Bipolar disorder is a common mental illness. Typically, bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of very low mood and episodes of high mood. While bipolar disorder can be serious, treatment can help you to manage your symptoms.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder symptoms can vary but are generally understood to fall under two categories: depressive symptoms and manic symptoms. In most types of bipolar disorder, these symptom types appear in clusters or “episodes,” where the person with bipolar disorder will experience mostly one type of symptom for a period of time.
Depressive symptoms are characterized by persistent low mood and typically occur in a longer period of depressive symptoms called a depressive episode. Some depressive symptoms include:
- Fatigue or excessive tiredness
- Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, or difficulty staying asleep
- Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
- New or worsening social isolation
- Irritability or anxiety
Manic symptoms are typically described as high mood but may be better understood as feelings of power or high energy. Some manic symptoms include:
- Rapid, sometimes irrational speech
- Excessive risk-taking, such as engaging in risky gambling or sex
- Feelings of excitement, energy, and motivation
- Lack of interest in sleep
- Starting new, often unrealistic projects
Not all people with bipolar disorder experience high levels of mania. Lower levels of mania, called hypomania, involve less severe symptoms for shorter periods. Hypomania can be difficult to recognize, especially as it can appear to be normal behavior for both those with bipolar disorder and their loved ones.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
Depending on the severity, frequency, and type of symptoms, bipolar disorder is diagnosed as one of three subtypes. The sub-types include:
- Bipolar I disorder: The most severe type of bipolar, bipolar I involves long, severe episodes of depression and mania.
- Bipolar II disorder: With bipolar II, episodes of depression and mania are typically shorter and less severe. Bipolar II is the most common type of bipolar disorder.
- Cyclothymic disorder: Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by depressive and hypomanic symptoms without the presence of depressive and manic episodes. As a result, people with cyclothymic disorder experience these symptoms more sporadically, and mania is less severe.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 2.8% of U.S. adults have bipolar disorder, and 4.4% of U.S. adults will experience it at some point in their lifetime. Additionally, 82.9% of people with bipolar disorder experience severe impairment, making most cases of bipolar disorder serious. Bipolar disorder commonly co-occurs with other disorders, such as various anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and eating disorders.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment Laguna Beach, CA
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be challenging. Many people with bipolar disorder may find it difficult to attend work or school, take care of themselves, and complete chores. While bipolar disorder can be severe, treatment can help people with all forms and severities of bipolar disorder.
Alter Wellness Care’s Program
At Alter Wellness Care, located in sunny Laguna Beach, California, we understand that no one treatment option works for everyone. To ensure all of our clients can access the treatment which works best for them, we offer a multitude of treatment options to suit your needs. While enrolling in treatment with us, clients choose between one of three programs: one of two of our intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) or our partial hospitalization program (PHP).
Our Intensive Outpatient Programs
IOPs are designed to offer more involved, structured care to those with bipolar disorder or other psychiatric disorders. At Alter Wellness Care, we offer two levels of IOP: IOP5 and IOP3.
IOP5 is a longer program, lasting 40 to 60 days. While in treatment, clients stay at a local sober living house seven days a week. This allows us to ensure that you have access to a safe place to return. In addition, as it is close by, clients have easy access to their treatment. Treatment is available every day, Monday through Friday, at various points in the day.
IOP3 is our shorter program, lasting 30 to 40 days in total. Like in IOP5, clients stay in a local sober living house seven days a week. Treatment is offered every day, Monday through Friday, either in two morning sessions or two afternoon sessions.
Our Partial Hospitalization Program
Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) is designed for those seeking less structured, more flexible treatment and lasts 30 to 45 days. To ensure your safety and comfort, clients reside in a nearby sober living house every day of the week. Treatment at Alter Wellness Care is offered Monday through Friday, three to five days a week.
Our Treatment Options in Orange County
Alter Wellness Care believes in holistic, evidence-based therapy for all. All of our programs, both our IOPs and our PHP, offer a variety of treatment options to support the needs of our clients. These options include, but are not limited to:
- Psycho-educational groups: While in treatment, clients work in groups to learn about their psychiatric disorders and symptoms and strategize effective methods to manage distressing behaviors.
- Skill development groups: In skill development groups, a therapist works with clients to decide which skills are most valuable to the group. Together, those in treatment learn tools to manage symptoms and build social skills.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) groups: CBT is a common, scientifically-backed treatment used for bipolar disorder and other psychiatric disorders. CBT teaches vital skills and helps patients to identify and interrupt harmful thought patterns.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of CBT specifically focused on emotion regulation. Using DBT, patients learn to better tolerate negative emotions and pay mindful attention to their environments.
- Support groups: Our support groups offer a safe space to learn interpersonal skills and connect with others. Together, those in treatment work to solve problems and strengthen their recovery toolkits.
Alter Wellness Care, located in Laguna Beach, California, offers holistic, evidence-based treatment for people with bipolar disorder. Call (866) 515-1580 for more information.