Bipolar disorder is found in approximately 5.7 million adults in the U.S. It can affect anyone at any age, although the average age of onset is about 25. Because of its symptoms, Bipolar disorder was formerly known to many as Manic-Depressive Disorder. It is important to note that Bipolar is a medical condition affecting one’s brain chemistry, specifically those areas that regulate emotions. For this reason it is categorized as a condition of mental health, with the most predominant characteristic being sudden and drastic mood changes – often swinging between feelings of excitement or elation to depression and hopelessness.
Bipolar manifests differently from person to person. In some people, it is highly evident and distinguished by frequent mood swings that can occur several times a day. In others, it is more difficult to identify due to extreme mood changes that occur far less frequently and last for extended periods of time – perhaps weeks or even months.
Though anyone can develop Bipolar Disorder, there are certain factors that seem to put some individuals at a higher risk than others. Particularly, Bipolar disorder seems to have a genetic component, placing those with blood relatives diagnosed with Bipolar at a higher risk for developing it themselves. Other factors that increase the risk of developing Bipolar disorder include emotional, physical, or sexual traumas, high stress, and substance abuse.
Help for Bipolar Disorder
It is important for those with Bipolar disorder to seek treatment as quickly as possible to prevent the condition and its symptoms from worsening. In addition to mood-stabilizing medications, therapy can provide helpful tools in managing the symptoms associated with Bipolar.
Mental health therapy provides support for individuals and their families as they try to cope with the daily challenges caused by Bipolar. By learning to identify the signs of mood-change episodes, as well as utilize collaborative communication and problem-solving skills, individuals and loved ones can prevent those episodes from becoming severe.
For more information about Bipolar disorder counseling and how it could help you, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Through a combination of appropriate medication compliance and competent, caring counseling those with Bipolar can lead very happy and productive lives.