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a man sits on a couch and discusses his concerns with his therapist in a bipolar disorder treatment programLife has its ups and downs. Everyone has days where they feel up and full of energy, ready to take on challenges and try new things, and when they feel low, it’s hard to get through the day. While anyone’s mood and efficiency can be impacted by various factors, individuals with bipolar disorder experience these fluctuations to an unusually high magnitude. However, our bipolar disorder treatment program can make a difference.

At Harmony, we understand bipolar disorder and how to approach treatment best. We provide comprehensive mental health treatment options that combine evidence-based therapies with lifestyle changes to help you or your loved one find stability, peace, and joy.

Our bipolar disorder treatment program may include psychotherapy, medications, lifestyle modifications, family therapy, and other interventions depending on each client’s needs. We provide a safe, supportive, and compassionate environment for clients of all ages to explore their bipolar disorder and its roots to gain a better understanding of themselves and the ways bipolar disorder is impacting their life.

Call us today at 304.410.0082 to determine if the bipolar disorder treatment center at Harmony is right for you or your loved one. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, occasionally referred to as manic depression, is a condition that causes dramatic shifts in mood and ability to function. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of high energy, impulsivity (mania), low mood, and lethargy (depression). Unlike mood swings, these episodes can last for weeks or even months.

There are two types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I – This is the more severe form of bipolar disorder. Manic episodes last at least seven days, and depressive episodes last at least 14 days. People who experience shorter episodes may also be diagnosed with bipolar I if their episodes are so severe that they require hospitalization.
  • Bipolar II – This involves a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, which are up periods that are not as extreme as the full-blown manic episodes that are common in bipolar I.

At Harmony, our expert clinical teams have extensive experience treating bipolar disorder and developing bipolar disorder treatment plans to meet each client’s unique needs.

Misconceptions About Bipolar Disorder

Although bipolar disorder has been featured in popular culture, it is often misrepresented and misunderstood. “Bipolar” characters are usually simple ones whose moods change quickly. Sometimes, these characters are depicted as completely insane. Not only is this a simplification of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, but it also misrepresents bipolar disorder in a way that paints the condition as mere mood swings.

Like depression, bipolar disorder is a severe mood disorder that can be fatal if left untreated. Misrepresentations of bipolar disorder are dangerous because they add to the stigma surrounding bipolar and other mood disorders. This can make life harder for those living with the condition and prevent people who need help from seeking it. 

The Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of mania and periods of depression. The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on what kind of episode a person is experiencing.

Symptoms of manic episodes include:

  • An exaggerated sense of well-being or confidence
  • Easily distracted
  • Feeling abnormally alert, jumpy, or wired
  • Increased energy or agitation
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Impulsive or risk-taking behavior

Symptoms of depressive episodes include:

  • Change in eating or sleeping habits
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate
  • Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, or worthlessness
  • Suicidal ideation

Those with bipolar II disorder, in which manic episodes are typically milder than other types of the condition, may be misdiagnosed as having major depressive disorder before bipolar is identified.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition. Various factors affect an individual’s risk of developing it. The exact causes of bipolar disorder are unknown, but it is likely caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Genetic Causes

Studies suggest that people with a direct relative, like a parent or sibling, who have bipolar disorder may be susceptible to inheriting the condition themselves. They have not isolated a particular gene that causes bipolar disorder, but it does tend to run in the family. 

Biological Causes

People with bipolar disorder have different biological structures in their brains compared to people who do not have bipolar disorder. More research needs to be conducted on the significance of these physical differences.

Environmental Causes

Environmental influences, such as a traumatic episode or heightened stress levels, can catalyze the first onset of bipolar disorder.

Psychological Causes

Individuals who have trouble coping with stress or indulge in risk-taking behaviors could be more likely to react to environmental factors that might trigger a bipolar episode.  Additionally, drug and alcohol use can trigger the first episode of the disorder.

What Happens in a Bipolar Disorder Therapy Program?

Bipolar disorder treatment can include several components that work together to alleviate symptoms. Treatment for bipolar disorder could consist of the following:

  • Medication – Medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and sleeping medications can help relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • Peer support – Connecting with other people with bipolar disorder can be very helpful in better understanding and managing bipolar symptoms. Support groups offer a safe place for individuals to talk about their experiences, ask questions, and receive support from people who have been through similar experiences.
  • Therapy – Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other types of therapy can help people with bipolar disorder cope with the high highs and low lows of their condition. Therapy can also help them learn coping mechanisms to manage their bipolar more effectively.

Although bipolar disorder can be challenging to manage, many people can live full and productive lives with a proper treatment plan. If you or someone you know is struggling with bipolar disorder, resources are available to help.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment Benefits

Participating in our bipolar disorder treatment program can benefit clients struggling with mental health conditions. Education, goal-setting, and other lifestyle changes often accompany these treatments, helping people better understand their diagnosis, develop self-care strategies and gain practical skills to manage symptoms. 

Therapy and medication can also improve relationships with family and friends and clarify decision-making. And beyond the clinical benefits of treatment programs, our program ultimately strives to achieve larger goals, including:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Positive perceptions of self-image
  • Coping skills that contribute to long-term stability and wellness

Thanks to a wide range of evidence-based practices currently available for treating bipolar disorder, many people who receive such services report tremendous improvement in their diagnosis within one year.

Reach Out to Harmony for Effective Bipolar Disorder Treatment in West Virginia

Managing the two opposite sets of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder can be difficult. Contact our mental health specialists today to take control of your mental health and find balance in your life. With the help of Harmony, bipolar disorder does not have to be a hindrance. To ensure you reach your goals, we have created special and unique treatment plans for bipolar disorder that fit you perfectly.

We are committed to helping people in our communities access life-changing mental health care. If you believe you are experiencing a mood disorder like bipolar disorder, contact us today at 304.410.0082 or reach out online to learn what our compassionate care providers can do for you.