The past few months have bizarre for Chelsea. She has barely felt like herself. She has always wrestled with feeling down at times, but a few months ago, she could barely get out of bed. Chelsea just wanted to sleep all the time. She had no interest in food or taking care of herself or going into work. Chelsea thought a lot about what death is like. But one day, Chelsea woke up a different person—a completely different person. Instead of sleeping all the time, Chelsea never slept. She got a job at an antique shop downtown, and is doing great there. A few weeks in, Chelsea was the shop’s top sales associate. She is meeting new people and going out all the time. Her paycheck has been steady since she started working at the antique shop, but her family and friends are worried. Chelsea spends everything she earns—and more. She is partying all night or shopping to her heart’s content. And Chelsea’s heart is content. She seems oblivious to how irresponsible her behavior is.
Chelsea may feel good, but her loved ones do not. They are concerned. These dramatic moods do not feel like Chelsea, and they do not seem healthy. Chelsea’s loved ones are worried something may be happening to her—that she may have Bipolar Depression.
“In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). 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.
They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking
Hearing the words, “Bipolar Disorder” can feel scary, and so is the behavior that this mental illness can induce. About six million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of Bipolar Depression, and more and more are reaching out for the help they need. Effective treatments are available.
Thriveworks Conway offers therapy for Bipolar Depression because our staff knows that this illness can be fought, and we have fought with many clients. We know what it takes to give our clients the social, psychological, emotional, and physical guidance they need to treat their Bipolar diagnosis.
Bipolar Disorder: Mania and Depression
At times, people will popularly refer to Bipolar Disorder as manic depression. In many ways, this name fits because mania and depression are the two poles of any Bipolar diagnosis. Understanding Bipolar means understanding them. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) gives a description of each.
In movies and TV shows, mania is usually depicted at being high on happiness and energy. While there is a kernel of truth in this image, the reality is that mania is not a pleasant experience. It poses a risk to an individual’s well-being. Furthermore, mania can be either felt as elation or as irritation/anger. The DSM-5 gives more details:
- Mania is a frenetic mood that be either happy or irritated. It lasts for a minimum of one week.
- When the mood is happy, three of the following should be experienced. If the mood is angered, then four should be experienced:
- Racing emotions and thoughts.
- Little sleep but high energy.
- Struggles with focusing one’s attention.
- Extreme planning toward a goal.
- An inaccurate and over-extended self-image.
- Taking risks and potentially harming oneself or others with irresponsible choices.
- These behaviors cannot be the result of a medication or drug.
- These behaviors must have one of the following result to be considered mania:
- Inhibited daily functioning.
The flip side of mania is depression. Bipolar Disorders swing people between the two, and both must be present in order for Bipolar to be diagnosed. The DSM-5 gives the following description for the depression phase: A weepy, sad, or numb state of mind that is experienced for the majority of the day for a continuous two-week period. In addition, individuals will feel severe apathy with a minimum of three of these symptoms:
- Changes in psychomotor skills (either an increase such as rapid finger tapping or a decrease such as slowed speech).
- Captivated thoughts of suicide or death.
- Lagging endurance and energy.
- Disturbed sleeping patterns—either hypersomnia or insomnia.
- Changes in appetite or weight.
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and/or shame.
- The inability to focus or make decisions.
Within the general criteria of Bipolar Disorder, there are subcategories for diagnosis, and working with a clinician to find your particular diagnosis is utterly important. The right diagnosis can often lead to the right treatment as each subcategory of Bipolar has a particular way the illness functions.
Treatment Plans for Bipolar with Thriveworks Conway
If you are ready to meet with a therapist about your Bipolar diagnosis or if you suspect you may have a form of Bipolar, then know that Thriveworks Conway has appointments available. Our staff has extensive training and experience with treating Bipolar in its various forms. We also work with most insurance companies. Our desire is that scheduling therapy is as easy as possible so that you can focus on healing.
Let’s work together for treatment. Contact Thriveworks Conway today.