Bipolar Disorder Counselling
Highs and lows are a part of life. But normally, we have a stable state of thinking in which we experience our emotions at a suitable rate. But for someone with bipolar disorder, things can be taken to an extreme. So what is bipolar disorder and what do we need to know about it?
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder in which one may experience their emotions at extremes. Either they are very happy (called mania ) in which they are very high and overactive or they are depressed to a point where they feel lethargic and worthless. In simple terms, you don’t have a stable state of thinking. The majority of your emotions are extreme conditions.
Mood swings are common among almost every individual. But unlike mood swings, these states of extreme emotions can last up to weeks or longer. During a depressive episode you may have an overwhelming feeling of suicide and worthlessness. Nothing in life seems doable and it can often lead to thoughts of suicide. This phase of depression can feel so intense that it can make it difficult for you to focus on other areas of your life such as school, relationships, and work.
On the other hand, when you experience mania, you are very happy and energetic. You have tons of energy, ambitious plans, and ideas. In your happy state of mind, you spend lavishly and even do things that you may not be able to afford under normal circumstances. People may even quit their jobs or feel completely rested after sleeping for only two hours because of how happy and active they feel. You talk too quickly, don’t feel like eating or sleeping, and may even become annoyed easily.
Spurs of creativity are common with people that have bipolar disorder. The major issue with bipolar disorder is that it can make it difficult for you to function in your daily life because of your extreme conditions.
How to find a Bipolar Disorder Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Bipolar Disorder therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a Bipolar Disorder therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Symptoms of Bipolar disorder
In bipolar disorder, you go through two major phases, mania, and depression. Common symptoms of each state are given below:
In the state of mania, you feel heightened energy, creativity, and euphoria. You are very hyperactive during this state. While it feels good at first, you may spiral out of control. You may start taking risks, fighting, or spending extreme amounts that you may not usually spend.
- Feeling unusually optimistic.
- Unrealistic and grandiose beliefs about one's abilities and powers.
- Very little sleep
- Talking rapidly
- A HIghly active mind and racing thoughts
- Impulsiveness and impaired judgment
- Taking risks without considering the consequences.
- Delusions and hallucinations.
Just like mania, you can experience a spike in your negative emotions. Irritability, guilt, unpredictable mood swings, and feelings of restlessness are common. You may move and sleep slowly. In rare cases, you may develop psychotic depression in which you lose touch with reality.
Common signs are:
- Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
- Inability to experience pleasure
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Physical and mental sluggishness
- Sleep problems
- Concentration and memory issues
- Contemplating death or suicide.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
The exact causes of bipolar disorder are still unknown. But there are several factors that can contribute in the development of this condition.
People that have bipolar disorder have a physical change in their brains. The reason for this change is still unknown but it may contribute to their feelings of extremes.
Bipolar disorders are more common in people that have some relatives with the same condition. Having a parent or sibling with the same condition may increase the chances of bipolar disorder. Genes may be involved in causing bipolar disorder.
Other than these two major factors, the following external factors may also contribute:
- Extreme stress
- Sleep deprivation
- Substance abuse
Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder usually requires long term treatment as it is a chronic and relapsing illness. It is important to follow the full course of treatment even when your symptoms seem to improve. The following are some of the most suitable treatment options for bipolar disorder.
Often medications are the first priority to help with your extreme moods. They help balance moods right away. But unlike other conditions, bipolar disorder will often require a life-long treatment. People that skip their medications or therapies are at a high risk of relapse. Therefore, it is important to properly follow the full course of treatment.
Therapy is also extremely beneficial for teaching you different coping mechanisms regarding your disorder. With therapy you educate yourself about your condition and learn different lifestyle changes that can reduce your need for medication. Therapy can be an ongoing process as recovery from bipolar disorder is not an overnight task.
In extreme cases, hospitalization may also be required where you will be kept in check and medicated properly under the supervision of medical professionals. Often the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder is not only medication but a combination of medication, therapy and lifestyle changes and social support.
You can also adopt the following lifestyle changes to help improve your symptoms.
- Start taking proper exercise as physical activities can help nullify extreme moods and stable you down. Make walking, swimming or gym a part of your lifestyle.
- Stay closely connected to family and friends and teach them about your condition so they can properly understand you. Staying with caring people can help reduce your triggers.
- Monitor your moods and keep a check on your triggers. Know to consciously understand when you are in one such state and avoid making rash decisions under one such state.
Bipolar disorder can be a challenging condition to deal with but fortunately, treatment is available. Identifying this disorder and seeking support is necessary for you to live a healthy life. Getting in touch with a professional can turn out to be a life-changing decision that can help you get back to living a stable life.
Further Readings on Bipolar Disorder
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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