Bipolar disorder (or manic-depressive disorder) is a brain disorder that causes unusually extreme shifts in mood, energy levels, and every day functioning. These shifts are much more prominent than the basic ups and downs that all people experience, and they are structured differently. Rather than experiencing the shifts on a frequent basis, they occur once every few weeks or months. This can leave a person struggling with depressive thoughts for weeks, before bouncing into a manic, anxious phase.
Bipolar disorder can cause difficulty concentrating and performing in school, tension in relationships, and a loss of hope and direction, sometimes even leading to suicidal thoughts and/or attempts during depressive phases. This emotional and mental roller coaster can make keeping up with responsibilities and friendships very difficult. Getting help with managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder can result in a more successful, and more fulfilling, young adulthood.
As a mood disorder, bipolar has several different possible causes. However, the biggest factor is typically family history. For an unknown reason, some people are genetically predisposed to struggle with a bipolar disorder. However, having someone in the family with a bipolar disorder doesn’t guarantee anything – it simply makes it more likely that the condition shows up again in posterity. Other significant causes of bipolar include:
Hormone imbalance – aside from genetics, a major hormone imbalance caused by a physical condition, such as a thyroid problem, adrenal gland issue, or a benign brain tumor, can cause a bipolar disorder to develop.
Excessive stress – traumatic events usually kick off the first cycle of depression or mania, if it doesn’t naturally occur sometime in adolescence. The death of a loved one or a traumatic disaster leading to trouble coping can lead to symptoms of a bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder can be a very scary thing to live with, and for many young adults who struggle with it, the inability to fully trust your own thoughts is a very difficult position to be in. But with the right help, treatment, and therapy, you can live a long and fulfilling life. Paradigm works hard to help young adults with all sorts of conditions, including mood disorders like bipolar.
A Place to Discover Yourself
Self-discovery is a critical part of early adulthood, but it may come a bit faster than expected in those who struggle with mental health issues. Talk therapy is the primary way to help people with bipolar, specifically by teaching them how to recognize and confront the thoughts and behaviors that make them potentially dangerous to others or themselves. It’s impossible to completely turn the disorder off, but you can mitigate the effect it has on your life and lead a perfectly healthy life while diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Therapy can help do that.
I wanted to thank the staff and therapists at Paradigm Malibu who helped my niece through a very difficult period. They understood her complex mental health problems and treated accordingly, the center is close to the beach which also influenced our choice. The qualified therapists were courteous and professional and restored my niece to full health.
- Denise C.
What’s going to happen?
No one can tell you for sure what’s going to happen now, or in years to come. However, regardless of what the future holds, you’re no longer wrestling with bipolar disorder alone. Beginning bipolar disorder is a process that involves many questions and takes time, but there’s good reason to hope that you’re going to start feeling better soon and continue to improve, with time.
Is there a cure?
There is no quick cure to bipolar disorder. Medication and therapy can help you cope with the symptoms of their mental health condition and hopefully combat some of the causes. In cases where symptoms have a direct cause, such as a physical problem, addressing the initial issue can resolve the disorder. But in many other cases, it’s more a matter of remedying symptoms as they come and go. It’s hopeful and likely that a combination of medication and counseling will have powerful and lasting effects on your mood, state of being, and overall outlook and experience of life.