What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder characterized by dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. Bipolar Disorder also affects a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. People with Bipolar Disorder experience highs of mania on one extreme and lows of depression on the other.
Typically, people with Bipolar Disorder do not perceive the highs of their Mania as a problem. On the other hand, they do recognize the lows of their depressive episodes as an issue. As a result, Bipolar Disorder is often misdiagnosed as Depression. As a result, manic behavior goes undiagnosed, causing tension in the person’s relationships. Families and friends often feel like there is something wrong, but it is something they’re unable to identify. At Watershed, we work with the clients, spouses, family, and friends to reclaim the stability in their lives lost to Bipolar Disorder.
At Watershed, we walk beside our clients and their families as they deepen their awareness of this illness and improve their lives.
Most people with Bipolar Disorder experience their symptoms in a cycle. First, they find themselves depressed. Second, they begin taking their prescription medication (i.e. medication compliance). Third, their depression is relieved, and they abruptly stop taking their medication. Finally, they usually experience a quick descent into further depression or sky rocket into the euphoric and invincible feelings of mania.
A person experiencing Mania typically has difficulty sleeping and may engage in risky behaviors (physical, sexual, financial, etc) with little to no concern for the consequences. Depression dulls the spirit of a beloved family member and strips them of their spark. Mania destroys a family’s stability and often brings them shame, stress, and isolation.
Medication is only the first step in beginning treatment for Bipolar Disorder. At Watershed, we walk beside our clients and their families as they deepen their awareness of this illness and improve their lives.
Do you or a loved one need help managing Bipolar Disorder? Please contact us.