Bipolar Disorder

Formerly known as “manic depression,” bipolar disorder is likely the most widely known mood disorder. It’s also relatively rare – The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports 2.6 percent of adults are affected by the disorder each year. The disorder usually manifests in people in their mid-20s, although it can start in early childhood. Some studies have shown bipolar disorder can run in families.

Mood swings are a normal part of teenage life. Bipolar disorder is far more serious. Sovereign Health knows how disruptive and dangerous bipolar disorder can be if left untreated. Rancho San Diego, our residential bipolar disorder treatment center for adolescents aged 12 to 17, provides our younger patients with a safe, secure place to deal with and manage their illness.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder consists of two phases. During the manic phase, patients will experience heightened mood, increased energy levels and self-confidence. While this sounds fine, these symptoms run hand-in-hand with poor judgment, risky behavior and an often inflated sense of self. Teens in a manic phase may appear unusually happy or silly and talk rapidly about many different things. In extreme cases, patients may even hallucinate.

The depressive phase lasts much longer and have many of the same symptoms associated with severe depression. An adolescent in the disorder’s depressive phase will feel very sad, deal with feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and may even express thoughts of suicide and death. Additionally, they may also report feeling aches and pains – these are also common depressive symptoms.

Bipolar disorder comes in several types. Bipolar I disorders is the most serious form; patients may experience periods of psychosis during their manic episodes. Bipolar II has less severe symptoms. Finally, cyclothymia is the mildest form of the illness – although the phases may be greater in number and occur more often, they’re much less severe.

The danger of bipolar disorder is twofold: In the manic phase, adolescents may engage in dangerous behaviors, do risky things and even experiment with drugs, alcohol and sex. Meanwhile, the depressive side of the disorder brings in self-harm, including suicide. Suicide is a leading cause of death for adolescents. Bipolar disorder may be a rare illness in most teens, but it’s a dangerous disease that requires professional treatment for bipolar disorder to treat properly.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Manic symptoms include:

  • Uncharacteristic moments of happiness, giddiness and silly behavior
  • Rapid, excited speech about many different subjects
  • Trouble remaining focused
  • Quick temper

Depressive symptoms include:

  • Pervasive sad feelings
  • Low energy levels
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of interest in friends, school or activities previously enjoyed

Red Flags of Bipolar Disorder

  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Sudden changes in school performance
  • Wildly varying energy levels
  • Expressing thoughts of worthlessness and guilt
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Having close relatives, siblings or parents with bipolar disorder

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Researchers aren’t certain of a specific cause of bipolar disorder. The disease affects men and women equally, and most cases develop between the ages of 15 and 25. Most experts think a variety of elements acting in concert contribute to the disease’s onset. Some studies have shown genes may play a role; having a blood relative who has bipolar disorder seems to be a large risk factor for developing the disease. Additionally, some studies revealed structural differences in the brains of people with the illness. Also, chemical imbalances in the brain play a role in bipolar disorder as well as many other mood disorders.

Environmental factors may also be a factor. A history of being abused mentally and physically, a traumatic loss of a loved one and being exposed to trauma may all trigger bipolar disorder. Interestingly, some scientists are viewing mood disorders as physical ailments rather than mental: Medical scans have found signs of inflammation in the brains of people dealing with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder.

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Getting Help for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious disease that can be managed effectively through treatment. At Rancho San Diego, Sovereign Health’s team of compassionate professionals use effective, scientifically backed bipolar treatment modalities to help our young patients move past their difficulties.

At Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego patients can work on their bipolar treatment and recovery in a safe, secure environment free from distractions. We use group therapy, talk therapy along with classes on anger management and stress reduction to fundamentally change the way our patients view themselves, others, their problems and the world around them. Additionally, our patients can also participate in alternative therapies, including yoga and equine therapy.

Why Choose Sovereign Health?

A leading provider of mental health, substance abuse and eating disorder treatment with centers nationwide, including bipolar residential treatment centers. With our effective bipolar disorder treatment centers, Sovereign Health should be your first choice when seeking professional intervention for your child. Here’s why:

  • Our San Diego center is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the U.S.’s largest and oldest health care accreditation and standards-setting organization
  • We make use of the latest, most effective treatment methods
  • Each patient receives a complete assessment and customized treatment plan

For more information on our bipolar inpatient treatment centers, please call our 24/7 helpline.

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