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The Complexities of Bipolar Disorder in Adults

The Complexities of Bipolar Disorder in Adults

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness, experience extreme, abrupt “mood swings” between periods of elevated mania or depression, usually with no clear cause. Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that often develops between the ages of 15 and 25. While its cause is unknown, it occurs most often in those with a family history of the disease.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder come in phases. Each mood phase may last for a period of a few days up to a few months. According to the National Institutes of Health, the elevated, manic episodes of bipolar disorder include the following symptoms:

  • Agitation or irritation
  • Inflated self-esteem (delusions of greatness, false beliefs in special abilities)
  • Little need for sleep
  • Noticeably elevated mood
  • Over-involvement in activities
  • Poor temper control
  • Reckless behavior
  • Tendency to be easily distracted

Meanwhile, the phase of major depression includes the following:

  • Daily low mood
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Eating disturbances (weight loss or gain)
  • Fatigue or listlessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and/or guilt
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Persistent sadness and other depressive symptoms
  • Persistent thoughts of death
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed
  • Withdrawal from friends

With assistance and guidance from a bipolar treatment facility or another behavioral health professional, mood-stabilizing drugs and psychotherapy can be effective in treating bipolar disorder. If you think you or someone you know has, contact us for a confidential psychiatric evaluation and more information on bipolar disorder treatment. 

Austin Lakes Hospital has been a treatment center for bipolar disorder and other mental health issues for over a decade, providing inpatient care and outpatient services to adults across the greater Austin, Texas region. 

Through a mix of individual therapy, group therapy and other evidence-based modalities, our treatment options teach individuals how to effectively cope and manage with the stressors of life. Our treatment team will work with patients and families to put together unique treatment plans that address the patient’s specific needs and goals. These plans include continuing care advice and referrals as necessary. 

In recent years, discussions about mental health and its impact on daily living have become part of the greater national dialogue. People diagnosed with mental health struggles and disorders have felt more comfortable sharing their stories about the highs and lows of their illness and how they’ve sought treatment. Because of this change in the conversation, it’s become easier for those still struggling to raise their hands and ask for the help they need. 

For more information on anxiety disorders, visit the National Institute of Mental Health.

We’re Here to Help

Talking with one of the mental health professionals at our treatment center could help answer your questions. Our team wants to identify how we may be able to help you or your loved one improve daily life with our mental health services. We offer no-cost, confidential assessments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 512-544-5253.

Our inpatient and outpatient programs can help individuals deal with mental illness or behavioral health issues whether they’re suffering from depression, anxiety or other disorders. If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.