Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are many types of bipolar disorders which makes it imperative that each individual finds the right treatment. A mental health professional can provide a diagnosis after an assessment to better treat the bipolar disorder and offer relief from anxiety symptoms here at My Psychiatrist in Florida.
Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder
How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?
In order to receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a person must experience at least one depressive episode or manic/hypomanic episode. A depressive episode, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), is defined by the following criteria:
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Thoughts of death or suicidal plans/attempts
- Problems concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
The depressive episode should have at least four of the symptoms listed above and last for two weeks at minimum. A manic episode must last for at least one week and include three or more of the following diagnostic criteria:
- Little need for sleep
- High self-esteem
- Flight of ideas
- Speaking exceptionally fast
- Psychomotor agitation (e.g. wringing hands, pacing back and forth)
- Increased interest in activity or goals
- Becoming easily distracted
- Increased interest in engaging in activities with high risk
A mental health professional will help determine if a client is struggling with bipolar disorder by running through this list of criteria while also providing questionnaires and speaking directly to the client.
How is Bipolar Disorder Treated?
Like most mental health conditions, bipolar disorder is most effectively treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. The type of medication and amount of psychotherapy that an individual will begin including in their daily lives will be dependent on the severity of their bipolar disorder.
Some of the most common medications used to treat bipolar disorder include the following:
- Anticonvulsants (gabapentin, topiramate, carbamazepine, divalproex)
- Antipsychotics (Latuda, Abilify, Seroquel, Risperdol)
- SSRI’s (Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil)
There are several different types of psychotherapy available that can help reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder, including (but not limited to), the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT)
- Family therapy
When treatment for bipolar disorder is obtained, those who are grappling with it can begin living with and coping with it in a healthier, more effective manner.
Living and Coping With Bipolar Disorder
Living and coping with bipolar disorder might seem impossible to someone who is experiencing this disorder because of how difficult it can be to manage. But, when treated, those with bipolar disorder can live productive and fulfilled lives just as any other person can.
Outside of being treated by professionals, individuals can live and cope with bipolar disorder by utilizing the following skills:
- Monitor moods (for example, keeping a mood journal to see fluctuations)
- Follow a schedule
- Get enough sleep
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Participate in a support group
- Reduce stress
These skills can be implemented in all settings, allowing for those with bipolar disorder the ability to cope no matter where they are or what time of day it is.
How to Know When to See a Psychiatrist for Bipolar Disorder
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, such as manic and depressive episodes, the most important thing you can do is reach out to a mental health professional. They can not only help treat your bipolar disorder, but they can also provide you with referrals to specialists who can provide even more detailed assistance.
There is no reason you should be living with untreated symptoms of bipolar disorder when there are several options for care. Should you experience these symptoms, reach out and ask for help.