Bipolar Disorders

Treatment for Bipolar Disorders at Pasadena Villa Outpatient Center – Raleigh

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition resulting in mood and energy changes, including manic and depressive episodes. With 2.9% of the U.S. population diagnosed with bipolar disorder each year, it usually develops in the adolescent or young adult years and affects men and women equally.
While doctors cannot pinpoint the exact cause of bipolar disorder, one thought is an underlying brain defect involving areas that control mood, thinking, and behavior. Stress is also thought to play a role in development, and hormonal fluctuations in women may worsen symptoms.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Symptoms of bipolar disorder may include:

  • Dramatic shifts in mood from a depressed state to distinct mania or individuals may experience both extremes simultaneously or in rapid sequence.
  • Severe bipolar episodes can consist of psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions, although this is rare.
  • Milder manic phases may give an individual the ability to be more creative, spontaneous, or overly-productive. Individuals are often quickly frustrated or irritable and lack the need to sleep.

Manic episodes occur daily, last for at least a week, and include an elevated mood with three or more symptoms relating to sleep, energy, thinking and behavior, and that these symptoms interfere with functioning ability. Four or more symptoms are needed for diagnosis if irritability is present. A disabling and pervasive depression  will often follow a manic phase, causing individuals to have difficulty falling and staying asleep, or sleep more than usual. If individuals suffer from depression, they may have feelings of loss, personal failure, guilt, helplessness, or suicidal thoughts. When associated with depression, bipolar disorder can be harder to treat, and friends and family are often confused by the dramatic changes in behavior.

How is bipolar disorder treated at Pasadena Villa Outpatient Center – Raleigh?

Diagnosing bipolar disorder can be challenging. It requires an examination of behavior and moods over time as well as the family’s mental health history. Response to medication can also provide information to help determine if the individual is suffering from bipolar disorder, depression, or some other mental health condition. At Pasadena Villa Outpatient Center the treatment team continually reassesses to ensure an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Bipolar disorder is a life-long condition that requires medication to stabilize and to address depression and mania as they emerge. In addition to medication, group, individual and family psychotherapy is vital in providing support, enhancing self-care and resolving relationship issues. Group therapy can be successful in removing the resistance through learning from their peers’ experiences and successes. While in the program individuals learn and practice alternative skills and strategies to manage their feelings and moods. Clients develop their Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®) which identifies their wellness tools, daily self-care needs, triggers and warning signs and what works best for them in a crisis.

The extreme mood changes and resulting behaviors of bipolar disorder can be particularly stressful on relationships. At Pasadena Villa, family and loved one participation is encouraged in sessions to provide psycho education and develop a supportive aftercare plan.  Our therapists work with clients and their families to ensure an aftercare plan includes needed providers and connections to other supportive resources in the community.