by Megan Kennedy
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness and permanent condition. When left untreated, it’s highs and lows can be erratic and the disorder can be overwhelming. The cyclical manic and depressive phases that distinguish bipolar disorder can cause poor performance at work or school, fragmented relationships, and sometimes suicide. However, with treatment, people with bipolar disorder can lead very full lives.
Bipolar symptoms can be severe and they are different than the normal highs and lows everyone occasionally experiences. The manic episodes present with bipolar disorders are characterized by an elevated, expansive, or irritable mood in combination with symptoms such as:
During the depressive phase, you may find it difficult to complete everyday responsibilities. Bipolar depression is characterized by:
Effective treatment of bipolar disorder is dependent on a number of factors, and medication unaided usually isn’t sufficient. For the most effective treatment, you should learn about the illness, talk openly with your doctors and therapist, develop a reliable support system, live a healthy lifestyle, and commit to a treatment plan. The goal of a comprehensive treatment plan is to ease symptoms, restore your ability to function, repair problems that bipolar disorder has caused in various areas of your life, and lessen the possibility of recurrence. Comprehensive treatment plans usually include:
To learn more about bipolar disorder or find local support groups visit: http://www.dbsadallas.org/
Kambria Kennedy-Dominguez, Counselor and yoga teacher specializing in mental health, substance abuse and wellness.