Brandon took his new job by storm. For three months, he out performed anyone who had previously held the position. Brandon was the online sales manager at a pawn shop, and he was on eBay 24/7. That is, unless Brandon was out partying with his friends all night. No one could stop him, until one day the energy dried up. One day, Brandon raced through every task. The next day, he could not focus. Simple tasks felt impossible. Instead of being on eBay 24/7, Brandon felt like sleeping 24/7. His sales numbers tanked, and he barely leaves his house.
Brandon’s friends are worried about him, and rightly so. The dramatic shifts in his mood and energy may be signs that something more serious may be happening to Brandon. He may be struggling with Bipolar Depression.
Sometimes, Bipolar Depression is called manic depression because it cycles people between a low, depressed mood and a high, frenetic mood. It is a serious mental illness that affects almost 6 million people in the United States, and there are effective treatments for it. When people work with a mental health professional to find a diagnosis and a treatment plan, they often overcome their Bipolar live a happy, fulfilled life.
The bipolar depression counselors and therapists on staff at Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough have helped many clients do just that—find the help and support they need to treat Bipolar and live their lives.
Bipolar Disorder’s Signs
The drastic shifts in mood that Bipolar brings can be mysterious and confusing to people who suffer through them. Learning about the signs of Bipolar can bring understanding and relief. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) gives a full and helpful definition of both the depression episodes and the mania episodes of Bipolar Disorder.
The DSM-5 describes the depressive cycle as when individuals experience a weepy, sad, and/or empty state of mind as well as an unconcerned attitude about daily life. Further, they experience at least three of the following symptoms:
- The inability to focus or make decisions.
- Depleted energy and/or stamina.
- Hyper or slowed psychomotor activity (for example, slurred speech or rapid toe tapping).
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping or an inability to sleep).
- Harsh emotions such as guilt, shame, and worthlessness.
- Shifts in appetite or weight—either an increase or decrease.
- Suicide idealization and/or a fixation upon death.
When people experience these criteria for a greater portion of every day and for a continuous period of two weeks (at least), then they may be in a depression cycle of Bipolar. The opposite pole to which people may swing is mania. When people stereotype mania, they usually imagine euphoric energy, but the reality is that the flood of emotions people feel during mania can be either irritable or elated.
The following criteria is detailed in the DSM-5 for a mania cycle:
- An exceptionally euphoric or contentious mood that persists for at least a week.
- When the mood is contentious, then four of the following signs must be present. If the mood is euphoric, then three must be present.
- Obsessively planning for personal and professional goals.
- The inability to slow one’s thinking.
- Taking unnecessary financial, emotional, physical, or sexual risks.
- Feeling energetic with very little sleep.
- Shifting attention quickly from one topic to another.
- Talking excessively.
- An enlarged sense of one’s own grandiosity and self-esteem.
- The physiological effects of a drug or medication cannot produce these signs.
- To be considered mania, the signs must meet one of the following criteria:
- Disrupt an individual’s daily functioning.
- Hospitalize them.
- Induce psychosis.
There are various subcategories to Bipolar Disorder that a mental health professional can diagnose. For example, Bipolar II is a form of the illness wherein people experience hypomania (i.e., less severe mania symptoms), but they usually experience more severe depression cycles. Receiving the right diagnosis is a big step toward healing.
Getting Help for Bipolar
When people have been diagnosed with Bipolar, it is vital that they find an experienced and skilled therapist whom they trust. Just as someone who has been diagnosed with cancer needs to work closely with their oncologist for treatment, so people who have a form of Bipolar Disorder will need to work closely with a mental health professional. Along with following a therapist’s treatment plan, here are a few ways people with Bipolar can cope.
1. Join a Support Group.
- Support groups are a great place where people with Bipolar and/or their loved ones can empathize with others who may be experiencing similar difficulties. These groups can often be found in-person or online.
2. Remember to Hope. Being diagnosed with Bipolar can be scary, but in the past few years, mental health professionals have made great strides in understanding and treating this illness. Many people live a wonderful, happy life with the Bipolar diagnosis.
Appointments for Bipolar at Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough
If you have Bipolar or if you think you may have it, know that Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough has appointments available. Our caring and experienced professionals have helped many clients find relief from their Bipolar.
When you work with our office, know that we have done our best to make receiving the therapy you need as easy as possible. New clients often have an appointment within 24 hours of their first call. We offer evening and weekend appointments, but we do not keep a waitlist. Our office accepts most forms of insurance.
Let’s work together. Contact Thriveworks Westborough today.