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Bipolar Disorder

A condition that affects 4% of US adults

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a condition characterized by severe mood swings and changes in behavior. Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder manifests in periods of mania (euphoria and hyperactivity) lasting at least seven days followed by periods of deep depression that typically last two weeks. The two main types of bipolar disorder, Bipolar I and Bipolar II, differ in that individuals with Bipolar II experience a less elevated manic state.

Woman in distress

Negative Effects of Bipolar Disorder

The negative effects of bipolar disorder are often significant, impacting a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks and interact normally with the world. Erratic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior affect their relationships, work, financial stability, and even their grip on reality.

Because of the nature of its symptoms, bipolar disorder tends to put individuals at high risk for a co-occurring substance use disorder. According to one Medical University of South Carolina study, 56% of individuals with bipolar disorder had a lifetime substance use disorder. While someone with bipolar disorder may be drawn to substances to self-medicate, they can quickly become dependent on drugs or alcohol to manage their ups and downs.

As many as 56% of individuals with bipolar disorder had a lifetime substance use disorder.

– A Study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information

Bipolar Disorder by the Numbers

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • An estimated 2.8% of US adults had bipolar disorder in the past year.
  • Over 4% of US adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.
  • Nearly 3% of adolescents had bipolar disorder in the past year, and of those, 2.6% experienced severe impairment.
  • The prevalence of bipolar disorder among adolescents was higher for females (3.3%) than for males (2.6%).
  • In the past year, bipolar disorder was most prevalent among the 18-29 age group.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder? Here are the signs of a manic episode:

  • Unusually jumpy or upbeat
  • Hyperactive, highly energetic, or agitated
  • Inflated sense of self
  • Doesn’t sleep or seem to need sleep
  • Highly talkative (or talks fast)
  • Easily distractible
  • Makes poor or impulsive decisions
  • Engages in risk-taking behavior

The signs of a major depressive episode include:

  • Deep sadness or hopelessness
  • Flat affect, apathy, or loss of interest in activities one previously enjoyed
  • Inability to sleep or oversleeping
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss (marked increase or decrease in appetite)
  • Feelings of worthlessness or extreme guilt
  • Marked slowness or restlessness

Other Variations of Bipolar Disorder

A person with Bipolar II would experience hypomania instead of full-blown mania — a less pronounced period of euphoria and hyperactivity. Another type of bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, includes milder forms of both mania and depression. An individual would need to have experienced at least two years of manic and depressive symptoms to be diagnosed with cyclothymia.

Sometimes bipolar disorder occurs after childbirth, as a result of a medical condition, or is due to substance abuse. Those with symptoms that don’t fit the criteria of Bipolar I, Bipolar II, or cyclothymia may be diagnosed with “other or unspecified” bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment at The Meadows

If you or a loved one is in need of bipolar disorder treatment, we’re here to help. The Meadows specializes in helping individuals with bipolar disorder find the path to recovery, treating addiction and mental health conditions in the same setting for the best possible outcome. We are equipped to provide innovative, research-backed treatment that includes individual, group, and experiential therapies. Call us today to find out more about our program and how we can help you or a loved one begin your recovery journey.

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Our Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and is experienced in assisting others with compassion, dignity, and respect — hallmark values of The Meadows for more than 45 years. The Meadows’ Admissions Specialists are here to help you on your way to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. When you call, they will lead you through a series of questions to determine if The Meadows is a good fit, and how soon your treatment can begin. If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out an admissions form today!

If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one call or fill out an admissions form today!

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