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What You Should Know about Bipolar Disorder

What You Should Know about Bipolar Disorder

What You Should Know about Bipolar Disorder

Mood disorders can cause challenges in everyday life, as they are defined by extreme shifts in mood over time. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder experience shifts between episodes of mania and episodes of depression. This push and pull effect can make it difficult to stabilize their emotions or actions, especially if they are in a state of manic, which is a highly elevated mood. As a counselor in Orlando, we treat those suffering from bipolar disorder so they can lead a happy, stable, and functional lifestyle. These are a few things you should know about bipolar disorder.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Many people do not realize that there are actually three types of bipolar disorder that can cause changes in mood. The treatment required to stabilize your mood will depend on the type you have.

  • Bipolar 1 – When you have at least one manic episode, you may have Bipolar 1. You may experience less severe episodes, known as hypomanic episodes, or just have bouts of depression.
  • Bipolar 2 – Those with Bipolar 2 have episodes that last around two weeks. These longer episodes can include depression. In addition to these longer episodes, they will also likely experience smaller, hypomanic episodes in the meantime.
  • Cyclothymia – When you have this type of bipolar disorder, you experience episodes of both depression and mania. They often involve symptoms that are shorter and less severe than the mania and depression in Bipolar 1 and 2.

It is important to talk with your doctor or counselor to get the diagnosis you need so that you can receive the correct treatment for your bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Recognizing the symptoms of bipolar disorder is often the first step to understanding the issue. The three main symptoms are mania, depression, and hypomania, as described in the types above. Both hypomania and mania involve strong feelings of excitement, impulsivity, and high energy. Depression is quite the opposite, as it can cause fatigue, hopelessness, extreme sadness, and low motivation. When you experience mania and depression, they are likely to affect your day-to-day life.

Mania vs. Hypomania

Both of these episodes are indicative of bipolar disorder, although they are both expressed differently. When you experience manic episodes, you likely feel an emotional high. It involves feeling euphoric, energetic bursts.

Signs of manic episodes include:

  • Heightened impulsivity
  • Substance abuse, like drugs and alcohol
  • Binge shopping or spending sprees
  • Feelings of invincibility
  • Abrupt actions, like quitting your job

Hypomania involves many of these same symptoms, but they occur with less severity. You may feel impulsive behavior, but you do not completely take action. Hypomania often does not lead to issues in your daily life, as manic episodes will.

By understanding bipolar disorder, you can learn when to recognize it, either in yourself or your family and friends. After recognizing the disorder, you can then focus on getting the treatment you need to live a stable life. If you are looking for help to manage your bipolar disorder, contact our counselor in Orlando to hear more about our therapy services today.