If you have bipolar disorder, you will experience swings in mood. During “manic” episodes, you are likely to display overactive, excited or impulsive behaviour. At other times, you may go through long periods of feeling very depressed. There are different types of bipolar disorder, which depend on how often these swings in mood occur and how severe they are.
Bipolar is a condition that lasts a lifetime, and it will give you an unpredictable run of downs and ups. If it isn’t treated, then these swings can be devastating. These recurring depressive and manic episodes are part of this condition can make it challenging to lead a productive and stable life. It can be difficult to function at all.
If you have bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of depression more regularly than episodes of mania, or vice versa. Between these episodes, you may experience periods of stability.
The patterns of mood instability will also vary from person to person. Some people will experience rapid mood cycling, moving from high to low very quickly without having a period of stability in between. Others will describe a more mixed state with symptoms of overactivity at the same time as a depressed mood.
During depressive cycles, you will experience some or all of the following symptoms:
During manic cycles, you will experience some or all of these symptoms:
The specific cause of bipolar disorder has not been discovered, and, there does not appear to be a singular cause. Some causes that have been consistently related to bipolar disorder are:
1 in 100 people will develop bipolar disorder at some point in their life. It can occur at any age but usually develops between the ages of 15 to 19. Bipolar disorder rarely develops after the age of 40.
Men and women are both equally as likely to have bipolar disorder.
You can make an appointment to see the GP. They can signpost you to support within the NHS.
There are charities out there that support people dealing with bipolar disorder. Bipolar UK offers a peer support line and peer support groups for those dealing with bipolar disorder. Rethink Mental Illness offer helplines and mental health service all over the country.
Select Psychology offers a wide of therapies to address bipolar disorder and gives you the tools to cope and understand your emotions. We are a private mental health service with highly trained therapists and no waiting lists.
This is how therapy would work:
Step 1 – Get in touch: The first step is recognising you have an issue and seeking help – Book a free telephone consultation and start the process by providing a space and time to share your needs with us.
Step 2 – Telephone Consultation: You will be heard and understood through a confidential phone conversation. Often called the ‘triage’ this is where you can share more about your needs, and we can advise on therapy pathways and provide initial guidance where possible.
Step 3 – Appointment Offer: We will match your needs with the best fit practitioner for your therapy pathway and offer you an appointment within two weeks.
Step 4 – Initial Assessment: Before you begin a course of therapy, your therapist will need to conduct an assessment in order agree a course of therapy with you that will best help you and address your goals. This is still part of the therapeutic process and will provide you with a better understanding of your difficulties and how you may start to approach them.
Step 5 – Your Therapy: Following on from your assessment, you will move onto therapy. Appointments are 50 minutes – these can be anything from weekly to monthly, depending on your individual circumstances. The number of sessions required to feel better will depend on your needs and therapy plan, this can range between 8-16 sessions, but in general, more time is needed to address more complex issues.
Step 6 – Feeling Better: As you start to improve, you can agree on changes to the frequency of sessions as required. Ultimately, there will be a time when both you and your therapist agree that you no longer need to continue in active therapy.
1. What is the difference between mania and hypomania?
Hypomania is a less extreme version of mania. Hypomania usually doesn’t last as long as mania. A manic episode usually disrupts normal living, whereas, during a hypomanic episode, everyday living can still go on.
2. Can bipolar disorder go away?
Symptoms may come and go. But bipolar disorder is a life long condition that usually requires life long intervention. Treatment is considered essential for an individual to be able to manage their symptoms and carry out regular tasks.
3. Are you born with Bipolar disorder?
Research suggests that people are born with an increased chance of bipolar disorder, but it is a mix of genetics and life experience that dictate whether a person develops bipolar disorder or not.
4. Do bipolar disorder people hear voices?
For some people with bipolar disorder, they also experience psychotic symptoms. These can include delusions and auditory or visual hallucinations.
5. Can bipolar disorder get worse with age?
If bipolar disorder if left untreated it can. Over time episodes may get more severe and, cycling between states can become more frequent. Which is why professional help is essential to be able to manage bipolar disorder