People who have symptoms of Bipolar Disorder experience times where they feel terribly depressed but they also have times were they feel on top of the world, elated actually and may be over active. When these episodes occur frequently and are to the extreme, this may indicate the presence of a bipolar disorder. Bipolar refers to both ends of the spectrum, or “poles” describing the extreme mood fluctuations, that of depression and mania. In the past this disorder was called “manic depression.”
Each person with bipolar disorder symptoms has a different experience. A continuum exists between the two extreme mood states experienced by those with bipolar disorder and the mood swings that people without the disorder normally experience. Some people with the disorder find that understanding that they have a biochemical disorder or illness may provide some relief, but this is not true of all who have bipolar disorder.
Commonality of Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are not at all uncommon. In fact approximately 1% – 1.5% of the population may very well be diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a given point in time. The feelings of elation, and the over activity (hypomania) that accompanies the elevated mood are quite common and inevitably lead to problems of some sort, which may then result in the diagnosis.
When a person alternates between extreme states of depression and elation, it ultimately leads them into destructive types of behavior like overspending, hypersexual behavior and feelings of invincibility. Problems can also develop if when in a state of elation they develop totally irrational beliefs about themselves, like they are an all-powerful leader. They also can begin to have irrational perceptions, such as hearing voices that are not there. Due to the over activity they can drive themselves into exhaustion, feel totally out of control and do something that gets them admitted to a hospital.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder – Its Impact & Course
Symptoms of bipolar disorder begin presenting themselves in the late teen years and early twenties, and these can affect the normal course of development. People commonly experience extreme fluctuations in mood, but some also have continuous mood problems. The research that has been done has, for the most part, been done on people with continuous problems and have been put in contact with the appropriate services.
Research does show that overall 60% of people with bipolar disorder symptoms do not relapse and that almost 50% are able to resume their previous lives in terms of social interactions, job, etc., within a span of two years. Many people diagnosed as bipolar, and others who are similar, but who have not actually been diagnosed, are extremely creative, energetic and productive in their lives.
Problems Associated with Receiving a Mental Health Diagnosis
The debate goes on as to whether a mental health diagnosis is helpful. These diagnoses are determined by certain symptoms, or behaviors and experiences. They do not address causation. Many different diagnoses overlap in terms of symptoms, behaviors and experiences. People can easily meet the given criteria for different diagnoses at various times throughout their lives.
Among individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder symptoms, there is a lot of variation as to how frequently they have problems, what kinds of problems they have and what types of treatments actually help. This might mean that this diagnostic category simply does not allow for some critical differences between people. In fact clinicians very often disagree as to whether someone meets the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods. The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.
Previous research indicates that many adults with depression do not receive treatment for their symptoms. According to national surveys approximately half (49.5%) of adults with a lifetime history of major depressive disorder had never received treatment for depression and a similar percentage (48.4%) had not received any mental health care in the past year. Only about one-third of young adults (18 to 25) with any mental disorder receives any type of mental health treatment. In Tennessee, about 3.7% of all adults will have serious thoughts of suicide. In 2011, the latest year for which state-specific figures are available, Tennessee’s age-adjusted suicide rate was 14.6 per 100,000 people, translating into 938 reported suicide deaths. This rate and number are down from previous years but are still above the national average of 12.4 per 100,000. Furthermore, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment.
Effective treatment for depression is available. In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies. Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender.
If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery. Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful and people who have completed our program have resulted in our treatment program receiving very highly consumer satisfaction scores and reviews. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.