Traverse City Bipolar Disorder Therapy

Counselors Who Treat Bipolar Depression in Traverse City, MI—Therapists

Amber has had a difficult year. A few months ago, her boyfriend broke off the relationship and said he did not trust her because of some reckless choices she had made. Amber did not take the break-up well. She barely got herself out of bed for a few weeks straight and completely lost her appetite. Amber just lost interest in all of life—her job, her friends, her family. Until one day, a flip switched within her. At first, it seemed like a positive step. Amber got a job at a downtown boutique. She loved her job and was doing well. Amber was meeting new friends and going out again. However, there were some nights she was going out all night and not sleeping at all before work the next day. Amber was also shopping without abandon. She is spending more than her new job can sustain.

Amber does not seem concerned, but her friends and family members are. This drastic shift in her mood does not feel healthy, and they are concerned that something deeper may be happening to Amber—that she may have Bipolar Depression.

About 6 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Bipolar. It is a mental illness that can confound and frighten both those who suffer from its effects and their loved ones. Thankfully, many people are receiving the help they need to manage its effects. Effective treatments are available.

“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

Bipolar Depression can disrupt an individual’s social, psychological, emotional, and physical stability, but the staff at Thriveworks Traverse City knows how to give our clients the support they need. No one should battle Bipolar alone.

Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms


While the clinical term for this mental illness is Bipolar Disorder, many people popularly refer to it as “manic depression.” Bipolar Disorder has various subcategories of diagnosis, but they all involve two elements: mania and depression. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines key indicators for recognizing both and thus the various forms of Bipolar Disorder.

The depression phase, according to the DSM-5, will involve an empty, weepy, or sad state of mind that persists for the major of the day and for a period of at least two weeks. The state of mind will be accompanied by a general apathy toward everyday life along with at least three of these symptoms:

  1. Changes in weight and/or appetite—either an increase or decrease.
  2. More rapid or slowed psychomotor skills—such as slowed speech or nervous tapping.
  3. Hypersomnia or insomnia.
  4. Difficult emotions such as shame, worthlessness, and/or guilt.
  5. Hesitancy with decisions and an inability to focus.
  6. Dropped stamina and energy.
  7. Suicide idealization and/or thoughts about death.

The other side of the Bipolar coin is mania. Depression can easily swing into frenetic energy. The cliché of mania is raving happiness, but the reality can be quite different and quite dangerous. The frenetic energy that people experience during mania can be euphoria, but it can also be irritation. In either case, people often make decisions that harm themselves during mania. The DSM-5 gives more details about mania:

  1. Mania is a heightened energetic mood that can either be jubilant or it can be irritable. True mania lasts for a minimum of one week.
  2. If mania involves irritability, at least four of the following will be experienced. If it involves jubilation, then at least three will be experienced:
    • An exaggerated self-esteem.
    • Little sleep but high energy.
    • Increased verbosity.
    • Thoughts and feelings that race and do not settle.
    • Bouncing attention quickly from one item to the next.
    • Making detailed and obsessive plans toward a goal.
    • Making unwise and risky decisions.
  3. True mania has at least one of these following results within an individual’s life:
    • Disrupted ability to function in daily life.
    • Hospitalization to treat harm caused or to prevent potential harm.
    • An episode of hallucination or psychosis.
  4. True mania cannot be the physiological effects of drug use or a medication.

Because Bipolar Disorder has various diagnoses under its umbrella, working with a mental health professional to find your particular symptoms and diagnosis is paramount. Each subcategory of Bipolar Disorder has unique signs. For example, Bipolar II means that people may experiencing a less severe form of mania (hypomania), but they often live with more severe depression cycles. A skilled therapist can provide a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Therapy for Bipolar Depression with Thriveworks Traverse City

If you are ready to work with a therapist to find a diagnosis and treatment plan, know that Thriveworks Traverse City has appointments available for Bipolar Disorder and in all its various forms.

When you contact our office, know that we accept most forms of insurance. New clients often meet with their therapist within 24 hours of their call. We do not keep a waitlist, but we do offer weekend and evening sessions.

Let’s work together to fight Bipolar. Contact Thriveworks Traverse City today.

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