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Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes shifts in mood and energy. This disorder can also affect how much of your day-to-day activity you complete and how much you can concentrate on a given task. If you are someone who experiences bipolar disorder and anxiety, you may be struggling to manage your symptoms.
Going into an outpatient treatment program like the one Alter Wellness Care offers can be an immense help in managing your symptoms. Understanding the link between bipolar disorder and anxiety is important. By understanding their connection, you can learn how to manage both effectively.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is classified as a psychiatric disorder. It is divided into three categories; bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder. Along with shifts in mood and concentration, there are other symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.
Symptoms are classified into two categories:
#1. Symptoms of Mania
Manic symptoms in bipolar disorder include:
- Feeling euphoric, like you can take on the world
- Feeling irritable and anxious
- Racing thoughts
- Talking fast about various things and ideas
- Excessive need to do pleasurable things like drink or overeat
- Feeling unstoppable and jumpy
#2. Depression Symptoms
Symptoms of this classification include:
- Feeling hopeless or extreme sadness and anxiety
- Trouble falling asleep
- Talking very slowly
- Forgetting things
- Loss of interest in most activities
- Feeling worthless or having thoughts of suicide or death
What Is Anxiety?
While anxiety and bipolar disorder share many of the same symptoms, anxiety differs in two ways. Those who experience an anxiety disorder don’t necessarily have episodes of mania or depression. However, because feeling anxious is a symptom of bipolar disorder, people experiencing that disorder can also experience an anxiety disorder as well.
There are several types of anxiety-related disorders. The most common types include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Phobia-related disorders
The most common symptoms of each anxiety disorder include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling on edge or irritable
- Feelings of fear that people will judge them
- Trouble with sleep
- Irrational worries about people, things, and situations
Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety
In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, bipolar II disorder was most linked to anxiety. The study reported that anxiety and bipolar disorder pose serious hazards. It stated, “For example, it is associated with an intensification of symptoms, non-recovery, substance use comorbidity, and harmful dysfunction.”
The study believes more research needs to be done to show how bipolar disorder and anxiety connect. It also stated that women experiencing bipolar II disorder are more likely to also experience an anxiety disorder.
When having both bipolar disorder and anxiety, symptoms such as depression and a lack of concentration will more than likely worsen. Doctors recommend seeking proper treatment in a timely manner. When symptoms worsen, they become harder to manage, and this can lead to suicidal thoughts or harmful behaviors.
How to Treat Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety
Treating bipolar disorder can be hard enough. However, when you also experience an anxiety disorder, it is vital to know that you can treat both bipolar disorder and anxiety at the same time. There are outpatient programs, such as the ones offered by Alter Wellness, that include effective therapy.
Talk Therapy for Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety
There are several ways to treat bipolar disorder and anxiety. The first is through talk therapy. Talk therapy or psychotherapy is a one-on-one therapist-client talk session. Sessions usually run from 45 minutes to an hour. In these sessions, you can talk through your emotions and anxieties in a safe space with confidentiality.
If you would like to seek out a support system, group therapy is also available. In this kind of talk therapy, you will be able to talk about your anxieties and symptoms with a group of others coping with the same conditions, along with a leading therapist. You will also be able to hear stories from others. This is a safe environment meant for those seeking a support system outside of their everyday lives.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the art of identifying your beliefs and thoughts and challenging faulty thinking that leaves you feeling worthless. This kind of therapy is great for bipolar disorder and anxiety because it challenges you to turn around your thoughts in a more positive and supportive way.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) deals with four specific categories: mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. This kind of therapy provides opportunities for you to develop skills you already have in coping with your symptoms.
Medication is also available and can work in tandem with therapeutic techniques. Getting the help and proper treatment you need from a psychiatrist will help in your treatment plan. This takes a little patience, as finding the right medicine for you may not be an immediate thing. However, like therapy, it can help your long-term recovery.
Bipolar disorder and anxiety are not easy fights. There is help, and there is hope out there for those experiencing these two specific mental health conditions. Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Building the foundation that can help you cope and manage your symptoms is the first step in getting the help you need. Alter Wellness Care offers programs like CBT and DBT to help you recover from your most severe symptoms. If you or someone you love is experiencing bipolar disorder and anxiety, call us at (866) 311-3510. We encourage you to talk with a licensed professional who can help you live a fuller and healthier life. We offer outpatient programs along with partial hospitalization programs that can help you gain the control you need over your mental health condition. Alter Wellness is here to treat the condition and the person, and we can help.