Comprehensive Care for Bipolar Disorder in San Diego

Comprehensive Care for Bipolar Disorder in San Diego

Understanding Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms and Types

Bipolar disorder, also formerly known as manic depression, is a type of mental health condition that can cause someone to have extreme mood swings from two different sides of the spectrum. This means a person with bipolar disorder can have emotional highs, also known as main or hypomania, or lows, which is depression. When you experience the depression part of bipolar disorder, you will feel sad or hopeless with little to no interest in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania, you start to feel euphoric, full of energy, and very irritable. 

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Although episodes of mood swings rarely occur throughout the year, bipolar disorder doesn’t go away. It’s a lifelong condition that can take a while to figure out what works best medication-wise for you. It’s important to have a bipolar disorder treatment San Diego plan and stick with it to treat the symptoms that come with it. When looking at the different symptoms you get with bipolar disorder, it all depends on the type you have. The following are the two types of bipolar disorder someone might be diagnosed with

  • Bipolar Disorder Type I: This is categorized when someone has had at least one manic episode that came before or after a hypomanic or major depressive episode. Sometimes it can trigger the feeling of being disconnected from reality—psychosis.
  • Bipolar Disorder Type II: People diagnosed with this type have had at least one major depressive episode and a hypomanic episode, but the main difference is that you’ve never experienced a manic episode. 
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Recognizing the Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Before you go to a mental health professional to see if you have bipolar disorder and get a formal diagnosis, you can look out for specific signs that usually point to it. Some of the common signs of being in a manic state are: overconfident, feeling very happy, feeling agitated, behaving impulsively, being irritable, and talking faster than normal. The signs of the depressive state are: feeling sad or hopeless, having suicidal thoughts, having issues concentrating or remembering, and having low self-esteem. 

The Importance of Comprehensive Care in Bipolar Disorder Management

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it’s important to seek help to manage it with the necessary treatment plan. When receiving comprehensive care for bipolar disorder, the treatment is varied with different strategies to manage the disease over a long period. Part of the comprehensive care process is being prescribed medications that usually are mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, or antidepressants. It’s important to take these daily or when the bottle tells you to take them and not miss a day. 

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Integrating Medication, Therapy, and Lifestyle Changes

When treating bipolar disorder, it’s important to integrate not just medication, but therapy and lifestyle changes that can keep you from getting into a manic or depressive episode. Depending on the severity of your bipolar disorder, your doctor might recommend a day treatment program. A day treatment program provides support and counseling that can keep your symptoms under control. If the severity of bipolar disorder is to the point that you can harm yourself, your doctor might recommend being hospitalized temporarily trying to get your symptoms under control. Suicidal people with bipolar disorder are the ones who will be receiving psychiatric treatment at a hospital so they can have a better eye on them. 

In conjunction with those different sets of treatment plans, people will be prescribed medications that are specific to their symptoms. It depends on the person, but some of the common medications used for stabilizing your mood are lithium (Lithobid), carbamazepine (Tegretol and Equetro), and lamotrigine (Lamictal). As for medications for antipsychotics, the typical ones prescribed for bipolar disorder are olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), etc. Finding the right combination of medications takes time to figure out which works best for your body chemistry and symptoms from bipolar disorder. Your symptoms could change over time, which means your medication for treatment might have to be adjusted in the future. 

In addition to medication, therapy is also important to go through when receiving bipolar disorder treatment. Psychotherapy is an essential part of treating bipolar disorder. The specific types of therapy that might be most helpful for bipolar disorder are two of the following: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This therapy primarily focuses on identifying unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replacing them with healthy, positive new ones. It can help people identify what triggers their episodes. 
  • Psychoeducation: This involves learning more in-depth about bipolar disorder and how you can get help. Having a foundational background can help support and identify issues as well as plan to prevent relapse. 

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The Role of Early Diagnosis and Continuous Management

When first getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it usually happens when you’re a child or teenager as that’s when symptoms start showing up. When symptoms continue to show up, it’s essential to go to a medical and mental health professional to get properly diagnosed early on to keep the disorder under control and managed with continuous treatment. To achieve a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, people will go through a series of assessments and exams. The set of tests you go through are a physical exam, psychiatric assessment, mood charting, and looking at your symptoms and comparing them to the criteria for bipolar disorder. Once you achieve the correct diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications and recommend therapies. It might take time to get you on the right regime. 

Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder in San Diego

The treatment options available for bipolar disorder in San Diego usually is medications and therapy. It’s important to seek bipolar disorder treatment San Diego early on after getting diagnosed and a psychiatrist help with your treatment plan and monitor your symptoms as you progress through treatment. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong treatment that must be maintained and treated throughout your whole life. 

Medication Management and its Impact

When prescribed necessary medication for bipolar disorder treatment San Diego, people receiving the care need to make sure their symptoms don’t worsen over time while on the medication. Part of medication management isn’t just taking the medicine as directed but making sure it’s the correct dosage and type of medicine for their symptoms. If you skip getting regular checkups with a specialist, you are at a higher risk for relapse of symptoms. 

Psychotherapy Approaches for Bipolar Disorder

In conjunction with medicine for treatment, people need to also seek out psychotherapy. The main approaches to psychotherapy for bipolar disorder treatment San Diego are interpersonal and social rhythm therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Interpersonal social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) is the stabilizing of daily rhythms, which includes sleeping, walking, and mealtimes. It’s important to establish a daily routine for diet, sleep, and exercise. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is switching negative beliefs to more positive ones and helps manage stress. 

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Getting Started with Bipolar Disorder Care at Moment of Clarity

It can feel like a scary task to seek help for bipolar disorder treatment San Diego, but Moment of Clarity has all the tools and services for future patients to take advantage of. Once enrolled in one of the many programs here, Moment of Clarity professionals can help you manage your symptoms with hands-on programs and treatments right at your fingertips. Call Moment of Clarity at 949-625-0564 to find out how they can help you with personalized treatment plans specifically for your bipolar disorder symptoms. 

This article has been reviewed by:

Dr. Girgis serves as Moment of Clarity’s medical director and is a triple board-certified psychiatrist.

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