Bipolar Disorder Counseling & Therapy Services in Orlando, East Orlando, Lake Mary, Winter Park & Clermont Florida FL
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder (also known as Manic Depressive) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior “without a trigger or traumatic event.” The swings of energy or mood shift from the highs of mania (high energy) on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with a person’s ability to function. Between these mood swings, a person with bipolar disorder may experience normal moods.
How is Bipolar Disorder often Misdiagnosed?
One of the key factors in diagnosing Bipolar Disorder is asking the question: Is the intense mood, anger, or anxiety triggered by something stressful, traumatic, or an overreaction to not getting their way? If the mood is triggered then most likely the person is not dealing with Bipolar disorder. Secondly, ruling out the below disorders and treating the below issues first before diagnosing Bipolar is very important.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is often is often misdiagnosed in people whose anger or anxiety escalates quickly or over reacts to stressful situations. Often with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), EFT (Emotion Freedom Techniques), or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
Often oppositional children or teenagers over react if they do not get what they want and are misdiagnosed.
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Types of Bipolar Disorder:
- Type I: Have had at least one manic episode and periods of major depression. In the past, bipolar disorder type I was called manic depression.
- Type II: Have never had full mania. Instead they experience periods of high energy levels and impulsiveness that are not as extreme as mania (called hypomania). These periods alternate with episodes of depression.
- Cyclothymia: People with this form alternate between hypomania and mild depression. People with bipolar disorder type II or cyclothymia may be wrongly diagnosed as having depression. A relatively mild mood disorder. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than in full-blown bipolar disorder.
- Rapid Cycling: In rapid cycling, a person with bipolar disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. About 10% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder have rapid cycling.
- Mixed Bipolar: In most forms of bipolar disorder, moods alternate between elevated and depressed over time. But with mixed bipolar disorder, a person experiences both mania and depression simultaneously or in rapid sequence.
Who has Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It usually starts between ages 15 – 25. The exact cause is unknown, but it occurs more often in relatives of people with bipolar disorder. In most people with bipolar disorder, there is no clear cause for the manic or depressive episodes. The following may trigger a manic episode in people with bipolar disorder:
- Life changes such as childbirth
- Medications such as antidepressants or steroids
- Periods of sleeplessness
- Recreational drug use
- Seasonal changes
What are the symptoms?
Common signs and symptoms of mania include:
- Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable
- Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
- Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
- Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
- Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
- Highly distractible, unable to concentrate
- Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
- Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
- Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)
Common symptoms of bipolar depression include:
- Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty.
- Inability to experience pleasure
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Physical and mental sluggishness
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep problems
- Concentration and memory problems
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Thoughts of death or suicide
A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide. Common signs of a mixed episode include:
- Depression combined with agitation
- Racing thoughts