Skip to the content

Admission Line 888-255-9280

Bipolar Explained

bipolar disorder spelled out on letterboard

Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

Many of those dealing with a mental health condition feel isolated and alone. To the contrary, you are not alone, especially when you recognize the fact that 1 in every 8 people in the world lives with a mental disorder of some kind. 

For example, 7 million adults in the US alone deal with bipolar disorder, making it one of the most common mental health conditions globally. 

In this article, we’ll explain what bipolar disorder is, alongside listing some common symptoms and treatments that can help you feel more like yourself again.

What is Bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by rapid and significant mood swings where the individual feels both excessive highs (mania) and lows (depression). 

When in a manic state, a person dealing with bipolar disorder may feel as though they are full of energy and confidence while also indulging in riskier behaviors than they would otherwise engage in. When in a depressive state, they will have little to no energy or interest in their usual activities. 

There are two main types of bipolar disorder: 

Bipolar 1. Manic episodes last at least 7 days, followed by depressive episodes of at least 2 weeks in length. 

Bipolar 2. The episodes of mania and depression are less severe and less frequent than they are for those with bipolar 1. 

The far-ranging symptoms of bipolar disorder mean that it can be a challenging condition to deal with, as it often interferes with your daily life. 

What Causes Bipolar Disorder? 

While there are many different studies exploring potential causes for bipolar disorder, there is no exact known cause. However, as with many other mental health conditions, there are certain risk factors that could leave you more susceptible to dealing with bipolar disorder, including: 

  • Traumatic events. Traumatic events, such as breakups, deaths, and other negative experiences, can also act as a trigger for manic or depressive episodes. As a result, they can often accelerate the onset of bipolar disorder. 
  • Hormonal changes. Some studies have found that periods of hormonal imbalance, such as pregnancy or puberty, can also trigger bipolar symptoms, as our emotions are often closely linked to our hormones. 

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? 

Bipolar disorder can affect both men and women at any stage in their life. However, they are most likely to begin showing symptoms in their late teens. The most common characteristic to look out for is unpredictable or sudden changes in mood or behavior. For example, you may feel jubilant one moment and full of despair the next. 

However, many of the symptoms can also be categorized depending on whether the individual is dealing with a manic or depressive episode. 

Symptoms of a manic episode

  • Lack of awareness
  • Higher than normal energy levels, feeling ‘jumpy’
  • No longer feeling tired or sleepy
  • Talking fast or faster than normal
  • Increased appetite 
  • Increased self-esteem
  • More likely to indulge in impulsive or risk-taking behaviors
  • Easily distracted, jumping from one task to the next

Symptoms of a depressive episode

  • Low energy levels 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Trouble sleeping (either sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Lack of interest in tasks or hobbies
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low mood

What Are the Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder? 

Fortunately, there are many different kinds of treatment for bipolar disorder, which can help ensure that your well-being is protected and that your symptoms are well-managed.

At Jackson House, we offer a range of support services to patients who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (or similar conditions), including: 

Illness education. Through our therapeutic services, we hope to provide our patients with a better understanding of their condition. This way, you are more aware of the warning signs to look out for regarding your symptoms, and can also find new ways to navigate your way around potential triggers. This knowledge can also be empowering as it helps you to break down personal stigmas you may associate with the condition. 

Medication management. Many people with bipolar disorder use specific medications to help stabilize their moods and reduce mood swings. However, it can often take some time to find a medication or dosage that is right for you, which is why we’re here to help during every step of your medication journey. Whether you’re experiencing adverse side effects or simply feel as though your medication isn’t working in the way you’d like, we’re here to help. We can also answer any questions you might have about your medication, as medical jargon is not always the easiest to understand. 

Family involvement. Individuals dealing with mental health conditions often feel alone, and our family involvement services can help prove this is not the case by helping you to build a strong support system. This way, whenever you are having a bad day, you know you have someone to rely on. These services may be particularly beneficial if multiple people within your family have received a bipolar diagnosis. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy. A licensed CBT therapist can help you to better understand your thought patterns and behaviors, which can help you to remember that you are more than your thoughts—you are a person beyond your diagnosis. The techniques you learn about at a Jackson House facility can be instrumental in helping you better cope with bipolar disorder. 

Final Thoughts

Bipolar disorder is a common mental health condition that impacts millions of people worldwide. While symptoms can vary on a person-to-person basis, interventive strategies such as therapy, medication, and the building of a support network, can be instrumental in ensuring those who have received a diagnosis continue life as usual. 

If you’d like to find out more about our services or would like to connect to a therapist, please do not hesitate to get in touch today

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.

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 (888) 255-9280. 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.