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The Truth about Bipolar Disorder – Manic Depressive Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a relatively common mental health diagnosis—yet misunderstanding about this disorder and treatment persists. . Unrelenting stigma suppresses open discussion of mental health-related issues. It is critically important to spread accurate information about this disorder and the reality of hope and recovery.

You may know bipolar disorder by its other name, manic-depressive disorder, which in a way is more descriptive of what the condition actually entails. Those who struggle with bipolar disorder have unusual and sometimes abrupt shifts in mood and energy, which can make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks.

A simplistic definition of bipolar disorder would say that it marks shifts between periods of mania, which is a kind of euphoria, and depression.  There is some truth to this, but ultimately bipolar disorder is more complicated. In fact, there are four different types of bipolar disorder that all come with their own specific symptoms and diagnostic criteria—Type 1, Type 2, Mixed, and Cyclothymic.

Still, in determining whether a friend or loved one has bipolar disorder, it can be useful to look for manic episodes—characterized by a “high” mood and energy level—and depressive ones, which are characterized by lows.

Determining what causes bipolar disorder can be complicated, as there are likely various genetic and hereditary factors in play, as well as issues of brain chemistry and structure. What is more important to note here is that treatment is available, and may include therapy, support groups, and in some cases medication.

With the right treatment, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be controlled—and a life of ongoing recovery can be attained. If your loved one is experiencing symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorders, call WestBridge today to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment.

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