Depressive episodes often follow periods of mania, resulting in severe mood changes. While mania represents the “highest of highs,” depressive episodes represent the “lowest of lows.” During a depressive episode, people with bipolar disorder experience depressed mood, lower energy levels, feelings of hopelessness and an inability to experience pleasure. For example, they may stop spending time with friends or participating in their favorite activities.
Episodes of depressed mood can be dangerous to the person experiencing them because they can lead to suicidal thoughts, isolation and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse. Luckily, there’s hope for those struggling with these episodes.
Physical Effects of Depressed Mood
The depressive phase of bipolar disorder may lead to noticeable physical changes. While feeling depressed, a person with bipolar disorder may experience weight gain due to a lack of exercise or the consumption of high-calorie foods. Low mood episodes may also lead to unexplained aches and pains. Not only does this contribute to weight gain, but it can also make walking, running and performing other physical activities more challenging. Low mood episodes may also lead to unexplained aches and pains.
Individuals with bipolar disorder need to be aware of the potential for rapid cycling. In people with rapid cycling, bipolar disorder results in at least four episodes of depression, mania or hypomania in 12 months. Some individuals even experience ultra-rapid cycling, characterized by at least four mood changes in one month.
Different mood episodes can occur within a few days or even hours. Not everyone with bipolar disorder experiences the same symptoms, so it’s important to seek personalized treatment.
Hope for Healing
When it comes to treating bipolar disorder, early intervention is best. First, a skilled mental health professional will need to diagnose bipolar disorder, which is usually followed by recommendations for treatment.
IOP and PHP programs are excellent choices for those looking to manage their symptoms and live a happy, balanced life. IOP stands for intensive outpatient program, while PHP stands for partial hospitalization. Through these programs, individuals can participate in various therapy modalities, nutrition plans and medication management to gain the skills to live successfully and free of symptoms.
IOP and PHP treatments are both helpful for addressing severe depression, suicidal thoughts, racing thoughts, impulsive behavior and other symptoms associated with both types of bipolar disorder. Depending on your needs, your treatment options may include psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy and/or medications.
Psychotherapy gives you a chance to discuss your symptoms with an experienced therapist and learn how to manage the unpredictable changes in mood that sometimes occur with bipolar disorder.
Alta Loma’s Bipolar Disorder Program
Bipolar disorder can be confusing for anyone, even if their symptoms are well-controlled with medications and therapy. Understanding the ins and outs of this disorder can facilitate compassion and prompt those struggling to seek help.
Alta Loma Transformational Services provides options for men struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. Our programs give every patient access to a personalized treatment plan and an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Georgetown, TX.
Your progress will be evident every week as you become more successful at living with bipolar disorder. To learn more about our programs, call us today at (866) 457-3843.