What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Raleigh, NC depression treatmentThere are many types of mental illnesses and some are easier to see and understand than others. Bipolar disorder (BPD) manifests in many different ways, making it sometimes difficult to diagnose. While there is no definitive answer as to what causes bipolar disorder, scientists believe that there is no one cause. For Raleigh, NC depression treatment you can trust, call Legacy Freedom.

Many different factors influence a person's risk for developing bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder causes uncommon shifts in mood, inhibits the ability to function and carry out day to day tasks, and changes in energy and activity levels.

A complicated mix of family history, brain structure, genetics and brain function all determine whether a person is at risk for developing bipolar disorder. While bipolar disorder does tend to run in families, this does not mean that everyone in the family will be diagnosed with the illness. There is an increased likelihood of someone being diagnosed with BPD if a parent or sibling has been diagnosed. Researchers are currently working to identify the specific genes that influence whether a person will have BPD or not. New information from studies of the brains of humans that were treated for BPD have shown significant differences unique to this disorder.

There are four different types of bipolar disorder. Manic episodes, depressive episodes, and hypomanic episodes are indicative of each of the types. If you need Raleigh, NC depression treatment, call Legacy Freedom.

  • Cyclothymic Disorder - a type of BPD with periods of depressive and hypomanic symptoms that have lasted for more than two years.
  • Bipolar I Disorder - Manic episodes which last at least a week or require hospitalization for severe symptoms. Depressive episodes usually occur as well, sometimes at the same time as hypomanic or manic episodes.
  • Bipolar II Disorder - Lacking the full manic episodes of bipolar disorder I, bipolar disorder II has depressive and hypomanic episodes which seem to follow a pattern.
  • Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders - Experience symptoms but do not fit the defined criteria above.

Receiving a diagnosis of BPD can take years. In the meantime, many people who are struggling with BPD feel anxious, scared, misunderstood or angry. Substance abuse often accompanies BPD as a way for the individual to cope or self-medicate while waiting for a diagnosis. This can make symptoms worse rather than better.

Additional mental illnesses may accompany BPD and are common in most patients:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety disorders

Once the BPD is treated and managed the co-occurring mental illnesses effectively may resolve or improve. For more information, visit with part two of this series.

Affordable Outpatient Raleigh, NC Depression Treatment

If you, or someone you love, are suffering from BPD, contact Legacy Freedom of Raleigh. Our holistic approach to mental health treats the whole person, not just the mental illness. Together with your care team, you will create a plan of care based on your needs and interests. With more than ten types of alternative therapy available, we have something for everyone. Including yoga, tai chi, meditation, inner child therapy and equestrian therapy. Our on-staff dietician and physical therapist help you work to heal your physical body while our dedicated team of therapists guides you through one on one therapy and group therapy to heal your mind. You are at the center of everything we do here at Legacy Freedom.

No matter where you are in your mental health journey, our staff is here to help. Get the help you need. We're just a phone call or a click away.

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