Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes people to have mood swings. These changes in mood can cause problems in a person’s life. People may experience both depressive episodes and manic episodes. The disorder can be difficult to diagnose. But if you suspect you may have it, you should visit a mental health professional immediately.
Symptoms can include mood swings, poor judgment, reckless behavior, and changes in sleep patterns. You may also have delusions, hallucinations, or psychosis. A mental health professional can help you get treatment for your bipolar disorder.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder can affect men and women alike. While the disorder does not always cause dangerous behavior, if you use substances such as alcohol or drugs, you might find yourself at risk. It can be hard to identify and treat the disorder, but with a bit of education and support, you can learn to manage the condition.
A mental health professional will be able to make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder by looking at your symptoms and how often they occur. If you are experiencing multiple symptoms, your provider may order a blood test or perform a physical exam to determine the severity of your symptoms.
Some people are able to control their bipolar disorder through medication and psychotherapy. However, you might need to try several different types of medications before finding one that works. Talk to your doctor about your options, and don’t stop taking the medicine without first discussing it with your provider.
The main goal of treatment is to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Your provider can work with you to develop a plan that suits your lifestyle. This may involve therapy, exercise, and healthy eating habits. Self-management techniques can also be helpful.
In some cases, your provider can refer you to a clinical social worker. A clinical social worker helps people with bipolar disorder and their families by providing education, communication improvement training, and problem-solving skills. Psychotherapy can be done in one-on-one, group, or family settings. During therapy, your provider can also teach you how to handle certain troubling thoughts and behaviors.
If your provider feels that electroconvulsive therapy is a viable option, he or she can administer brain stimulation to relieve your symptoms. Electroconvulsive therapy is most commonly used for people with severe bipolar disorder. Electroconvulsive therapy is also effective for people who do not respond to other methods of treatment.
Because of the long-term nature of bipolar disorder, it is important to seek help. Although you may need to be hospitalized at times, a treatment plan can help you live a healthy, fulfilling life. Treatment plans for bipolar disorder can last for months to years, but you should stay committed to it. Ask your provider for support and encouragement.
To maintain your mental health, you should avoid substances that can be dangerous, such as alcohol or illicit drugs. Make sure you keep a journal of your symptoms and treatments. Also, if you are worried about the side effects of medicines, discuss them with your provider.