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Signs It's Time to Get Help for Bipolar Disorder

Signs It's Time to Get Help for Bipolar Disorder

While bipolar disorder may not affect a significant number of people — about 2.8% of the population in the United States — 83% of those cases are classified as severe.  Not treating bipolar disorder can be very dangerous as the condition tends to get worse, which is why recognizing when treatment is warranted is critical.

Here at the Institute for Advanced Psychiatry, Dr. Diana Ghelber and the experienced mental health team counts bipolar disorder among the many mental health conditions that we can successfully treat.

To help you recognize when it’s time to get help for bipolar disorder, we pulled together the following information.

Types of bipolar disorder

There are several different types of bipolar disorder, but the three most common include:

Bipolar I disorder

This is the most common type of bipolar disorder, and it’s characterized by manic episodes that last at least seven days or are severe enough right from the onset that they require intervention. In addition to the manic episodes, there are also episodes of depression that last two weeks or more. In some cases, both manic and depressive symptoms can occur at the same time.

Bipolar II disorder

Cycles of depressive and manic episodes, but the manic episodes aren’t as severe.

Cyclothymic Disorder 

Cycles of depressive and manic episodes that last for two years (one year in adolescents and kids). These symptoms fall short of meeting the diagnostic criteria for a clinical depressive or manic episode, but the milder symptoms persist.

Signs you should seek help for bipolar disorder

For all types of bipolar disorder, there’s a very good case for seeking help as, left untreated, these cycles can continue unabated and even get worse.

To be sure, it’s hard to avoid intervention when someone is experiencing a severe manic episode as they can become a danger to themselves and others. During these manic episodes, a person might feel invincible and engage in risky behaviors as they don’t understand the consequences of their actions. They can also stop sleeping and eating, and functioning normally at school, at work, or at home becomes nearly impossible.

Another potential occurrence during a manic episode is hallucinating, which can be incredibly dangerous.

On the other end of the spectrum, the periods of depression can also make it difficult for people to function, and suicide is always a clear-and-present threat.

We’re discussing severe symptoms of both mania and depression here, but this is important since the majority of cases of bipolar disorder are considered severe.

Even if you or a loved one is experiencing milder symptoms that don’t warrant immediate intervention, the ongoing cycles of mania and depression can still make life difficult. Low-grade depression can lead to a prevailing sense of sadness and hopelessness, making it difficult to find joy in life. 

Another point to consider is that, while manic periods may feel almost welcome after a depressive state, the “happiness” isn’t real or controllable. Not to mention, extreme happiness is one outward sign of a manic state, but, so too, is irritability and anger.

Treating bipolar disorder

We understand that identifying a mental health issue when you’re in the thick of it can be difficult, but if you’re worried about yourself or a loved one, it’s best that you seek professional help so that you can get the right diagnosis and treatment.

If we find evidence of bipolar disorder, we can quickly treat the condition through medications, psychotherapy, and transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy. By stopping the cycles of depression and mania, we can help you to lead a more balanced life.

For more information about bipolar disorder, please contact one of our offices in Granbury or Fort Worth, Texas, to set up a consultation.

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