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Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Bipolar disorder affects almost 3% of adults across the US every year. Of those, 83% are considered severe, but even severe cases can be treatable with proper outpatient bipolar treatment, including psychotherapy and medication. But what is outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder, and when do you need it?
Introduction & Overview
of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that can cause serious mood swings that are so severe that they can disrupt daily life and function. For many people, bipolar disorders vary in terms of the severity of symptoms. Still, they might include lengthy periods where you are depressed for weeks or months followed by equally long periods where you are manic or hyperactive.
- During these manic stages, you might feel extraordinarily optimistic or even irritable. You might be unable to concentrate. You might behave recklessly or talk rapidly.
- During these depressive stages, you might feel sluggish and ultimately hopeless, unable to find happiness in anything.
For other people, the mood swings are not as clearly defined. They might have mixed episodes where they experienced a rollercoaster of manic and then depressive and then manic and depressive mood swings over and over in an uncontrollable fashion throughout the day.
Bipolar disorder is usually divided into Bipolar I and Bipolar II. The following criteria distinguish these disorders:
- Bipolar I Disorder: Also known as manic depression. Bipolar I is categorized by intense mood swings. A person suffering from Bipolar I will experience episodes of depression that may last weeks or months. Additionally, Bipolar I will cause manic episodes, which are episodes of increased activity, that may lead to substance use, impaired decision making, and reckless behavior.
- Bipolar II Disorder: Like Bipolar I, this disorder is defined by feelings of “high” and “low.” However, unlike with Bipolar I, people suffering from Bipolar II experience the same depressive episodes with less severe manic episodes. Due to the lessened manic symptoms, these episodes are often called “hypomanic” episodes.
Without proper treatment, the consequences can be severe.
When to Get Help
for Bipolar Disorder
These severe mood swings can cause significant shifts in energy, disrupt your daily life, and even disrupt your sleeping patterns. People who suffer from bipolar disorder might not realize the level to which their mood swings or behavioral changes are disrupting their lives or the lives of people around them. For this reason, many people who suffer from bipolar disorder don’t get the treatment they need.
It’s actually more likely for people to seek treatment during a depressive stage rather than a manic phase. After a depressive episode ends, a person may often feel relieved by the onset of manic episodes. However, this is an aspect of the mania, as a person’s mood drastically improves. Because of this, doctors typically misdiagnose people with depression rather than bipolar disorder.
It might be time to consider bipolar outpatient treatment if your condition has caused disruptions to your daily life, resulted in serious problems like insomnia or suicidal thoughts, or even interfered with your personal relationships. If someone else close to you has pointed out the impact of your mood swings, even if you didn’t realize it, it might be time to consider treatment.
Bipolar disorder treatment has to be personalized to your condition and your symptoms. For people who are able to function independently, outpatient treatment can give you the therapy, structure, and support you need to manage the symptoms of your condition while living at home.
The two main components of a successful bipolar disorder treatment program include psychotherapy and medications.
- You might be put on mood stabilizers to help you manage your manic symptoms.
- A doctor might give you antidepressants to help treat your depressive symptoms.
- You might be given antipsychotics to control any delusions or hallucinations.
These medications can help you manage your symptoms, but therapy helps you manage your daily life. Depending on what you need, your therapy might involve:
- Figuring out the things that trigger different mood swings
- Learning coping mechanisms for daily challenging
- Developing health communication skills
In order to treat bipolar disorder, your outpatient treatment program might include:
- Talk therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
Family therapy is usually included in your treatment program to help you better communicate with your family, identify triggers and establish supportive and loving environments at home where symptoms can be identified and managed. Cognitive-behavioral therapy gives you coping mechanisms, while talk therapy can help you figure out different triggers.
Talk therapy can be individual or group-based. Depending on what you need, these therapy sessions can take place in person or even virtually. Many bipolar treatment centers offer different forms of talk therapy, both individualized and in group settings, to help you cultivate social skills, emotional support, and communication skills. This treatment also allows you to develop a strong network of people dealing with similar mental health issues. An individualized program might start with one-on-one talk therapy before moving toward group therapy sessions and family therapy sessions, depending on what you need.
Outpatient treatment is designed to be flexible. Rather than forcing you to leave your home and responsibilities, this type of therapy lets you meet on a weekly basis or a few times per week to get the support and skills you need. You might get multiple types of therapies each week which provide you with skills and strategies you get to practice every day as you maintain your regular family, work, or school commitments.
Lifestyle changes can help reduce episodes or even prevent them. This might include avoiding drugs and alcohol, finding supportive family and friends, getting the right amount of sleep, having a healthy diet and exercising regularly, or keeping a mood journal. Many of these lifestyle changes can be brought about with holistic treatment, as part of your outpatient therapy.
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What to Expect in Outpatient
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Outpatient treatment should start with designing something unique to your situation and your disorder. You might have an entirely different set of triggers compared to someone else with the same type of bipolar disorder, or you might suffer from bipolar disorder and anxiety or bipolar disorder and substance abuse. For this reason, you can expect a customized program to be developed before you dive into your given therapies.
When you get treatment, you might decide on one of two options:
- Intensive outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder, or
- Outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder
What is the difference?
With intensive outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder, you can start your recovery from serious bipolar disorders, starting with treatment for any co-occurring addictions. Many people with severe bipolar disorder try to self-medicate, and if you have done the same, our intensive outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder will focus first on helping you overcome your addiction and manage your withdrawal symptoms before you move on to developing coping skills better to understand your mental health condition and any addictions. We offer treatment through individualized counseling as well as group therapy sessions so that you can develop a supportive network of people who have struggled with similar mental health conditions while also cultivating individualized coping mechanisms that help you deal with the more severe symptoms of your bipolar disorder.
With outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder, you focus on weekly individual therapy sessions and group therapy sessions that you can attend in conjunction with other therapies like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. At this stage, you might work with a psychiatrist or a doctor to also start taking medication to help you manage severe bipolar symptoms. You get to choose how long your program lasts, but all programs are designed to give you a solid foundation to help you along the way to lasting recovery.
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Get Assistance with Our Los Angeles Bipolar Treatment
If you are ready to get help, let MCR guide you through the process of outpatient bipolar treatment. With Multi Concept Recovery, our name tells you everything: we believe in a multi-tiered recovery process. We know that no two people suffer the same way and true bipolar disorder treatment Los Angeles based requires a customized approach with individualized treatment programs.
At our facility, we give you the power to choose how you want to treat your mental health. We provide a range of evidence-based practices, therapies, and treatments alongside holistic therapies that give you long-term life skills and social skills to manage your bipolar disorder. We understand that the most successful program is one truly customized to your needs, so we focus on treating your spiritual needs, emotional needs, physical needs, and mental needs at the same time.
There are multiple paths to recovery and management for mental health disorders, and we can help you find yours.