There’s no reason to sugarcoat it; bipolar disorder can be devastating, life-threatening, and even deadly. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Psychiatry (Edgemont), “Bipolar disorder is also associated with significant mortality risk, with approximately 25 percent of patients attempting suicide and 11 percent of patients completing. Furthermore, inadequate treatment and service structure causes high rates of jailing for bipolar patients.”
There has been a trade-off in recent years in the world of mental health. Issues of mental health have become more widely discussed and less stigmatized. However, because of this awareness and amplified discussion in the public sphere, issues of mental health can sometimes be minimized or looked at as commonplace. This lackadaisical view is a detrimental fallacy.
Bipolar disorder is not just a buzzword to be bandied about in “intelligent conversation.” Rather, it is a very real disorder that has very real-world consequences. For those struggling with bipolar disorder, not only must they deal with the symptoms, but also the consequences that arise from them.
People with bipolar disorder often exhibit other erratic behaviors and related disorders. But those behaviors can be managed and mitigated with proper treatment. We at The Phoenix Recovery Center have some of the best resources available to make that treatment successful.
Bipolar Disorder: What to Watch Out For
First, a somewhat clarified version of what bipolar disorder is. From StatPearls, “Bipolar affective disorder is a chronic and complex disorder of mood that is characterized by a combination of manic (bipolar mania), hypomanic and depressive (bipolar depression) episodes, with substantial subsyndromal symptoms that commonly present between major mood episodes” and “It is one of the top causes of worldwide disability.”
The significance of that last sentence cannot be overstated. Bipolar disorder is doing major damage on a global scale. This is why detecting and diagnosing it sooner than later can be critical for recovery.
What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are best discussed in two categories:
It was actually previously categorized as “manic depressive disorder” before our understanding of it became more nuanced and less black and white.
Manic Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Some symptoms on the manic side of the bipolar spectrum include:
- Showing an abnormally elevated and irritable mood (for those struggling with bipolar II disorder, these periods may last for more than seven days)
- Displaying grandiosity or elevated self-worth, which can be feelings of self-importance or unjustified authority
- Having a decreased need for rest or sleep
- Having “racing thoughts” or “flights of ideas”
- The inability to focus on one thing for a reasonable period of time
- A willingness to engage in high-risk behaviors which could have understandable negative consequences
Depressive Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Some symptoms on the depressive end of the spectrum include:
- Feelings of emptiness, sadness, or worthlessness, like uncontrolled crying and displays of despair
- Displaying an inability to experience pleasure or a lack of motivation
- Experiencing extreme weight gain or weight loss
- Sleeping too much or at unusual times
- Having the inability to focus
- Experiencing an overwhelming feeling of anxiety
- Having thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide
The Potential for Co-occurring Problems & Disorders
Based on the symptoms just mentioned, it should not be hard to understand how they correlate to some serious real-world consequences. Let us begin with the potential for co-occurring problems as they relate to manic behavior.
Periods of mania can lead to a loss of reality. Extreme situations can lead to violent outbursts and the engagement of dangerous and toxic behaviors. This is not the individual’s fault, but that does not mean they are immune from the consequences.
These consequences can include:
- Substance use disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Increase risk of suicide
- Loss of employment
- The breakdown of familial relationships
The consequences stemming from a depressive episode can be similarly damaging. For example, when an extreme depressive episode takes place, the individual may feel worthless, like no one understands or cares. If not addressed, these feelings can manifest into the inability or want to function with the rest of society, leading to irreparable financial and social harm. Therefore, it’s crucial for individuals struggling with bipolar disorder to get help as soon as possible.
How The Phoenix Recovery Center Can Help
While this information should be taken as a reality check, it should not be taken as an end-all-be-all.
For those struggling with bipolar disorder, a correct diagnosis and a treatment that includes medication and therapy have shown the greatest levels of efficacy. At The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand bipolar disorder. We understand how it uproots lives, destroys families, and devastates positive trajectories. That is why we combat it responsibly and effectively, one client at a time.
Bipolar disorder does not simply include the symptoms listed in a psychology book. Many co-occurring problems often arise with this specific mental health condition.
Bipolar disorder should not be taken lightly. That is why if you or someone you love is struggling with bipolar disorder, seek treatment right away. There is no “quick fix” for bipolar disorder, but there are treatments that can help mitigate its symptoms. The Phoenix Recovery Center can help. For more information, call (801) 438-3185 today.