Bipolar disorder is a common mental health disorder that causes extreme changes in mood and energy levels. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies to treat bipolar disorder. The clinicians are certified to provide primary and secondary mental health treatment to individuals with mental health issues and dual diagnosis.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by extreme emotional highs and lows. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “A person who has bipolar disorder also experiences changes in their energy, thinking, behavior, and sleep.” In addition, “During bipolar mood episodes, it is difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks, go to work or school, and maintain relationships.”

There are multiple types of bipolar disorder, including:

  • Bipolar I: Individuals with bipolar I have a history of manic episodes, sometimes accompanied by depressive episodes
  • Bipolar II: Individuals experience less severe manic episodes followed by depressive episodes
  • Cyclothymia: Frequent mood swings with less severe depressive and manic episodes compared to bipolar I and bipolar II
  • Rapid Cycling Bipolar: Four or more cycles of manic and depressive episodes within a year

Other forms of bipolar disorder include bipolar with mixed features, bipolar with seasonal patterns, and unspecified bipolar. Each type of bipolar disorder has unique symptoms, side effects, and risk factors. The multiple types of bipolar disorders make it difficult to diagnose. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses comprehensive assessments and screening tools to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

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Possible Signs of Bipolar Disorder

The signs of bipolar disorder vary significantly depending on a wide range of factors, including the type of bipolar, general health, stress levels, and co-occurring conditions. According to NIMH, “Some people with bipolar disorder may have milder symptoms than others.” However, if the disorder is left untreated, cycles of depression and mania often escalate and become more severe over time.

Some signs of bipolar disorder include:

  • Extreme fluctuations in mood and energy level
  • Changes in temperament
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Sudden loss or increase in productivity
  • Difficulty maintaining consistency at work or school
  • Lack of motivation and low self-esteem or extreme confidence in abilities

The effects of bipolar disorder vary depending on the person. Below are some of the most common symptoms people experience during manic and depressive episodes.

#1. Symptoms of Manic Episodes

Manic episodes can last for days or weeks and involve mild, moderate, or severe symptoms, including:

  • A sudden increase in self-confidence or feeling invulnerable
  • Impulsivity
  • Increased energy
  • Hyperfocused
  • Racing thoughts
  • Fidgeting
  • Irritation
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances

People experiencing a manic episode may make impulsive decisions that negatively impact their lives or loved ones. For example, during a manic episode, a person may make unwise financial decisions, causing them to lose financial stability.

#2. Symptoms of Depressive Episodes

Depressive symptoms of bipolar disorders may last for weeks or months and include:

  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed everyday activities
  • Feelings of sadness, dread, helplessness, or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed speech, thoughts, and behaviors
  • Self-isolating and withdrawing from loved ones

People experiencing severe depressive episodes may have difficulty functioning at every level, including dressing, eating, or otherwise caring for themselves.

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Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Side Effects of Untreated Bipolar Disorder

According to NIMH, “An estimated 2.8% of U.S. adults had bipolar disorder in the past year.” The side effects of untreated or unmanaged bipolar disorder impact millions of individuals and families.

Some of the potential side effects of untreated bipolar disorder include:

  • Increased risk of substance abuse
  • Legal problems
  • Financial instability
  • Increased severity of symptoms
  • Relationship problems
  • Suicidal ideation or self-harming behaviors

The side effects may be more severe and longer lasting for individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs). Early intervention and treatment is the best way to avoid adverse side effects and reduce the risk of developing multiple co-occurring conditions.

Treatment Options at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies to address mental health symptoms and co-occurring disorders. Some of the treatments and services offered include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Prescription medication
  • Nutritional medicine
  • Psychiatric services
  • Family therapy
  • Peer support
  • Aftercare planning

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab collaborates with clients and their loved ones to create personalized treatment plans. Clients have access to multiple levels of care to ensure a smooth transition from structured treatment to long-term recovery for individuals diagnosed with mental health disorders or dual diagnosis.

How to Support a Loved One With Bipolar Disorder

Clients with bipolar disorder benefit from having supportive family members participating in treatment. Family therapy, education, and support services provide clients and their loved ones with the tools they need to strengthen relationships and prepare to manage bipolar disorder after treatment.

Families of individuals with bipolar disorder support their loved ones by doing the following:

  • Being empathetic and compassionate
  • Providing practical support
  • Holding family members accountable for their choices
  • Educating themselves on bipolar disorder

Recovery is a process, and most individuals with bipolar disorder must manage their condition long-term using a combination of therapy and prescription medications. Individuals with co-occurring SUD face even more difficult challenges. Family support makes it easier for clients to transition smoothly from structured care into long-term recovery.