Living and Coping With Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness that causes severe changes in one’s mood within a quick span of time. There are several different types of the disorder, all causing severe and sometimes life threatening effects if left untreated. It is also commonly known as manic-depressive disorder.  Approximately 5.7 million Americans live with some form of bipolar disorder.  While the condition is not generally evident until the individual is around 18-25 years of age, some people may develop it in early childhood or even later in life.

Bipolar disorder causes extreme high and low mood swings. Sometimes mixed episodes can occur, where there are feelings of both mania (high) and depression (low). These episodes are severe enough to affect and interrupt the individual’s daily life. During these episodes, people with bipolar disorder may have uncontrollable bouts of energy, be overly happy or sad, act on impulse (including sexually), engage in risky behaviors, go on shopping sprees, or have thoughts of worthlessness, suicide, or hopelessness. People may also experience a change in their appetite and sleeping patterns.

What Are The Types Of Bipolar Disorder?


Type 1

This is the most severe type of bipolar disorder, with the person needing immediate medical attention in most cases. The episodes of mania are present for a minimum of 7 days, while symptoms of the depression episodes can last two weeks or more. These episodes are often severe, majorly affecting the individual’s life if left untreated.

Type 2

Type 2 bipolar disorder exhibits episodes of mania and depression that alter back and forth without becoming full-set episodes lasting for lengthy periods of time as Type 1 does.

Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

This is another type of the condition characterized by out of the ordinary behaviors that affect the individual’s daily life. People with this type of the disorder do not have episodes lasting long enough to be categorized as type 1 or type 2.


Is There Help For The Disorder?

Although there is no cure for bipolar disorder, there are many bipolar treatment options available to help you control these episodes and live life as any other person would. The first step is of course to receive the proper diagnosis. A doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe one of several medications (including anti-depressants and mood stabilizers) to help treat the condition. Psychotherapy is also a helpful tool in living life positively with the disorder. Many recommend adding natural remedies to your treatment, such as more fruits and vegetables and vitamins in your diet.  In addition to the medication, continue with therapy sessions. Even if you feel you do not need to talk, nothing is better than releasing the emotions you are feeling inside. The end results are all worth it.

It is important to seek the help of a doctor so that you are able to begin living life again. Keep track of your symptoms, their duration, and how often they occur to tell your doctor. Each person with the disorder is different, and it may take several different medications to find the one that is right for you. But don’t worry; there is a medication that can help you. Patience is the key to overcoming the effects of a bipolar disorder.

Can Life Ever Be The Same?

Of course it can! As many as 56 million Americans are living happy and productive lives with this disorder. With proper medications and therapy, life can be the same for you. While it may seem that life is always going to be affected by the disorder, it is simply not true. People with bipolar disorder who are receiving treatment go on to live full lives with excellent careers, loving relationships, and happy homes. Bipolar disorder does not have to take over your life. In time, the changes you will notice in your mood and daily life will be remarkable. Just remember that you must allow and accept the help you are given!

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-215-2519 for more information.

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