Bipolar disorder affects as many as 2.3 million Americans, making it one of the most common mental health conditions in the US. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it doesn’t require treatment.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are often severe and require immediate intervention. Fortunately, that exists. Let’s talk about bipolar disorder, what it is, and how to find bipolar treatment in Orange County.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness most known for its alternating periods of mania and depression. Mania is a period of intense elation and depression is a period of extreme sadness or numbness. Often, these are referred to as “highs” and “lows”.
However, there are some common misconceptions about the illness. For one, the periods of the two do not come and go as “mood swings”, as mood swings are not necessarily associated with the disorder. The “mood swings” in the case of bipolar disorder come over the course of long periods, not often within the same day or even week.
Instead, most people with bipolar disorder will only experience around one episode a year on average. Although, this varies widely from case to case. More severe cases could experience episodes up to three or four times a year.
Another misconception is that there is only one type of bipolar disorder. However, there are far more. Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder are the most common examples, while other forms can be induced by other factors. Let’s talk about that.
Bipolar disorder is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, some are more likely to develop the illness than others.
We believe genetics are the primary cause of the disorder, similar to other mental illnesses including schizophrenia. If you have a close relative with the disorder, like a parent or sibling, then you are at risk of developing it yourself.
The onset could occur during periods of high stress, including substance abuse, grief, or other causes. However, episodes will also be caused by periods of intense stress. The average age of onset is around 25 for most people, but a person could experience their first episodes in their early teens.
For late-onset bipolar disorder (LOBD), the first episodes or signs won’t show until as late as your fifties. So, what are the signs and what do we do about them?
Mania and hypomania are the two types of episodes commonly associated with bipolar disorder. However, they have the same symptoms. Mania is more severe than hypomania and causes more noticeable problems in everyday life, but hypomania can still cause serious damage.
Mania may also trigger psychosis, disassociation, or other breaks from reality, which typically require hospitalization. Symptoms of both include:
Of course, it’s easy to see how that would affect a person’s relationships, work, school, or other responsibilities. However, the depression isn’t much better, as major depressive episodes are common with bipolar patients.
The list goes on. Depressive episodes typically follow after mania or hypomania and can lead to serious complications including self-harm, self-medication, brain damage, or suicide when left untreated.
The age of bipolar diagnosis is dependent on the age of onset. There are other disorders that could easily be mistaken for bipolar disorder, including schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, and several others.
Before receiving treatment, you must receive a diagnosis from a medical professional like a psychiatrist. If you believe you show symptoms of bipolar disorder, you should seek medical consultation immediately.
The condition affects around 2.8% of the population, and as many as 83% of cases are classified as severe. When left untreated, symptoms tend to worsen over time.
Bipolar disorder cannot be cured. It is a lifelong illness that needs lifelong management. However, people with the disorder can learn to live a healthy and fulfilling life with the proper treatment. Fortunately, there are bipolar disorder treatment options available to help along the way.
However, there is no better treatment than at an inpatient facility. With residential bipolar treatment, you will learn new coping tools, receive the right medication, and work closely with a therapist in a controlled environment until you can safely return back to your life.
Because bipolar disorder is often so severe, seeking treatment in a facility equipped for suicide prevention and around-the-clock care is highly recommended.
If you are concerned about a loved one who may have bipolar disorder, you should consider talking to them about finding the right treatment or at least obtaining a diagnosis. Don’t push or pry, but try to help guide them to making the decision for themselves.
Now that you know where to find bipolar treatment in Orange County, the sooner you seek it out, the better. Bipolar disorder only becomes more severe over time without treatment, so look for help immediately. Stay up to date with our latest mental health tips and feel free to contact us with any questions!