Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that can be very difficult to deal with, and it often leads to suicidal ideation.
While many think people who have bipolar disorder just have mood swings and are therefore able to “snap out of it,” the symptoms of bipolar disorder and the depression that can come along with it are much more complicated and debilitating than that.
In fact, people with bipolar disorder often experience depression and mania, making it very difficult to function in day-to-day life.
This blog post will discuss bipolar disorder in detail, look at how it can lead to suicidal thoughts, and consider how it can be managed with the right treatment.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar affective disorder, is a mental illness that causes periods of mania and depression.
Mania is defined as a period of abnormally elevated mood, energy, and activity level.
During a manic episode, people may feel “high” or euphoric and have increased energy. They may also become more impulsive, take risks, and experience delusions or hallucinations.
Depression, on the other hand, is a period of low mood and energy.
People who are experiencing a depressive episode may feel hopeless, sad, or “empty.”
They may also have trouble sleeping, lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and experience changes in appetite.
It is important to note that bipolar disorder is a spectrum disorder, which means that symptoms can range from mild to severe.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 5.7 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by bipolar disorder every year — that’s 2.8% of all U.S adults.
In their lifetime, it’s estimated almost 5% of all U.S. adults will suffer from a period of bipolar disorder at some time in their lives. Many of those who suffer will deal with serious life impairment due to bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder often goes undiagnosed because symptoms can be hard to spot, and many people with the disorder don’t seek help because they feel ashamed or embarrassed.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder symptoms can vary from person to person, and symptoms may also change over time.
It’s important to understand that symptoms of bipolar disorder are not just mood swings.
The symptoms of mania and depression can be severe, having a major impact on day-to-day life.
During a manic episode, symptoms may include:
- Increased energy
- A decreased need for sleep
- Racing thoughts
During an episode, these symptoms work together to make the individual unable to think about the long-term consequences of their actions.
This often leads to making erratic decisions, like spending large amounts of money or engaging in risky behaviors.
Episodes of bipolar depression may include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty moods
- Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even over small matters
- Feeling guilty, worthless, and helpless
- Suicidal ideation
These episodes can last for weeks or even months at a time, and people with bipolar disorder may also experience periods of “normal” moods in between these episodes.
It’s important to note that symptoms will vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience all symptoms listed above. The most dangerous and challenging symptom that those affected with bipolar disorder deal with is suicidal ideation.
What Is Suicidal Ideation?
Suicidal ideation is defined as thoughts about taking one’s own life without a specific plan or intent to do so.
People who are experiencing suicidal thoughts may not have a concrete plan for how they would take their own lives, but they are still in danger of harming themselves.
Suicidal ideation is a severe symptom of bipolar disorder and should always be taken seriously.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it’s vital to seek professional help immediately.
There are many treatment options available for bipolar disorder, and with the help of a mental health professional, it is possible to live a happy and healthy life.
Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a treatable mental illness, and with the help of a mental health professional, it is possible to manage symptoms and live a happy and healthy life.
There are many different types of treatments available for bipolar disorder, including:
A standard option for those with bipolar disorder is medication. Certain medications can help to stabilize mood and control symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider about what options are available.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is another common treatment option for bipolar disorder. This type of therapy can help you understand your illness and develop coping strategies for dealing with symptoms.
Ketamine treatments are a newer option for treating bipolar disorder, and recent research has shown that ketamine can be an effective treatment for symptoms of bipolar depression.
Vitality Psychiatric Can Help
If you or someone you love is struggling with bipolar disorder, the team at Vitality Psychiatric can help.
We offer a variety of treatment options, including:
With individualized psychotropic medication management, our team can help you find the right medication or combination of medications to control symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Our professional team of certified therapists helps you understand your illness and talk about many of the different symptoms that you experience.
Pharmacogenomics uses your DNA to determine which medications can work best for you as a cutting-edge treatment option. It helps our team understand how your body will metabolize medications so we can prescribe the best possible treatment for you.
No matter what treatment option you choose, ranging from crisis stabilization to routine care, the Vitality Psychiatric team is here to support you on your journey to bettering your life or that of a loved one.
We work to create a custom treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals.
If you have additional questions or want to know more about our services, please don’t hesitate to book a free consultation with us.
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Vitality Psychiatric can help.