Characterized by fluctuations in mood that can cause a great deal of disruption in a person’s life, bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that requires effective treatment at a rehab center in order to manage its symptoms.
According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there are three types of bipolar disorders that currently exist. These types, which possess similar symptoms but with varying severity levels, can hinder an individual’s pursuit of a productive and fulfilling life. Only a qualified mental health professional can ascertain if a person is grappling with one of these types, which include the following:
Bipolar I: The most severe of the three types of bipolar disorders, bipolar I causes an individual to experience overwhelming episodes of mania and, at times, crippling bouts of depression or hypomania. The cornerstone difference between this type of bipolar disorder and the others is the presence of mania, which causes an individual to experience poor impulse control, elevated mood, increased energy, and other such symptoms that can prevent an individual from going about day-to-day tasks in a healthy manner.
Bipolar II: Involving episodes of hypomania as well as depressive episodes, bipolar Il is less severe than bipolar I. During hypomanic episodes, an individual can experience periods of increased energy and emotionality, though these periods may not compromise a person’s ability to function in the same manner that an episode of mania would.
Cyclothymia: With symptoms lasting at least two years, cyclothymia is the least severe type of the bipolar disorders. Though an individual with this condition does not meet diagnostic criteria for mania, depression, or hypomania, symptoms of cyclothymia can still thwart a person’s ability to live a healthy life.
Unfortunately, many individuals who are suffering from the symptoms of the above conditions gravitate to the abuse of drugs and/or alcohol as a means of coping with their emotional pain and distress. When this occurs, these people are at an increased risk for developing an addiction, or substance use disorder, at the same time. In the event an individual is battling bipolar disorder and a substance use disorder simultaneously, it is crucial for that person to seek effective care at a treatment & rehab center to improve his or her overall quality of life.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
Among adults aged 18 and older, bipolar disorder is said to affect nearly 6 million Americans. Men and women are believed to experience similar rates of this condition, though women typically experience a depressive episode first, whereas men are more likely to experience an episode of mania at the inception of this illness. Unfortunately, researchers believe that only half of those who are suffering from bipolar disorder actually seek treatment at a rehab center for their condition, and that, sadly, the suicide rate among men and women with bipolar disorder is around 15 percent.
Causes and Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder
The reasons why some people develop bipolar disorder while others do not can vary from one individual to the next. However, the following are the most cited causes and risk factors for this illness:
Genetic: Research has found that an individual’s genetic background is a strong determinant for the development of bipolar disorder. If a person has a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, who is suffering from this illness, then that individual is more likely to experience bipolar disorder symptoms as well.
Environmental: In addition to a person’s genetics, certain environmental events or stressors can contribute to the onset of bipolar disorder symptoms. Especially if an individual has a genetic predisposition to this illness, events such as going through a separation, divorce, or becoming a widower or widow can all trigger bipolar disorder symptoms to manifest. Additionally, research had found that those who live in high-income areas are more likely to experience the symptoms of bipolar disorder as well.
- Experiencing overwhelming stress or enduring a trauma
- Residing in an affluent area
- Family history of bipolar disorder
- Family history of another mental health condition
Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Depending on the type of bipolar disorder that a person is battling, the telltale signs and symptoms can vary. When left untreated, the following signs and symptoms are, however, those that can be displayed by someone who is suffering from this type of mental illness:
Behavioral symptoms (manic episode):
- Risky, reckless, and otherwise dangerous behaviors
- Jumping from topic to topic in conversation
- Constant fidgeting
- Rapid-fire speech patterns
Behavioral symptoms (depressive episode):
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Self-harming behaviors
- Expressions of self-loathing
- Frequent/unexplained absences work
Physical symptoms (manic episode):
- Increased sexual desire
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain due to increased appetite
- Increased energy
- Less need for sleep
Physical symptoms (depressive episode):
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss due to diminished appetite
- Increased need for sleep
Cognitive symptoms (manic episode):
- Racing thoughts
Cognitive symptoms (depressive episode):
- Inability to sustain attention
- Suicidal ideation
Psychosocial symptoms (manic episode):
- Heightened excitability
- Increased self-esteem
- Shifts in mood
Psychosocial symptoms (depressive episode):
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of hopelessness
Effects of Bipolar Disorder
If the symptoms of bipolar disorder remain untreated, the individual suffering from this condition is likely to experience a wide range of negative effects. Among the various effects that are possible, the following are those that are known to occur in men and women who do not receive care for bipolar disorder:
- Social isolation
- Poor performance at work
- Job loss
- Chronic unemployment
- Physical harm related to impulsive behaviors
- Self-harm behaviors
- Suicidal ideation
- Demise of meaningful relationships
- Substance abuse, which could lead to addiction/chemical dependency
Because the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe, it is common for those who grapple with this mental illness to also suffer from additional mental health concerns. Substance use disorders, for example, are often diagnosed in men and women with bipolar disorder because, when bipolar disorder symptoms are not treated, these individuals often turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a means of self-medicating.
In addition to substance use disorders, the following disorders are those that are known to exist alongside bipolar disorders:
- Intermittent explosive disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Anxiety disorders
Why Consider Treatment for Bipolar Disorder at a Rehab Center in Newport Beach
As previously mentioned, those who are suffering from bipolar disorder are likely to experience a great deal of adversity in every area of their lives if care is delayed or not sought. For this reason and especially if an individual is struggling with an addiction to substances at the same time, it is important for a person to consider seeking treatment so that he or she can learn to manage the symptoms of his or her illness and abstain from the abuse of drugs and/or alcohol.
Among the various types of treatment that exist to treat addiction and co-occurring bipolar disorder, residential treatment is one of the most beneficial. Sober Living by the Sea, more specifically, includes a network of providers that offer superior residential care that can be tailored to meet the needs of men and women struggling with such concerns. Within the residential treatment & rehabilitation supplied by these providers, which include The Landing, The Rose, and Sunrise Recovery Ranch, men and women can receive 24-hour support while benefiting from the proven-effective therapeutic interventions available. Additionally, in choosing to come to one of these centers to end an addiction and heal from bipolar disorder, each individual receives a customized treatment plan that details how treatment goals will be met. Coping skills can be learned and honed, and those who come to The Landing, The Rose, or Sunrise Recovery Ranch can develop the confidence needed to leave an addiction in the past once and for all.