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When To Seek Help For Bipolar Disorder

For those suffering from bipolar disorder, recognizing the signs and symptoms can be more difficult than most. Depending on the type of bipolar disorder you have, you may feel moments of extreme highs and lows. These can be detrimental to relationships and your ability to complete basic tasks at work, school, or everyday life. Due to its manic episodes, it’s crucial to see a trained professional to diagnose and treat its severe side effects.

With some episodes lasting days or even weeks at a time, bipolar disorder incites manic and depressive episodes that may require hospitalization to prevent danger to the individual or those around them. A manic depressive episode may invoke these typical symptoms in those it affects:

Manic Episode

  •       High energy
  •       Jumpiness
  •       Feelings of euphoria
  •       Agitation
  •       Talking very fast
  •       Insomnia
  •       Reckless behavior
  •       Racing thoughts

Major Depressive Episodes

  •       Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  •       Hard time concentrating
  •       Low energy
  •       Sleeping too much
  •       Difficulty enjoying things that usually bring pleasure
  •       Suicidal thoughts

Some individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder may believe their symptoms are inconsequential or unnoticeable. Those experiencing manic episodes may even see their manic period positively. To the contrary, their ability to accomplish basic functions diminishes despite a hollow awareness of enjoyment or euphoria. The fear of taking medication could lead to depressive thoughts and the refusal to seek the help they need.

Similarly to manic highs but without signs of enjoyment, manic lows exude depressive periods without seeking help from family, friends, or medical professionals. They often believe their episodes are a weakness, something to be overcome on their own.

When to seek help

If you’re trying to come to terms with your mental illness, comprehending the truth of your symptoms may be hard to fathom or admit. You may even believe your mind is betraying reality. These important points from WebMD in an article written by Jennifer Cassarella, MD, can help understand the truths behind your bipolar disorder:

  • It's not your fault. You have not caused this disorder. Genetics and stressful life events put people at greater vulnerability for bipolar disorder.
  • Millions of Americans have bipolar disorder. It can develop at any point in a person's life -- though it usually develops in young adulthood -- and is responsible for enormous suffering.
  • Bipolar disorder is a real disease. Just like heart disease or diabetes, it requires medical treatment.
  • There's a medical explanation for bipolar disorder. Disruptions in brain chemistry and nerve cell pathways are involved. The brain circuits -- those that control emotion -- are not working the way they should. Because of this, people experience certain moods and energy levels more intensely, for longer periods of time, and more frequently.
  • Good treatments are available. These treatments have been tested and found to be effective for many, many people with bipolar disorder. Medications can help stabilize your moods. Through therapy, you can discuss feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that cause problems in your social and work life. You can learn how to master these so you can function better and live a more satisfying life.
  • By not getting treatment, you risk having worse mood episodes -- and even becoming suicidal when depressed. You risk damaging your relationships with friends and family. You could put your job at risk. And your long-term physical health can also be affected, since emotional disturbances affect other systems in the body. This is very serious.”

If you believe you might be struggling from or experiencing signs of bipolar disorder, you’ve already made the first step in acknowledging a potential illness. Resources from residential mental health treatment facilities like Jackson House can prepare your journey toward a balanced and happy mind. Start today by taking a short quiz to evaluate whether you exhibit signs of bipolar disorder.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

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If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (951) 331-5607. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.