has therapists who have extensive experiencing working with clients who are facing this illness.
When you contact our office, we have done our best to make scheduling therapy as easy as possible. We offer evening and weekend appointments. New clients often have their first appointment within 24 hours of their first call. We do not keep a waitlist, but we do accept most forms of insurance.
Let’s work together. Contact Thriveworks Chesterfield today.