Do you sometimes feel like you have all the energy in the world? Your mind is racing, you are excited, and you feel like you can do no wrong. Are these times followed by darker periods filled with sadness, irritability and hopelessness? If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Formerly known as “manic depression,” bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by mood swings that go from high to low. Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder that ranges from mild to severe depression to various degrees of mania, with mild or extreme mood changes, given the term “episodes.” These extreme episodes may cycle daily or may go on for many months. Symptoms of this illness can begin as young as childhood, but begin to occur most commonly from the early teens into the mid-twenties. The average onset of bipolar disorder is at 25 years old.
Manic episodes include these feelings or symptoms which have lasted for a week or more:
- Intense endless energy
- Can go without sleep
- Feelings of euphoria
- Easily distracted
- Responsive to goal-oriented activities
- Drawn toward pleasurable activities despite obvious painful consequences
Depressive episodes include the feelings which have lasted for more than 2 weeks:
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
- Recurring thoughts of suicide, or death in general
- Drastic changes in sleep, appetite and activity.
These episodes can last for long periods of time, yet some patients can experience ‘rapid-cycling’ where several episodes can occur within a single week or even in a single day. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.
If this sounds like you, or someone you love, you should know that bipolar disorder is a treatable, manageable illness. The exact cause of bipolar disorder has not been discovered, but a stressful environment, inherited traits, and even hormones can play a role in the illness.
Medical Treatment and Therapy
Though bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, treatment is absolutely possible with the right kind of care and help. At Holiner Psychiatric Group, we have the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder and other mood related problems. Our psychiatrists and psychologists will test you and find the right combination of medication and therapy for your individual case. Continued medical treatment and therapy are important in order to maintain a happy and normal lifestyle. Lifelong treatment can help those affected have happy, successful relationships, as well as see improvements in job or school productivity.
You Aren’t Alone
People affected by bipolar disorder often feel like their life is a roller-coaster, with common perceptions of being completely alone, contrasted with feelings of infallibility and euphoria. Despite these extreme and seemingly uncontrollable moods, you are not alone. More than 2.6% of the U.S. population battles this illness, with the same likelihood of it appearing in men as it does in women. Of the 5.7 million Americans who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, many have found happiness with their mood stabilizing medications, therapy and support system to help them cope.
Don’t let your life be filled with the distress and disruption of the emotional roller coaster that is bipolar disorder. Call us today for an appointment to diagnose and begin your bipolar disorder treatment in Dallas.