Counseling For Bipolar Disorder
People with bipolar disorder experience moods that cycle between depression and mania, hence the old term for this condition, manic-depressive disorder. If you've read the depression page, you know that being depressed entails a sad mood and loss of interest of previously enjoyed activities for a significant period of time.
On the other hand, mania means your mood is elevated which is like being on "Cloud 9", easily excitable, and full of energy. Your mood may rapidly shift from from this elevated state to an irritable one, where you are easily annoyed or set off by your circumstances. Sometimes you may start an activity and stay up all night doing it because you are getting so much done. You may feel a sense of being untouchable or indestructible, become easily distracted, and speak very quickly because there are so many thoughts in your mind. Periods of engaging in risky behavior, like drug or alcohol use, excessive shopping, gambling, or sex also occur with manic states. These behaviors can be the most problematic aspect of bipolar disorder, because of legal, financial, and relational consequences that accompany them.
Both manic and depressed moods can vary in severity. In some cases, hallucinations or delusional thinking occurs along side the mood disruptions.
If you think you or some you know is experiencing bipolar disorder, call a healthcare provider right away. Therapy can help build awareness of patterns of mood changes, the thoughts and behaviors that come with the mood changes, and triggers that set them off. Learning how to modify responses to stressful situations, and finding alternative outlets for excessive energy are very helpful for bipolar disorder. Medication can be helpful to stabilize the mood, and research suggests that a combination of medication and psychotherapy produce the best outcomes for this condition.
Read more about bipolar from the National Institute of Mental Health.
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