While many people experience occasional shifts in mood and energy levels, people who have bipolar disorder struggle with intense emotional changes that can disrupt their lives and cause significant distress.
Bipolar disorder can affect a person’s sleep, thoughts, activity levels, and behaviors — and its symptoms look much different from the person’s usual mood and functioning. Bipolar disorder can also lead to difficulties at work and in relationships.
People who have bipolar disorder can begin to manage their symptoms and rebuild balance in their lives by seeking personalized treatment that honors their unique needs, abilities, and goals. At East Tennessee Behavioral Health, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, we offer bipolar disorder treatment that focuses on the whole person: mind, body, and spirit.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder
People who have bipolar disorder may experience extreme bursts of energy, excitement, or irritability characteristic of manic or hypomanic episodes as well as periods of depressed mood and low energy (known as major depressive episodes). Bipolar disorder symptoms may look different for different people and depend on the type of bipolar disorder they are suffering from.
Three common forms of bipolar disorder are:
- Bipolar I disorder: Includes at least one manic episode and may include hypomanic or major depressive episodes
- Bipolar II disorder: Includes at least one hypomanic episode and a major depressive episode but does not include a current or past manic episode
- Cyclothymic disorder: Involves recurring periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms for at least two years (one year for children and adolescents) without the presence of a full manic, hypomanic, or major depressive episode
Signs & Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Depending on the type of bipolar disorder you are struggling with, you may experience symptoms that are characteristic of mania, hypomania (a less severe form of mania), or a major depressive episode.
Common symptoms of a manic or hypomanic episode might include:
- Feelings of euphoria and inflated self-confidence
- Feeling irritable
- Reduced need for sleep
- Excessive talking
- Racing thoughts
- Increase in goal-oriented behavior
- Reckless or risk-taking behavior
Symptoms that can indicate a major depressive episode include:
- Depressed or irritable mood
- Little interest or pleasure in most activities
- Low energy
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Sleep difficulties
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Inability to complete simple tasks
- Thoughts about suicide
It’s important to seek early, effective treatment so that the symptoms you are experiencing don’t continue to negatively impact your life.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
A 2018 study available from the National Library of Medicine reports the following findings on bipolar disorder:
- Research suggests that bipolar I disorder has about a 1% lifetime prevalence in the general population.
- An analysis of 25 studies found a lifetime prevalence of 1.06% for bipolar I disorder and 1.57% for bipolar II disorder.
- The average age of onset for bipolar disorder is in a person’s early 20s.
Bipolar disorder may be caused by several factors, including a family history of the disorder as well as biological differences — people who have bipolar disorder may have physical differences in brain structure.
Potential Effects of Bipolar Disorder
Getting bipolar disorder treatment may help prevent or reduce the serious physical, social, and behavioral outcomes that can occur as a result of a person’s struggles with the disorder.
Potential effects of bipolar disorder include:
- Severe difficulties at work or school
- Relationship challenges
- Negative consequences of impulsive behavior
- Stomach pain and nausea
- Chronic unemployment and financial difficulties
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Co-occurring mental health conditions
- Substance use and addiction
- Suicidal behaviors
At our inpatient bipolar disorder treatment center, we strive to help patients feel safe, comfortable, and empowered as they take steps to heal from the challenging symptoms and harmful effects of bipolar disorder.
Benefits of Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Living with bipolar disorder can be an exhausting and lonely experience. However, through treatment, you can find support and reduce feelings of isolation. By receiving bipolar disorder treatment, you can also work with caring professionals who can help you learn to manage your symptoms.
Additionally, an important part of bipolar disorder treatment and healing often involves building healthy routines and personal resources. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers several suggestions that include:
- Implementing strategies to reduce stress
- Keeping a consistent routine
- Eating well and exercising regularly
- Taking advantage of social support
By receiving treatment for bipolar disorder symptoms, you can take the time to heal within a reliable and structured support system. At East Tennessee Behavioral Health, our multidisciplinary treatment team will work together to continually assess and support your ongoing needs.
Therapies Used in Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Treatment for bipolar disorder can include medications as well as therapy.
At our bipolar disorder treatment center, we use a personalized, collaborative approach to helping people who are struggling with the disorder. As part of our admissions process, we will complete a thorough assessment to determine your unique treatment needs. Then, throughout your time with us, we will follow your individualized treatment plan, incorporating a range of tailored treatment methods that may involve:
- Medication management and basic medical care
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
Social workers, counselors, and other experienced professionals lead therapy sessions that may include individual, family, and group therapies.
Our inpatient bipolar disorder treatment center can offer care for adults as well as adolescents age 13 and older. We can also provide support for patients who have co-occurring addictions.
Why Choose Our Bipolar Disorder Treatment Center
At East Tennessee Behavioral Health in Knoxville, Tennessee, we offer a treatment place where people can heal from the symptoms of bipolar disorder in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
We understand that people who are struggling with mental health concerns such as bipolar disorder need specialized and responsive treatment, and we have a skilled multidisciplinary team that can provide appropriate care.
We also offer comprehensive discharge planning and aftercare so that there can be a supportive plan in place when you leave our bipolar disorder treatment center. This can help ensure that you have the resources you need to continue working toward lasting healing.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at East Tennessee Behavioral Health.