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Bipolar Disorder

“Clear your energy, honor your rhythm, live your vision.” - George Denslow

Bipolar Disorder

“Clear your energy, honor your rhythm, live your vision.” - George Denslow

Cycles are a key element of nature. The sun sets and then dawn comes again, bringing a new day with renewed possibility. Winter cleanses the landscape, only for the earth to bloom again in the springtime. Circadian rhythms tell us when to sleep and waken, the tides rise and fall, children are born and people pass beyond the veil.

We experience cycles in our emotional lives as well. One day can bring happiness, joy, and productivity, while another can bring sorrow or anger. For some, these cycles can be extreme, and psychologists have termed this condition bipolar disorder. If you have experienced periods of depression, then the cycle suddenly shifts and you find yourself energetic and productive, you may be experiencing depressive and manic episodes.

At Four Stones Collaborative, we have the experience and knowledge to help you harness the power of these cycles. We will partner with you to lessen the extreme nature of these swings, and then maintain a steady balance of healthy emotion. Therapy and medication can be vital in management of bipolar disorder, and our skilled practitioners will listen and create a treatment plan to help you master your cycles.

bipolar

There are a few different types of bipolar disorder, with distinguishing features that require different treatment modalities. After testing for schizo-affective disorder and eliminating that possibility, the type of bipolar disorder can be diagnosed. Here are the most common types:

Bipolar I:
Bipolar type I is characterized by at least one severe manic episode, with symptoms including psychosis, rapid speech patterns, compulsive and uncontrollable thoughts, or impulsive behavior. The mania may require hospitalization in some cases. Bipolar I also typically includes periods of depression or mixed episodes consisting of both manic and depressive symptoms.

Bipolar II:
This type of bipolar spectrum disorder does not include full manic episodes, instead consisting of what are termed hypomanic episodes. These episodes are not as severe as bipolar I - they do not significantly impair normal life functioning. Depressive episodes are still present, and mixed episodes can occur. The symptoms of bipolar II are typically more chronic than type I. 

Cyclothymia:
Cyclothymic disorder is considered the most chronic type of bipolar spectrum disorder, but it also exhibits the mildest range of symptoms. If a cycle of mild hypomania followed by mild depression repeats itself over a period of two years, Cyclothymia may be diagnosed.

During a hypomanic or manic episode, The National Institute of Mental Health says that a person can:

  • Feel very “up,” “high,” or elated
  • Have a lot of energy
  • Have increased activity levels
  • Feel “jumpy” or “wired”
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Become more active than usual
  • Talk really fast about a lot of different things
  • Be agitated, irritable, or “touchy”
  • Feel like their thoughts are going very fast
  • Think they can do a lot of things at once
  • Do risky things, like spend a lot of money or have reckless sex

NIMH states that during a depressive episode, a person may:

  • Feel very sad, down, empty, or hopeless
  • Have very little energy
  • Have decreased activity levels
  • Have trouble sleeping, they may sleep too little or too much
  • Feel like they can’t enjoy anything
  • Feel worried and empty
  • Have trouble concentrating
  • Forget things a lot
  • Eat too much or too little
  • Feel tired or “slowed down”
  • Think about death or suicide

If you find these symptoms and signs to be familiar, contact us to schedule a consultation. We have extensive experience treating bipolar spectrum disorders, and we will help you bring your cycles into balance.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Bipolar Disorder