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Two adventurous hikers walking down huge stonesLife has its ups and downs. Everyone has days where they feel up and full of energy, ready to take on challenges and try new things, and when they feel low, it’s hard to get through the day. Various factors influence a person’s mood and ability to function in day-to-day life. Still, for people struggling with a mental health condition like bipolar disorder, these shifts are extreme. However, our bipolar disorder treatment in Seattle can make a difference.

At LightHeart Associates, we specialize in the treatment of bipolar disorder. We combine evidence-based therapies and lifestyle adjustments with helping you or your beloved family member obtain balance, harmony, and happiness. Our comprehensive mental health treatments are tailored to meet each individual’s needs so they can find lasting stability and peace. Our bipolar disorder therapy may include psychotherapy, medications, lifestyle modifications, family therapy, and other interventions depending on each client’s needs.

Our bipolar disorder treatment centers provide a safe, supportive, and compassionate environment for clients of all ages to explore their bipolar disorder and its roots to gain a better understanding of themselves and the ways bipolar disorder is impacting their life. Contact us today at 425.800.5688 to determine if the bipolar disorder treatment center at LightHeart Associates is right for you or your loved one. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, frequently called manic depression, is a psychological condition that brings about extreme shifts in mood and functioning. Someone with bipolar disorder can experience long periods of elevated energy levels, impulsivity, pessimism, or apathy. Unlike regular fluctuations in emotion, these episodes often last for long periods, reaching weeks or even months.

There are two types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I – This is the more severe form of bipolar disorder. Manic episodes last at least seven days, and depressive episodes last at least 14 days. People who experience shorter episodes may also be diagnosed with Bipolar I if their attacks are so severe that they require hospitalization.
  • Bipolar II – This involves a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, which are up periods that are not as extreme as the full-blown manic episodes that are common in Bipolar I.

At LightHeart Associates, our expert clinical teams have extensive experience treating bipolar disorder and developing personalized bipolar disorder treatment plans to meet each client’s unique needs. 

What Bipolar Disorder Is Not

Bipolar disorder is often referenced in the media yet rarely presented authentically. Characters suffering from this condition are generally oversimplified and seen as emotionally unstable people whose feelings rapidly fluctuate. They can even be portrayed as wholly disturbed, which does a disservice to those who have bipolar disorder by falsely suggesting that their symptoms are simply mood swings.

Like depression, bipolar disorder is a severe mood disorder that can be fatal if left untreated. Misrepresentations of bipolar disorder are dangerous because they add to the stigma surrounding bipolar and other mood disorders, making life harder for those living with the condition and preventing people who need help from seeking it.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of mania and periods of depression. The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on what kind of episode a person is experiencing.

Signs of Manic Episodes in Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms of manic episodes include:

  • Feeling abnormally alert, jumpy, or wired
  • Increased energy or agitation
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Easily distracted
  • An exaggerated sense of well-being or confidence
  • Impulsive or risk-taking behavior

During a manic episode, a person may experience paranoia, irritability, delusions, or hallucinations.

Signs of Depressive Episodes in Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms of depressive episodes include:

  • Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
  • Change in eating or sleeping habits
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, or worthlessness
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate
  • Suicidal ideation

Some people with bipolar disorder, particularly Bipolar II, in which manic episodes are not as pronounced, may initially be diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). 

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is an intricate mental health issue. Many diverse variables can contribute to one’s risk of struggling with it. The precise roots are unclear, but the condition may arise from a mix of heredity, biological components, environmental elements, and psychological aspects.

Genetic Causes

Research suggests that people with an immediate relative, such as a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder, are more likely to develop bipolar disorder themselves. They have not isolated a particular gene that causes bipolar disorder, but it does tend to run in the family. 

Biological Causes

People with bipolar disorder have different biological structures in their brains compared to people who do not have bipolar disorder. More research needs to be conducted on the significance of these physical differences.

Environmental Causes

First episodes of bipolar disorder can be triggered by environmental factors, such as experiencing a traumatic event or going through a period of high stress.

Psychological Causes

Individuals who have trouble coping with stress or indulge in risk-taking behaviors could be more likely to react to environmental factors that might trigger a bipolar episode. Drug and alcohol use can also trigger the first episode of the disorder. 

What to Expect from a Bipolar Disorder Therapy

As with many mental health conditions, bipolar disorder treatment can include several components that work together to alleviate symptoms. Treatment for bipolar disorder could consist of the following:

  • Medication – Medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and sleeping medications can help relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • Therapy – Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other types of therapy can help people with bipolar disorder cope with the high highs and low lows of their condition. Therapy can also help them learn coping mechanisms to manage their bipolar more effectively.
  • Peer support – Connecting with other people with bipolar disorder can be very helpful in better understanding and managing bipolar symptoms. Peer support groups offer a safe place for individuals to talk about their experiences, ask questions, and receive support from people who have been through similar experiences.

Bipolar disorder can be daunting to manage, but there is hope. With the right treatment plan and resources, those affected by bipolar disorder can live a full life of productivity. If you or someone close to you are dealing with this condition, know that help is available.

Benefits of Bipolar Disorder Treatment 

Participating in our bipolar disorder treatment can benefit individuals struggling with mental health conditions. Education, goal-setting, and other lifestyle changes often accompany these treatments, helping people better understand their diagnosis, develop self-care strategies and gain practical skills to manage symptoms. Therapy and medication can also improve relationships with family and friends and clarify decision-making. And beyond the clinical benefits of treatment, our treatment ultimately strives to achieve larger goals, including:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Positive perceptions of self-image
  • Coping skills that contribute to long-term stability and wellness

Thanks to a wide range of evidence-based practices now available for treating bipolar disorder, a high percentage of individuals who receive such services report tremendous improvement in their diagnosis within one year. 

Find Bipolar Disorder Treatment in Seattle at LightHeart Associates

Managing the two opposite sets of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder can be challenging. Contact our mental health specialists at our bipolar disorder treatment center today to take control of your mental health and find balance in your life. Bipolar disorder doesn’t have to get in the way of achieving your goals. LightHeart Associates is here to provide you with a tailored treatment plan that fits your needs perfectly. Our plans are as unique and vital as each of our clients.

We are committed to helping people in our communities access life-changing mental health care. If you believe you are experiencing a mood disorder like bipolar disorder, contact LightHeart Associates today at 425.800.5688 or reach out online to learn what our bipolar disorder therapy can do for you.