Justin started a new job about three months ago. About that time, Justin felt this overwhelming energy. In many ways, it was fantastic. Justin oversees the online sales for an antique shop, and he tripled the shop’s eBay sales in just a month. He worked hard—24/7 actually, and Justin was making more money than he had ever made in his life. In other ways, this energy was not fantastic. When he was not working, Justin was partying or spending his hard-earned money, much faster than the paychecks were coming in. He was doing well professionally, but personally, he was making irrational choices. Justin assumed that he could keep this pace forever, but he can’t. About two weeks ago, things changed drastically for him. Justin’s frenetic pace dried up, and he is having trouble accomplishing his daily tasks at work. He feels useless. The past week, in particular, Justin called in sick three days because he could not even get himself out of bed. His family is worried. Justin’s drastic changes in mood do not seem healthy. His loved ones are wondering if Justin may be Bipolar Depression.
“One of things so bad about depression and bipolar disorder
is that if you don’t have prior awareness, you don’t have any idea what hit you.”
—Psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison
Justin may be one of the almost six million people in the US who have some form of Bipolar Disorder. Hearing this diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming, but it is important to remember that effective treatments are available. A diagnosis means that people can begin to understand and manage this mental illness. And many people do just that. They lead successful, fulfilled, and happy lives while managing their diagnosis.
Bipolar Disorder can add severe challenges and strain to an individual’s life. The therapists on staff at Thriveworks Maumelle understand what an individual is experiencing and how to overcome those challenges while building up support for the strain that Bipolar imposes. Our goal is to see each client accomplishing their life goals while Bipolar is managed.
Depression and Mania—The Two Moods of Bipolar Depression
Bipolar Disorder is an umbrella disorder that has multiple subcategories of diagnosis, but within this general category, each diagnosis has some form of both mania and depression. These are the two (bi) poles of Bipolar Disorder. The mental illness will swing people’s state of mind from one extreme to the other and back again. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) describes each state in more detail.
During a depression state, individuals will experience either intense sadness or possibly numbness for a large portion of the day. The feelings will persist for a minimum of two weeks and be accompanies by disinterest in everyday life and by three of the following:
- An increase or decrease in an individual’s weight or appetite.
- Difficult emotions such as worthlessness, shame, and/or guilt.
- A severe drop in one’s energy and/or endurance.
- Fluctuations in psychomotor skills (for example, nervous and rapid toe tapping or possibly slurred speech).
- Indecisiveness and difficulty focusing.
- Sleeping too much or insomnia.
- Idealization of suicide or dying.
Bipolar strikes on two fronts. If the depressive cycle were not enough for individuals to handle, they will also experience a form of mania. TV shows and movies may stereotype mania is euphoric happiness, but the reality is that many people experience great harm because of their mania. More, mania is not always frenetic happiness. It can also be frenetic irritability or anger. The DSM-5 describes in more detail:
- A frantic and heightened state that can be irritable or jubilant. In either case, the state will last for a minimum of seven days.
- When the individual’s mood is jubilant, three symptoms from the following list will be present. When the individual’s mood is irritated, then four will be displayed:
- Thoughts and emotions that constantly race and do not rest.
- Reduced sleep but increased energy.
- Skipping from one task to another quickly, with unfocused attention.
- Making detailed and obsessive plans.
- Increased talkativeness.
- An amplified and unrealistic sense of self and self-esteem.
- Irrational decisions that put oneself or others in harm’s way.
- These behaviors cannot be caused by drug use or medication.
- True mania has one of the following results in an individual’s life:
- Interference with an individual’s ability to function in daily life.
- Hospitalization in order to prevent or treat harm.
- Delusions, hallucinations, or psychosis.
Scheduling an Appointment for Bipolar Disorder with Thriveworks Maumelle
Reading through the descriptions of depression and mania, how did you feel? Did you recognize any of the signs and symptoms within your own life? If you have a Bipolar diagnosis, you are not alone. If you think it might be possible you could be struggling with Bipolar, help is available. Know that the therapists at Thriveworks Maumelle have extensive experiencing treating Bipolar Disorder in its various forms. We care about our clients and work individually with each to find a diagnosis and treatment plan.
If you contact our office, our scheduling specialist will answer your call and help schedule your first appointment—often for the following day. We offer evening and weekend appointments, but we do not keep a waitlist. We also accept most forms of insurance.
Let’s get started. Call Thriveworks Maumelle today.