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Athena Care
Bipolar Disorder Treatment & Therapy in Tennessee

Bipolar Disorder Treatment & Therapy in Tennessee

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What is Bipolar Disorder?

Formerly referred to as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression) in emotion as well as changes in sleep, activity, thinking, and behavior.

Bipolar disorder comes in various forms with varying symptoms, including mania or hypomania and depression. Below are the types of bipolar disorders:

  • Bipolar I disorder: At least one manic episode has occurred in your life, possibly preceded or followed by severe depression or hypomanic episodes. Sometimes mania can make you lose track of reality (psychosis)
  • Bipolar II disorder: a milder form of mood elevation, which alternates between times of extreme depression and milder hypomanic episodes
  • Cyclothymic disorder: describes short bursts of hypomanic symptoms that alternate with brief phases of depressive symptoms, but not in the same way or for as long as full hypomanic or full depressive episodes
  • Other types: these comprise, for instance, bipolar disorders and other associated disorders brought on by particular medicines or alcohol or as a result of a medical condition like Cushing’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke

Despite being two different types of episodes, hypomania and mania share the same symptoms. However, mania is more severe than hypomania, resulting in more noticeable issues with relationships, employment, school, and social activities. Additionally, mania-related psychosis may also require hospitalization.1

For both manic and hypomanic episodes, three or more of the following symptoms are present:

  • Unusually happy, jittery, or wired
  • Increased energy, activity, or irritability
  • Inflated sense of happiness and confidence (euphoria)
  • Less sleep required
  • Unusual chattiness
  • Flustered thinking
  • Distractibility
  • Making poor choices, such as shopping binges, sexual risks, or poor investment choices

The symptoms of a major depressive episode are severe enough to significantly interfere with daily activities, including job, school, social interactions, or romantic relationships. Five or more of the following symptoms constitute a depressive episode:

  • Depressed mood, including sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, or tears (irritability can be a sign of depression in children and teenagers)
  • Loss of interest in or lack of enjoyment in all, or nearly all, activities
  • Significant weight loss without dieting, weight gain, or a change in appetite (failure to gain weight, as expected, in children may indicate depression)
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Either agitation or sluggish behavior
  • Fatigue or a decrease in energy
  • Self-doubt or excessive or inappropriate feelings of guilt
  • Reduced capacity for thought or concentration, or indecision
  • Suicidal ideation, preparation, or attempt

Despite the extreme mood swings, persons with bipolar disorder frequently fail to recognize how much their emotional instability disturbs their own lives and those they care about, preventing them from receiving the necessary therapy.

About 5.7 million adult Americans, or 2.6% of the population, suffer from bipolar disorder.2 If you have bipolar disorder, you may enjoy euphoric moods and spurts of increased productivity. However, this high is invariably followed by an emotional crash that can leave you feeling down, exhausted, and possibly in problems with the law, your finances, or your relationships.

It’s essential to consult a psychotherapist or other mental health professionals experienced in treating bipolar disorder if you experience any signs of mania or depression. The symptoms of bipolar disorder do not go away on their own, but symptoms can be managed.

Signs It’s Time for Bipolar Disorder Therapy

The fact that these mood swings diverge from your typical personality and last for a considerable amount of time is a significant sign that it’s time to seek bipolar disorder treatment. In the case of mania, it could take days or weeks, and in the case of depression, it might take weeks or months to notice the mood swings. In addition, the strength of the manic and depressed periods might vary from person to person and within a single individual over time.

People living with bipolar disorder might not be aware of how their moods and actions affect their loved ones’ life and their own. As a result, they frequently do not receive the necessary medical care and therapy. This is particularly accurate during the euphoric phases.

When they have a depressive episode, people with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek medical attention. As a result, a doctor may incorrectly diagnose the patient with depression.

Furthermore, if you or someone you know has bipolar disorder and are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming oneself or others, it’s an emergent sign to seek bipolar disorder treatment. A person with bipolar disorder could also occasionally fail to recognize when urgent assistance is required. Friends or family members may need to step in and support the person in this situation by getting the bipolar disorder treatment they require.

Insurance may be able to help cover the cost of therapy. Find out if your insurance provider can help with the costs by filling in our confidential insurance verification form below.

Types of Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Therapy & Counseling

Treatment of bipolar disorder includes both medication and counseling. The following are options for counseling and therapy for bipolar disorder:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This evidence-based approach aims to understand how ideas, feelings, and behaviors are connected. In CBT, the patient and therapist jointly decide on goals before the patient changes how they think about a situation to alter how they react to it.
  • Family Focused therapy: This kind of therapy may be helpful for people with bipolar disorder, including adults, children, and their caregivers. Your loved ones will attend therapy sessions with you that include psychoeducation about bipolar disorder, training in improving communication, and instruction in problem-solving techniques.
  • Group Psychoeducation: A group facilitator guides the gathering of individuals with bipolar disorder, who are frequently joined by family members. Some groups have a strict agenda that focuses on education and skill development. Others are focused on sharing one’s experiences and soliciting advice from those who have faced similar challenges.
  • Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT):3 In IPSRT, an individual therapy, a person with bipolar disorder records the times they go to sleep, wake up, and what they do, daily, as well as how their moods are affected by changes to these schedules. To stabilize moods, the clinician coaches the patient on controlling their daily routines and sleep-wake cycles. In addition, the person and their therapist identify one or more interpersonal problem areas while also considering possible preventative measures to avoid future occurrences of the same issues.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Individual and group treatment are included in skill-based DBT. It teaches mindfulness and acceptance strategies, such as how to experience one’s thoughts, emotions, and accompanying bodily sensations in the present moment without judgment. It also teaches people how to control their emotions, tolerate discomfort, and communicate well with others.
  • Medication Management: To guarantee the best therapeutic outcomes for patients, mental health professionals, including pharmacists, provide medication therapy management, a specific service, or a combination of services. The five fundamental components are a personal medication record, a medication-related action plan, an intervention or referral, documentation and follow-up, and a medication therapy review.

Bipolar Disorder Medications

Bipolar disorder symptoms can be managed with the aid of specific medications. With the help of a healthcare professional, you might need to test out several different treatment medications before deciding which one is most effective.

The following drugs are frequently prescribed bipolar disorder medications:

  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants

Other Types of Treatment Options

Alternative therapies have been said to help some people with bipolar disorder with their symptoms. Many of the advantages of treating depression are backed by scientific research. However, further study is needed to determine how well bipolar disorder is treated.

Always consult your physician before beginning any alternative therapies. Certain drugs may interact negatively with supplements and therapies, leading to unforeseen side effects. Alternative therapies shouldn’t replace conventional bipolar disorder treatments or prescription medications. Some claim that when the two are combined, the benefits are amplified.

The following are other types of options for the treatment of bipolar disorder:4

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT):5 ECT involves sending tiny electrical shocks to the brain, startling it, and causing a small seizure to reboot it and alter the chemical equilibrium. Even while it’s still a last-resort option when therapy and medications have failed, the process is now much better managed, safer, and has fewer dangers and side effects than in the past.
  • Eat healthy foods: Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for proper brain function. According to studies, B vitamin deficiencies and low vitamin D levels have been linked to depression. Furthermore, they believe that a balanced diet may help those with bipolar disorder by improving their sense of control over their life. So, make sure to eat a range of foods, such as lean meats, whole grains, fresh produce, fish like salmon and tuna, and other seafood with heart-healthy fats.
  • Get enough sleep: This can be difficult for people with bipolar disorder. During a manic episode, sleeping very little is possible, and getting out of bed may be challenging when you’re depressed. In addition, a mood change might be brought on by a lack of sleep. Getting adequate sleep is beneficial for your physical and mental well-being.
  • Exercise: Exercise, according to studies, may reduce the symptoms of depression, enhance your quality of life, and enable you to go about your daily activities. However, if you exercise too much or too frequently, it could cause mania. To fully comprehend the function that physical activity plays in bipolar disorder, more research is required.
  • Meditation: Your mind may become quiet and relaxed due to meditation, which may improve your focus, drop your blood pressure, and reduce stress.
  • Acupuncture: This can boost health and circulation while lowering stress. Generally, acupuncture is risk-free when performed by a qualified expert using sterilized needles.
  • Supplements: Getting your vitamins and minerals from food is typically best, but there are many supplements, including Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, that can be beneficial to those with bipolar disorder. However, it’s essential to always consult a physician before beginning any supplements.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment Costs & Insurance Coverage

For people with bipolar disorder and their insurance plans, bipolar disorder is the most expensive behavioral health diagnosis.6 A comprehensive treatment of bipolar disorder can be pricey. Depending on the type of bipolar disorder you have, mental health treatment costs might range from around $4,500 to more than $21,000 annually.7

Most insurance plans are required by law to cover mental health assessments and services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 mandates that any health plan that provides coverage for physical health must also include mental health and substance use services. Therapy, inpatient and outpatient care, and medication management for depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or psychotic illness are all possible forms of treatment for many mental health issues.8

You might have to pay a copay, deductible, or perhaps both, even if your therapy sessions and bipolar disorder medications are covered. Additionally, your insurance policy might only pay for a certain number of sessions.

A Bipolar Disorder Treatment Success & Outlook

A person with bipolar disorder has an average nine-year loss in life expectancy, and up to one in five commit suicide. In addition, an estimated 60% of all people living with bipolar disorder are dependent on drugs or alcohol. This is why getting medical attention and committing to bipolar disorder treatment is critical.

Long term, ongoing medication use can significantly reduce manic and depressive episode frequency. By identifying the signs and causes of these episodes, one has a better chance of receiving successful therapy and discovering coping skills to prevent enduring illness, lengthy hospital visits, and suicide.

Even though you may feel better, bipolar disorder must be treated with medication for the rest of your life. People who forego maintenance therapy risk experiencing a relapse of their symptoms or having mild mood swings develop into major depression or mania.

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong and persistent medical illness. The first step toward healing is a prompt, precise diagnosis.9 You’ll know that your treatment of bipolar disorder is working when you experience fewer episodes in a given period and notice a significant reduction in symptoms. People with bipolar disorder can lead healthy, full lives with the help of a consistent, effective treatment plan complete with support systems and self-care.

Sources

  1. “Bipolar Disorder – Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 16 Feb. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955.
  2. “Bipolar Disorder.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9294-bipolar-disorder.
  3. Miklowitz, David Ph.D. “Different Types of Therapy for Bipolar Disorder.” National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 12 Apr. 2019, www.nami.org/CMSMessages/error.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/CMSPages/PortalTemplate.aspx.
  4. “Alternative Treatments for Bipolar Disorder.” WebMD, 3 Sept. 2020, www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/therapies-bipolar-disorder.
  5. WebMD Editorial Contributors. “A Look at Bipolar Disorder.” WebMD, 12 Aug. 2022, www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/mental-health-bipolar-disorder.
  6. Peele, Pamela B., et al. “Insurance Expenditures on Bipolar Disorder: Clinical and Parity Implications.” American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 160, no. 7, American Psychiatric Association Publishing, July 2003, pp. 1286–90. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.160.7.1286.
  7. Bessonova, Leona, et al. “The Economic Burden of Bipolar Disorder in the United States: A Systematic Literature Review” ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research, vol. Volume 12, Informa UK Limited, Sept. 2020, pp. 481–97. https://doi.org/10.2147/ceor.s259338.
  8. “Let’s Talk About Mental Health and Insurance.” Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TN.gov), 18 May 2021, www.tn.gov/commerce/blog/2021/5/18/let-s-talk-about-mental-health-and-insurance.html.
  9. “Living Well With Bipolar Disorder.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 27 Sept. 2022, www.samhsa.gov/serious-mental-illness/bi-polar.

If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.

One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control. 

(615) 320-1155