Heather had a rough month after her boyfriend broke up with her. He said she was being reckless and maybe she was. But the past few weeks have been different. Heather has barely eaten or left the house. She cries most of the day. In fact, she had to quit her job at the boutique where she worked. Just six weeks ago, Heather felt the exact opposite as she feels now. She was unstoppable. Heather loved her full-time job at the boutique, and she had the top sales numbers. In many ways, she was unstoppable. Her energy was contagious. Heather had so much energy, she started partying most night. A few times a week, she would not even sleep.
Heather’s friends and family members are worried. The drastic shift in her mood and behavior does not seem healthy, and they think something more serious is happening. They are concerned that Heather may have Bipolar Depression.
The symptoms of Bipolar can confound and scare those suffering from it as well as their friends and family. It is a serious mental illness, and it affects almost 6 million people in the United States. At the same time, mental health professionals are learning more and more about how to effectively treat Bipolar Depression. Many people are living life on their terms instead being at the mercy of their diagnosis.
Are you looking for Prince William Counseling for bipolar disorder? Thriveworks Manassas understands how disruptive Bipolar Depression can be in an individual’s life, and we understand what it takes to find the social, psychological, physical, and emotional support that our clients need.
Symptoms for Bipolar Depression
At times, people were call Bipolar Depression, “manic depression.” Although Bipolar is the clinic term, manic depression is helpful because it names the two extremes the illness causes people to cycle between: depression and mania. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) gives criteria for recognizing both cycles, and both must be present for a diagnosis of Bipolar Depression.
The DSM-5 describes the depression cycle as a persistent weepy, empty, or sad mood that is accompanied by a disinterest in and unconcern for daily life. This mood must persist for at least two weeks and be accompanied by a minimum of three of the following signs:
- A substantial shift in eating habits—either a decrease or increase in weight or appetite.
- Rapid or slowed psychomotor activity (e.g., nervously tapping one’s fingers or, if slowed, slurred speech).
- Disrupted rest patterns—sleeping all the time or experiencing insomnia.
- Feeling severely negative emotions like worthlessness, shame, and guilt.
- Unfocused concentration and indecisiveness.
- Plaguing thoughts of death and/or suicide idealization.
- Diminished energy and stamina.
The depression symptoms are but one cycle of Bipolar Depression. People who fight Bipolar also have to fight the other cycle: mania. The stereotype of mania is raving euphoria. While some people may experience that, others experience mania as frenetic irritation. The DSM-5 outlines in detail what a manic episode may entail:
- A frenetic, heightened mood that is either jubilant or irritable. The mood must last at least one week to be considered mania.
- When the mood is irritability, four of the following symptoms must be displayed. When the mood is jubilant, then three must be displayed:
- High energy despite little sleep.
- Increased loquaciousness.
- Racing emotions and thoughts that will not rest.
- Unfocused attention.
- Obsessively planning for a particular goal.
- Taking unnecessary risks and engaging in potentially dangerous behavior.
- To be considered mania, these signs must have one of three results:
- Severely disrupting a person’s everyday functioning.
- Requiring hospitalization to treat or prevent harm.
- Induce an episode of psychosis.
- The symptoms cannot be attributable to the effects of drug use or a medication.
Bipolar Depression is not a singular diagnosis, but there are subcategories that can give people more information about what they are experiencing. Having the right diagnosis is important because it may lead to the right treatment plan. Often, the first step toward healing is working closely with a mental health professional who is licensed and able to make a proper diagnosis as well as form a tailored treatment plan.
Managing Bipolar Depression
Working with a therapist will be key. It is vital to follow the treatment plan that your therapist outlines. Many people have also found the following helpful as they manage their Bipolar:
- Get moving: You do not have to follow a professional athlete’s training schedule for physical movement to be helpful. Find something that you enjoy: cycling, yoga, walking, basketball, and more. Living an active lifestyle will, particularly during a depression cycle.
- Learn about your particular diagnosis: The information in this article is a starting point, but once you have a diagnosis, learn about what you might experience as you fight your version of Bipolar. Your therapist can probably point you toward trusted resources.
- Cultivate a support system: Everyone needs help, and there are support groups available. Consider joining a Bipolar support group, either online or in-person where you can empathize with others who are fighting a similar battle.
Scheduling an Appointment for Bipolar Depression at Thriveworks Manassas in Prince William
If you are looking for a trusted and experienced Prince William Counselor to help you treat your Bipolar, then Thriveworks Manassas is ready to help. We have appointments available for Bipolar Depression. When you contact our office, know that we accept most forms of insurance. Many new clients also have their first appointment within 24 hours of contacting us.
Let’s work together to find a treatment plan that works for you. Call Thriveworks Manassas today.