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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, also referred to as manic-depressive disorder, is a mood disorder characterized by unusual changes in energy and activity levels. Those suffering from Bipolar Disorder typically experience a heightened range of manic ups and depressive lows that can make it especially challenging to maintain relationships and accomplish daily activities.

These mood swings can dramatically affect behaviors, feelings and one’s emotional well-being. While Bipolar disorder occurs with different levels of severity and acuity, Bipolar I is accompanied by manic episodes lasting up to 7 days following by intense depressive episodes that can last for more than 2 weeks.

In a manic episode one might experience symptoms that dramatically affect sleeping and eating patterns, with heightened energy levels, irritability, unusually risky behaviors and hyperactivity. In contrast, depressive periods are characterized by pervasive feelings of sadness and sense of abandonment and can be accompanied by abnormal increases in sleep, suicidal thoughts, trouble concentrating and general sluggishness.

Bipolar Disorder presents itself in 3 distinct forms with gradation in symptoms and frequency of occurrence.

-Bipolar I: Highest level of acuity, with fast interval shifts between Depressive and Manic episodes. In some instances, symptoms of both euphoria and depression.

-Bipolar II: Less severe than Bipolar I and classified by hypomanic and depressive episodes. Bipolar II has more muted symptoms and does not cycle as rapidly as Bipolar I.

-Cyclothymic Disorder: General patterns of symptoms and episodes may not reach the full diagnosable criteria and each manic or depressive episode can last longer than a year.

Fortunately, several treatments have been found effective for countering the symptoms and shifting moods associated with Bipolar Disorder. The most effective course of treatment typically involves a two-pronged approach utilizing pharmacological interventions and psychotherapy. Evidence suggests that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective psychotherapeutic resource for helping clients cultivate the skills to adjust patterns of unproductive thoughts and behaviors. Similarly, Family psychotherapy and group therapy serve to support clients in maintaining medication compliance and leveraging the supportive power of community. At Resilience Treatment Center clients struggling with Bipolar Disorder are paired with a primary therapist adept at treating their unique mental health needs. In conjunction with medications, Resilience therapists will utilize a range of evidence-based modalities, individual, family and group psychotherapy to provide long-term therapeutic gains.

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