Bipolar disorder affects almost six million people in the United States. Each form of bipolar involves cycling between two states of mind—depression and mania. A key to managing bipolar disorder is to work with a therapist who has experience with this mental illness because there are effective treatments for it. Many people who receive a bipolar diagnosis are able to manage the unnatural mood swings and live successful, fulfilling lives.
Thriveworks in Johnson City, TN has counselors and therapists with extensive experience helping people fight their bipolar bisorder. We understand the psychological, social, physical, and emotional challenges that bipolar brings into an individual’s life, and we also understand how to overcome these. Our hope is that our clients find the treatment they need for their bipolar so that they can live their lives.
Defining Mania and Depression
When someone has bipolar Depression, their behavior and state of mind can confuse and bewilder their loved ones and even themselves. Understanding how the illness functions is often a key to healing. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) describes in details each cycle of bipolar—mania and depression.
“Depression is a painfully slow, crashing death.
Mania is the other extreme, a wild roller coaster run off its tracks.”
― David Lovelace, Scattershot: My Bipolar Family
When people who have bipolar are swung into the depression phase, then they will feel intense weepiness, numbness, and/or sadness for the majority of each day and for a continuous two-week period. Additionally, a severe apathy toward daily activities will be experienced along with at least three of the following signs:
- Thoughts of suicide and/or death.
- Dark emotions such as guilt, shame, and/or worthlessness.
- Drained energy and endurance.
- Changes in one’s psychomotor activity (e.g., slowed speech or rapid toe-tapping).
- Fluctuations in weight and/or appetite.
- Challenges with making decisions or focusing.
- Hypersomnia or insomnia.
If depression is the low point on the bipolar rollercoaster, then mania is the high point. Mania is often stereotyped as a happy high, and many people experience it as such. However, mania can also be a frenetic irritation. Whether mania is euphoria or irritation, it is often a scary, harmful phase. The DSM-5 describes in more detail:
- Mania is an escalated state of mind that could include elation or contentiousness. This frenetic state must last for a minimum of one week.
- With this escalation, at least three of the following symptoms will be present with elation and four will be present when contentiousness is experienced:
- Talking more than normal.
- Planning excessively and obsessively for a goal.
- Taking risks and putting oneself in potentially dangerous situations financially, physically, and/or sexually.
- Thoughts and feelings that constantly race.
- Little sleep but high energy.
- Quickly jumping between tasks with constant movement.
- A distorted and over-exaggerated self-image.
- These moods and behaviors will lead to at least one of the following result to be considered mania:
- Hospitalization to prevent potential harm or to treat caused injuries.
- An episode of psychosis, hallucination, or delusion.
- Disturbances in one’s ability to function in daily life.
- Further, these diagnostics cannot be caused by the physiological effects of a medication or drug.
Bipolar disorder is a broad diagnosis with many sub-categories of the illness. One example is bipolar II. When people experience bipolar II, they may experience a more intense swing to depression. Then, they swing back to hypomania instead of full mania. It is critical that people who have or think they may have a form of bipolar disorder to work closely with a therapist who can make a proper diagnosis.
Scheduling Therapy at Thriveworks Johnson City for Bipolar disorder
While reading through these descriptions of depression and mania, did you recognize any of the symptoms in your own life? If so, you are not alone. These extreme shifts in mood and state of mind can feel overwhelming and disorienting. Know that effective treatments exist. The therapists at Thriveworks Johnson City are ready to help.
When you contact our office, know that evening and weekend appointments are available. You may have your first appointment within 24 hours of your call to make an appointment, but we do not keep a waitlist. We also accept most insurance plans, so call Thriveworks in Johnson City, TN today.