Dylan doesn’t think his life could get any better. He made the top sales at his job last week, all while partying every night and he wrote the first draft of a novel that’s surely going to be a best seller. He decided to buy a new sports car, even though he current car is in fine shape. He feels like he deserves a vacation, so he charged a 12-day cruise on his credit card. He’ll pay off these expenses easily now that he knows he will be rich. He doesn’t even need sleep, thriving on just three hours a night.
His friends and coworkers though, are concerned. He is acting out of character, he seems hyper, overexcited and talks very fast. His plans are exciting, but they seem kind of unrealistic. Dylan is normally quiet, wasn’t a fan of partying, and always very financially stringent. He wrote a little, but it was always just a personal hobby, he kept to himself.
Suddenly, in two weeks, Dylan crashes down. The lack of sleep crashes over him and he realizes he has no way of paying off the loans he took out for the car and plane ticket. His future seems dark and desolate now, and Dylan isn’t sure what the point of it all is anymore… he falls into a deep depression and has trouble even getting out of bed in the morning.
What happened? Dylan might have Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar Disorder can be frightening and devastating to the life you’ve worked so hard to construct. But there is hope. When properly managed, Bipolar Disorder doesn’t have to control your life. Thriveworks Newark is here to help you navigate the many paths of treatment and the strains it may put on your life.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
“Bipolar Disorder” can be a diagnosis that sends fear spiraling through you. It’s a very stereotyped disorder that many people think means a life doomed to sporadic, unmanageable mood shifts. Not true!
While managing Bipolar Disorder is hard, it is also possible. Many people have lived successful, happy lives with their Bipolar under control. So, what does having Bipolar Disorder mean? It’s defining characteristic are the two distinct mood phases. On one end, you might feel depressed and hopeless, without any energy. Then suddenly, you’ll be full of energy with dreams and goals and the drive to accomplish them. That is the manic phase and can include everything from reckless spending to full-on delusions.
A manic episode will always be present in Bipolar Disorder. It can last up to two weeks. Some symptoms of a manic phase include:
- An unusual extreme mood that could either be ecstatic or irritated.
- Racing thoughts
- Little need to sleep (may feel great on three to four hours a night)
- Unfocused attention.
- Obsessive and furious planning toward a goal.
- Excessive talkativeness especially as compared to an individual’s normal speech patterns.
- Dramatically increase in your self-image, you might think that you really are the absolute best.
- Risky or harmful behavior.
- Hallucinations or delusions, especially thoughts that you are special or have special abilities.
The manic cycle can be terrifying! It can come out of nowhere and have lasting impacts. Thriveworks Newark is here for you as you learn how to manage these shifts and find the right treatment for you. You are much more than your Bipolar Disorder, and we want to work with you and your goals. Some people with Bipolar Disorder have a less severe form, called Bipolar II Disorder. Those with Bipolar II experience less dramatic manic phases called “hypomanic episodes.” These episodes include all of the symptoms above except hallucinations and delusions, and the symptoms are milder and less obvious.
Manic episodes are only half of the struggle when it comes to Bipolar Disorder. The other half is the depression phase. It can last up to months and cause just as much pain and destruction. Some symptoms include:
- Persistent low mood, either sad, irritable or empty
- Lack of interest or enjoyment of previous activities
- Powerful feelings of guilt, shame, and/or worthlessness.
- Social withdrawal
- Weakened endurance and energy.
- Slowed speaking and thinking
- Difficulty making decisions, concentrating and focusing.
- Disruptions in sleep—insomnia or hypersomnia.
- Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death.
No one deserves to feel depressed. Thriveworks Newark is here to guide you through the dark and back out to hope and control, even when it seems too far away. We have years of training and experiencing treating Bipolar Disorder. You aren’t alone with this fight. It might take a while to find the right medication and additional support, but we will be with you through all of it.
What Does Treatment for Bipolar Disorder Look Like?
The polar opposite sides of Bipolar can make it feel impossible to manage. And oftentimes, traditional therapy doesn’t do the trick. But researchers have found that a good mix of medication and therapy can expand your strengths and bring calm back to your life.
The battle with Bipolar Disorder never really goes away. Which is one of the many reasons why having a good support team is so vital! Thriveworks Newark is excited and honored to be apart of that. We have seen strong individuals like you live happy, fulfilling lives separate from their Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar Disorder treatment almost always involves medication. Finding the perfect fit for you can be tricky, and we can provide the right support for you as you go through that.
Of course, medication can’t make all your problems go away! Especially during a depressive episode, talking with a professional counselor can be extremely helpful. Learning how to identify signs of mania/hypomania and depression in yourself can help you to manage your life better. Our skilled therapists at Thriveworks Newark can help support you when you are experiencing the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder and help you to learn ways to cope and manage your symptoms.
Your Bipolar Disorder doesn’t have to be a death sentence! You can still live the life you’ve always dreamed of; you might just need a little extra support. Thriveworks Newark is excited to begin the journey of healing and growth with you today.