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Bipolar Disorder

Just like other mental illnesses, there is a distinct correlation with drug and alcohol use and bipolar disorder has a notably high tendency to occur right along with substance abuse. One working to amplify the other in a way. Studies indicate that anywhere from 30% to north of 50% of people with bipolar disorder (I or II) will develop a substance abuse disorder in their lifetime.

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Once commonly called manic depression or manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder manifests itself in the form of dramatic mood swings as well as significant shifts in energy and activity levels. These two extremes of mania and depression, the euphoric highs and devastating lows, being the “poles” to which the term “bipolar” is referring.

There is a distinct correlation with drug and alcohol use and bipolar disorder has a notably high tendency to occur right along with substance abuse. One working to amplify the other in a way. Studies indicate that anywhere from 30% to north of 50% of people with bipolar disorder (I or II) will develop a substance abuse disorder in their lifetime.

While “only” about 2.8% of adults in the United States will struggle with bipolar disorder in a given year, the more staggering statistic is this; of that roughly 2.8% who have it, nearly 83% had serious impairment.  That amounts to the highest percentage of serious impairment found in all the mood disorders.

That illustrates the utter severity and savagery with which this mental illness can hit and grab a hold of you or a loved one.

It’s instructive at this point to breakdown what exactly mania and depression look like though.

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The high, or mania, actually has 2 types;

Lasting at least 4 days, often with less severity and doesn’t necessarily impair the ability to function.

Also known as dysthymia, persistent depressive disorder is characterized by a depressed mood that lasts for 2 years or more.

The symptoms of a manic episode can include the following:

  • Uncharacteristically upbeat and full of energy
  • High level of activity, impulsive
  • Euphoria, optimism and heightened self-confidence
  • Racing thoughts
  • Irritable
  • Loss of appetite
  • Risky, reckless behavior and poor judgment
  • Increased sex drive
  • Drastic reduction and need for sleep

On the flip side are the lows which are very much in line with the standard definition and experience of depression.

The symptoms of a depressive episode can include the following:

  • Feeling sad, empty or hopeless
  • Fatigued, lack of energy or slow
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping significantly
  • Drastic changes in appetite and weight
  • Loss of interest in most or all activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Inability to think or concentrate
  • Difficulty with even simple tasks
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Thoughts of, or even attempts at, suicide

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We Work with Most Insurance

At Thrive Treatment℠ we accept most private insurance plans and we are in network with Cigna, MHN Health Net, First Health, and Anthem Blue Cross.  Additional payment options are available so don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can get you the help that you need.

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Defining Bipolar Disorder

Making matters even more complicated and confusing for yourself or a loved one experiencing this is the fact that although the name might suggest a clear distinction between manic and depressive episodes, that’s not always the case. It’s quite possible to be dealing with both the highs and lows of this disorder simultaneously and of course if a person is taking substances it will only make matters worse.

Additionally, there are 3 types of this mental illness:

Bipolar I Disorder – Having manic episodes that last for a week or more or by symptoms that reach a level of severity, perhaps even breaks from reality in the form of psychosis, that requires hospitalization.

Bipolar II Disorder – Experiencing major depressive episodes as well as hypomania, but not mania.

Cyclothymic Disorder – Periods of depressive symptoms and hypomania that last for 2 years or more (1 year in children and teens)

In other words, bipolar I relates more to severe mania and bipolar II is defined by less intense mania and more episodes of depression while cyclothymia is altogether milder.

When to Get Help for Bipolar Disorder

Getting the care you need for bipolar disorder first and foremost requires being able to get diagnosed correctly. As you can tell from the above, these periods of mania and depression punctuated by stretches of euthymia, or a relatively normal state of mind, can be difficult to follow and therefore tricky to label as bipolar disorder. 

Moreover, the high periods of hypomania may actually appear as productive and a good time which puts a diagnosis further out of reach because a person may simply not see an issue at all. Circumstances like these make it significantly tougher to shine a light on this disorder and convince someone to seek treatment or even get a medical opinion.

That said, the vacillation and constant back and forth between the extremes create a life that grows increasingly unstable and hard to manage the longer you or a loved one bounce to and fro.

The clearest sign of when you need to seek help comes during the full blown manic episodes that can lead to breaks from reality and major depressive episodes which stir up thoughts of self-harm. If you or someone you care about is having suicidal thoughts or has been hospitalized due to a psychosis stemming from mania, these are crystal clear indicators that it’s time to intervene and get the help needed.

At the end of the day, the symptoms of bipolar disorder look an awful lot like other mood disorders and mental illnesses and often a person needs multiple visits to a doctor before the issue is appropriately classified.

What to Expect in Bipolar Treatment in Los Angeles

Despite the potential hardship in getting an accurate diagnosis, once you know what you’re working with, treatment is possible. While there isn’t a “cure” for bipolar disorder it is something that can be worked through and you can bring a sense of normalcy back to your life. It’s an ongoing, lifelong process the basis of which is built upon proper therapy. 

Bipolar Disorder treatment in Los Angeles is predicated on just that. At Thrive Treatment, our team of nurturing experts and support staff help you bring balance back to your life and days through a tailored treatment plan, the most well-known feature of which is psychotherapy, or talk therapy. In sessions that are both group and individual based, utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy, you’ll be able to dig deep into the root of the disorder and work towards a solution.

In addition to the therapy sessions, you’ll receive support in the form of helping you identify your triggers and begin to lay the foundation for a change in your lifestyle that promotes stability. Everything from diet to sleep schedule has an effect on your life and establishing a healthy routine goes a long way.

Naturally, if substance abuse is a co-occurring disorder, we take great pains to treat both because solving one issue without touching the other is no solution at all.

Get Assistance at Thrive’s Bipolar Treatment Program in Los Angeles

With bipolar outpatient treatment in Los Angeles you’ll be able to achieve the balance you need to achieve your goals and lead a fulfilling, healthy and constructive life. At Thrive Treatment, we want to be the ones to bring you to that promised land. To discover more about our intensive outpatient programs, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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