Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that causes significant changes in a person’s mood, energy level, and behavior. It can cause extreme disruption to a person’s life, often leaving them feeling helpless as to how they can get better.
At Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, we understand the challenges that come from having bipolar disorder, and we recognize that effective treatment must be customized to meet each patient’s needs so that they can truly heal.
Learn About Bipolar Disorder
There are several types of bipolar disorder, but the three most commonly diagnosed are bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder.
For a person to be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, they must experience a manic episode that lasts for at least a week, with symptoms present for most of the day nearly every day. A manic episode can include symptoms such as inflated self-esteem, excessive speaking or rapid speech, flight of ideas, frequent distractibility, and engaging in high-risk activities that have the potential to lead to devastating consequences. The symptoms the person experiences are severe enough to lead to an inability to function properly. These manic episodes are frequently followed or preceded by hypomanic or major depressive episodes.
People who have bipolar disorder I may also experience rapid cycling or mixed states in which the depressive and manic episodes alternate quickly or exist at the same time. Women tend to struggle with mixed episodes and rapid cycling more often than men do.
When a person has bipolar II disorder, they will experience one or more hypomanic episodes as well as major depressive episodes. Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes but are less severe and may last for a shorter period of time. Major depressive episodes occur when a person experiences symptoms of depression, including loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, irritability, fatigue, and feelings of worthlessness.
Clinicians can determine whether a person has bipolar I or bipolar II disorder based on whether they have experienced a manic episode.
Cyclothymic disorder includes symptoms of depression and hypomania that have lasted for two or more years. This disorder is different from bipolar II disorder because the hypomania and depression symptoms the person experiences do not meet the same criteria for a diagnosis of a hypomanic episode or a major depressive episode.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that approximately 7 million adults in the United States suffer from bipolar disorder, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that an estimated 2.9% of adolescents ages 13-18 struggle with the condition.
Additionally, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) states that if a child has one parent who has bipolar disorder, their risk for suffering from the condition is approximately 15%-30%. If both parents have bipolar disorder, the child’s risk for developing the disorder jumps to an estimated 50%-75%.
Devastatingly, it has also been reported that as many as 1 in 5 people who have bipolar disorder die by suicide.
Effects of Bipolar Disorder
People who are suffering from bipolar disorder and do not receive treatment are at risk for experiencing a number of negative effects. While these effects will vary, some of the most common include the following:
- Difficulties in school or at work
- Physical injuries as a result of reckless or impulsive behaviors
- Problems with law enforcement
- Substance use and addiction
- Loss of friendships and family relationships
- Health problems
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Fortunately, by receiving care at a bipolar disorder treatment center, people can learn to manage their symptoms and avoid experiencing these effects.
Treating Bipolar Disorder
There are a number of effective ways to treat bipolar disorder. At Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital, our teams create individualized treatment plans that we tailor to meet the needs of each person.
At our inpatient bipolar disorder treatment center, patients may receive the following:
- Individual therapy: One-on-one meetings with a social worker
- Group therapy: Meetings with other patients that are led by social workers, licensed counselors, or nurses
- Family therapy: Meetings for patients and their family members that are led by social workers
- Medication management services, if needed: Meetings with psychiatrists, nurses, and pharmacists to monitor any medication a patient may be taking
- Medical care, if needed: Basic medical care provided by doctors and nurses
The professionals on our multidisciplinary treatment teams have extensive experience treating people who have bipolar disorder and other mental health concerns. Our teams consist of psychiatrists, medical doctors, nurses, licensed clinical social workers, licensed clinical professional counselors, chemical dependency counselors, art therapists, dietitians, and recreational therapists. We also have staff members who specialize in electroconvulsive therapy.
How to Choose a Bipolar Disorder Treatment Center
When searching for a bipolar disorder treatment center, it is important that you get all the information you need up front so that you can make the best decision for yourself or a loved one. Examples of the types of questions you should ask when looking for a bipolar disorder treatment center include:
- Does the staff provide thorough assessments to make sure that patients get the specific type and level of care they need?
- What levels of care are offered?
- What does the admissions process look like?
- Do patients receive individualized treatment plans that are customized to their needs?
- What types of professionals do patients work with during their time in treatment?
- Are there opportunities for family members to receive education about bipolar disorder?
- What happens at the end of treatment?
At our bipolar disorder treatment center in Chicago, Illinois, we are happy to answer all your questions. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we encourage you to call us for more information about our programming and services.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Montrose Behavioral Health Hospital.