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Expert bipolar disorder treatment for better quality of life

Priory has been helping to treat bipolar disorder for many years, so rest assured that we know how to reduce its impact. If you receive a bipolar diagnosis, we can help you to manage your symptoms and give you the coping skills for a more fulfilling and stable life.

Our mental health experts have an intimate knowledge of bipolar disorder in all its forms, and they understand that its symptoms can often feel overwhelming. You may feel hopeless at first, but we want to restore your hope for what lies ahead. We will help to provide clarity around your current situation, allow you to start making peace with your mental health challenges and support you in moving more confidently towards your goals.

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We recognise that everyone’s situation is different, so we’ll always carry out an initial assessment before recommending the best course of action for your needs. You’ll receive a treatment plan focused on gaining the best possible outcome for you, structured within NICE-approved guidelines.

You can carry out treatment in person at one of our hospitals or wellbeing centres, or over video with our remote therapy service, Priory Connect. Starting out on your new path to a happier future begins when you get in touch – we’ll guide you through the rest, with the minimal possible disruption to your life and wellbeing.

As with any mental illness, there is help available for you no matter how bad things seem. Bipolar treatment will lessen the impact of your condition, so that your responsibilities feel easier to handle and you can find pleasure in your day-to-day routine. You deserve to look forward to what lies ahead – at Priory, we give you the ability and self-assurance to enrich your outlook and live out your dreams.

Signs that you may need bipolar disorder treatment with Priory

You don’t need to feel alone. Bipolar disorder is a relatively common mental health condition, which around 1 in 100 people will be diagnosed with. We can help you to understand what you are going through, by addressing your specific, unique symptoms.

Previously known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is characterised by extreme mood swings. These can range from excessive energetic highs, known as mania, to the extreme lows of depression. Episodes of these can last for anywhere between several weeks and several months.

You may be wondering how to spot the signs of bipolar disorder. Here are some key symptoms of both depressive and manic episodes, which demonstrate the condition’s contrasts:

  • Feelings of extreme sadness and unhappiness
  • Losing interest in activities you previously enjoyed
  • Low self-esteem
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of exhaustion
  • Increased energy and desire to be active
  • Racing thoughts and talking quickly
  • Not needing as much sleep
  • Unrealistic beliefs about your own abilities

If you are experiencing extreme symptoms like these, seek advice from your GP. You can see a more extensive list of bipolar disorder symptoms. The patterns of bipolar mood swings vary from person to person.

Some people experience only a handful of bipolar episodes during their lifetime; others go through many episodes. While bipolar disorder can be diagnosed at any age, you will most likely have experienced symptoms during your teens. Bipolar disorder is rarely diagnosed in middle age or later life.

Every person is different, so we will work with you to create a treatment programme completely personalised to your needs. Our team are committed to ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome from our support.

The four types of bipolar disorder explained

While bipolar disorder can be categorised more generally by the highs and lows experienced when you have the condition, there are actually four particular types of diagnosis. These are:

  • Bipolar I disorder
  • Bipolar II disorder
  • Rapid cycling
  • Cyclothymia

Read more about the different bipolar disorder types below.

Bipolar I

If you have experienced an episode of mania lasting longer than one week, you may have bipolar I. The depressive episodes may be shorter or less intense with Bipolar I, but the mania more severe.

Bipolar II

You may be diagnosed with bipolar II if you regularly have episodes of severe depression, while your manic episodes tend to be milder. They would be defined instead as hypomania.

Rapid cycling

Affecting around 1 in 10 people with bipolar disorder, rapid cycling bipolar is diagnosed when you have had more than four mood swings within one year.

Cyclothymia

While the extremes of mood with cyclothymia are not as severe as in other types of bipolar disorder, they can last longer. They can sometimes go on to develop into full bipolar disorder.

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You don’t have to struggle with a mental health condition; expert treatment is available. Get the support you need today by calling us on: 0800 840 3219 or sending an enquiry form online.

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Bipolar disorder and manic depression

Bipolar disorder used to be referred to as manic depression, because of the condition’s key symptoms of mania and hypomania. If you are diagnosed with the condition, the energetic highs during an episode feel like an increased sense of wellbeing. These symptoms can be so intense that they affect your judgement and decision-making abilities, making it nearly impossible to manage your life properly.

When you experience a bipolar disorder episode on the lower end of the mood scale, it will feel just like depression. Although extreme sadness is a feeling that everyone will experience at some stage in life, the intensity of depressed feelings with bipolar disorder is far worse. Symptoms can persist for much longer, making daily responsibilities and situations in your life much harder to deal with.

Bipolar disorder treatment programmes tailored to you

The type and length of treatment for bipolar disorder will depend on its severity and your personal circumstances. At Priory, people with less severe symptoms – often those with bipolar II disorder - are treated as an outpatient. This means that you can visit your nearest Priory Wellbeing Centre or hospital, or access remote treatment online, for hourly sessions with a consultant, psychologist or therapist. You will continue to live at home during this treatment.

If you choose the option of our remote therapy service, Priory Connect, you will benefit from the same expert help and personalised support given in face-to-face treatment at one of our centres or hospitals. Our clinicians will carry out your weekly appointments over a video call, at a time which suits you, with minimal disruption to your other commitments.

If the symptoms of bipolar disorder are particularly debilitating, you may require a more structured treatment approach. In this case, an inpatient stay at a Priory hospital may be the best bipolar treatment for your needs. Here you can take part in our psychological group programme, as well as attending regular sessions with an experienced consultant.

You will stay in one of our comfortable bedrooms for the duration of your treatment, benefitting from 24-hour care and being in a community of other patients who understand your experience. Our relaxing facilities are designed to take you away from the strains of daily life, improving your general wellbeing as you undergo treatment.

This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Leon Rozewicz (MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCGP, MRCPsych) in June 2020, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in June 2022. To view all Priory bipolar disorder specialists, please click here.

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