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Bipolar disorder treatment

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis describing a variety of mood disorders. This is defined by mood swings, from excessive energetic highs to depressive and extreme lows. Bipolar disorder episodes, whether high or low, can last from several weeks to several months.

Causes of bipolar disorder

The causes of bipolar disorder are still relatively unknown. Research indicates a genetic link alongside a physical problem with the areas of the brain that are linked to mood control, as well as a knock-on effect from stressful experiences or physical illness.

It is estimated that approximately one in every 100 adults has bipolar disorder at some stage in their life. It usually occurs during or after adolescence. There do not appear to be any gender differences, with bipolar disorder affecting men and women equally.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Symptoms associated with bipolar disorder differ in line with the varying nature of the condition. However, certain behavioural patterns are common.

These include manic or depressive episodes, with many people with bipolar disorder developing psychotic symptoms. In a manic state you will have extreme confidence in your abilities while in a depressive state you believe you're worse than anyone else or even that you don't exist.  For more information on the symptoms of bipolar disorder click here.

What are mania and hypomania?

Mania is a heightened sense of wellbeing which is offset with extreme energy and optimism. Mania can be so intense that it can affect a person's judgement and decision-making abilities and make it almost impossible to deal with life effectively.

This can have a negative impact on both personal relationships and those with colleagues at work. Periods where symptoms are not as extreme are known as hypomania. Symptoms of mania and hypomania include:

  • Elevated mood
  • Irritability
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Excessive talking
  • Becoming easily distracted
  • Making poor judgement
  • Reduced sleep

Depression and bipolar disorder

Depression is one of the common symptoms of bipolar disorder. Whilst it is a feeling that everyone will experience at some stage in life, for sufferers of bipolar disorder, the depression experienced is far worse. The feelings, possibly combined with other signs of bipolar disorder, will persist for much longer and will make everyday occurrences in life much harder to deal with. Symptoms include:

  • Decrease in self-confidence
  • Inabiity to make decisions
  • Reduced sleep
  • Negative thoughts about life
  • Lack of interest in friends and family
  • Becoming isolated from friends
  • Suicidal thoughts

Treatment for bipolar disorder

Priory has been helping to treat bipolar disorder for over 25 years. We recognise that each individual’s situation is different, which is why we ensure that everyone has a unique treatment plan tailored to their needs.

The type and length of treatment for bipolar disorder is dependent on the individual's circumstances and the severity of the condition.

Some are treated as an outpatient, which means they visit Priory for hourly sessions with their consultant, psychologist or therapist.

Others require a more structured treatment approach which can include an inpatient stay at a Priory hospital for the duration of their treatment for bipolar disorder, where they take part in the psychological group programme as well as attending regular sessions with their consultant.

For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding Bipolar disorder treatment, please call 0800 840 3219. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here