Bipolar Disorder Treatment | Vantage Point Recovery

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

BIPOLAR DISORDER

It’s a disease, a disorder, an illness. But it’s also part of who you are, and it’s an interesting part at that. Bipolar disorder is a mental diagnosis that affects nearly 6 million Americans a year, and is a condition with symptoms that vary from mild to very severe.

How Bipolar Works

One of the major issues with a bipolar diagnosis is the fact that it’s easily misunderstood, stigmatized and quickly falls victim to a number of myths. Let’s dispel these myths right here and now.

Bipolar disorder is just a collection of mood swings

Definitely not true. Mood swings occur for many different reasons, both external and internal, but they’re never as severe or long-lasting as the symptoms of an actual bipolar disorder. When you’re bipolar, you’re undergoing serious depression and uncontrollable mania, in various variations and severities – but always at such a level of severity that your condition clearly interferes with your life, your relationships, and your ability to live life the way you want to live it.

We’re sorry if you have been told to belittle or think less of your condition because, really, you’re just being a little “emotionally inconsistent”. Trust us: that is not what is going on.

Being in a manic state is always fun

Mania has more to do with taking risks and being hyperactive, rather than just outright joy. The nature of your mania isn’t set in stone, either. Just because you had a bad manic episode doesn’t mean all your manic episodes will be bad – at least not at the time they’re ongoing.

Little, in fact, is set in stone when it comes to a bipolar diagnosis, aside from this: we can help.

Treating a Bipolar Patient

Like so many other mental disorders, the key to bipolar treatment isn’t to find a magic cure for all your problems. Life is hard, and that’s sort of a fact – for you, it’s a special brand of hard. But that doesn’t make life less rewarding, beautiful, or intense – so long as you get to work with the right tools needed to properly manage and cope with your diagnosis.

That’s where we come in. At Vantage Point Behavioral Health and Healing, we approach each case knowing full and well that they’re individual – not just because each diagnosis is just a little different, but because we’re treating people, not just patients, and everybody is unique in their own way.

Medication

Typically, bipolar medication consists of antidepressants to help against the depressive symptoms, specific medication to help with the symptoms of mania, and special medication called mood stabilizers. They’re not meant to be a permanent solution, but rather an aid or crutch until you develop a method for dealing with the symptoms of bipolar disorder on your own.

Alternative Treatment Options

Throughout history, mankind has been dealing with stress, life, and assorted mental problems through a myriad of ways. The Chinese had acupuncture, and tai chi. The Japanese love their zen meditation. The Indians had yoga. And of course, the church had exorcisms.

While we don’t recommend the last one, we do offer training and therapy in the form of mindfulness/meditation, acupuncture and more.

The scientific jury is still out on how much of the benefit that these methods confer is just pure placebo, and how much is actually a fix, but since we’re dealing with mental issues here, a mental solution may be preferable. That isn’t to say that any of these will work on you – but one might, or they might all help alleviate your symptoms, at no cost to your health or risk of adverse side effects.

We don’t just specialize in bringing to the table what conventional science says works and may work – we also utilize nontraditional cutting edge methods when tackling cases where they’re applicable, such as Brainspotting. This is a form of therapy where traumas can be identified and treated based on a person’s field of vision, and the deep connection between where an individual looks and deep-seated emotional and psychological pain. Currently studied and constantly improving, the research shows that it is highly effective in the right hands – and our hands are more than experienced enough, especially in the field of brainspotting which has shown us immense promise as a simple, non-invasive diagnostics and therapy tool.

Counseling and Therapy

Medication and meditation might not entirely do the trick – that’s where it becomes important to take on professional help, and seek therapy. Aside from group therapy often offered in cases of mental disorders, one-on-one therapy sessions with skilled psychiatrists can massively help out in treating bipolar disorder, by training and teaching you to have a new outlook on life, command a new perspective, and wield new tools to help you cope and manage your disorder. Therapies include:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy

Treating a disorder is never about just following protocol, going with a plan or forcing something that obviously doesn’t work. We do our best to adapt and affix all of our therapies to your own needs, quirks and preferences, building a therapy plan that is uniquely “you” and takes advantage of your own special conditions and circumstances to find the best way to tackle your problem.

Now, if all of that sounds a little vague, or too much like sales copy, then just know this: we never go into a case expecting to know exactly how things will play out. We adapt, and work hard to use our wits and expertise to help you, but it’s always an exciting journey – and it’s always a journey that will rest entirely on your cooperation and willingness to cope with your bipolar symptoms.


BIPOLAR I DISORDER

Bipolar can be a scary thing to be diagnosed with, to be sure. To find out that your manic moments are often a side-effect of your brain – punished, in turn, by moments of pure depression – can be tough to swallow.

But bipolar disorder is also a disorder that can be managed, coped with, and lived alongside. Your diagnosis doesn’t spell your doom, and it certainly isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning of a new part of your life.

Bipolar I is a version of the disorder with an emphasis on manic periods – which, contrary to popular belief, aren’t always about joy and elation.

Bipolar I Symptoms

Mania is not characterized by constant joy or elation, but rather, a sort of hyperactivity and edginess of character. Yes, you can be happy – but you could also be an angry manic or a scared manic, irritable and terrified that you’re basically no longer in control of your emotions. As such, bipolar I is characterized by:

  • Severe manic episodes
  • Irritability
  • Extreme risk-taking
  • Grandiose feelings/delusional thinking
  • Suicide attempts

This leads to irrational and rash decision making, and risk taking that can sometimes land you in the hospital. Although bipolar I episodes typically only last a week or two, they often enough end in hospitalization.

Bipolar I Treatment Options

Here at Vantage Point, we either offer outpatient or inpatient care.

Inpatient care is often used as a last-resort in bipolar I cases ending with hospitalization. But typically, we recommend dealing and coping with the disorder through outpatient care.

It’s a bit of a fancy term, but basically what an intensive outpatient treatment plan entails is that we’ll cater our treatment specifically to your life and schedule – that is, instead of coming over and entering into a treatment plan on-site, you can continue living with your family and even get to work while taking on therapies and treatments to help you cope with your bipolar disorder.

Unless the situation demands otherwise, we find this to be the best course of action – and it’s our specialty. Common therapies in IOC include:

  • Group Therapy
  • Family-Oriented Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Working to treat someone while the looming threat of a manic episode exists isn’t easy. And every case differs wildly in terms of severity, exact specifications, and circumstances.

We don’t force you to adapt to the treatment. We build the treatment around you. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, or a walk in the park – nothing good ever comes from nothing. But with a little hard work and our help, life will be magnitudes better from here on out.


BIPOLAR II DISORDER

A diagnosis of bipolar II means that you’ve got the symptoms of a classic bipolar disorder – manic moments and moments of depression – but you don’t have downright manic episodes, and instead usually suffer from depressive lows. We can help you deal with your diagnosis, invalidate your symptoms and get your life back on track.

Now, don’t get us wrong. We won’t tell you that things aren’t as bad as they are, or that it’s going to be rainbows and unicorns from here on out. But remember that: a.) you’re a human being on planet Earth, and things are never just rainbows and unicorns, and b.) things may be as bad as they are, but that doesn’t mean they’re as bad as you think they are. Bipolar disease is a relatively common mental disorder, and one that can be treated – and will be treated, in your case.

Bipolar II Symptoms

Suffering from a diagnosis of bipolar II usually means that you’re undergoing one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Risk-taking
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Numbness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping problems

The list goes on, but the gist remains the same – you’ve got mood swings that are more severe and disruptive than normal mood swings, yet not characterized by total manic breaks as in a bipolar II diagnosis. So how do we help you deal with that?

Bipolar II Treatment Options

Life isn’t spent living in the confines of a comfortable treatment facility; life is harsh, hard, and comes with ups and downs. Learning to live despite them and the exacerbated emotions your disorder produces as a direct result of these events is a challenge, and one you should be able to go through while living your life.

That’s why we offer outpatient care, through intensive treatment programs like:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Family-based Therapy

Alongside mainstream therapies, we help you temporarily manage your disorder through medication and alternative treatment options like meditation or mindfulness therapy.


RAPID CYCLING DISORDER

Sure, the defining trait of a bipolar disorder is that you’re switching back and forth between depression and mania – but it’s not a switch that often happens overnight, or in another time period to that effect. It’s also relatively normal in most cases for depression to be the general state most bipolar people find themselves in. Depression and mania don’t get equal play time.

Episodes often last for weeks. Episodes of mania, episodes of depression, and periods where your emotions are in check. These episodes may happen on their own and last for days, sometimes passively and in times actively, or they may be triggered by an emotionally unsettling event, like the loss of a loved one.

However, in the case of a rapid cycling bipolar disorder, your mood shifts four or more times per year.

Symptoms of Rapid Cycling

As a form of bipolar disorder, the symptoms a rapid cycling disorder sufferer goes through are exactly the same – what changes, however, is simply the timing in which the symptoms take effect.

Usually, a manic or depressive episode lasts a very long time, or shifts aren’t all that common. In fact, to qualify as bipolar, a person only needs one recorded episode of mania or hypomania. Depression is the more common hallmark of a bipolar disorder. But in the case of a rapid cycling diagnosis, the mood swings are both severe and frequent.

Treating a Rapid Cycling Disorder

Due to the rapidity of mood switches, the biggest focus in planned treatment against rapid cycling disorder is to stabilize the mood, with antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

Once symptoms are alleviated, the next course of action is to utilize therapy to eliminate stressors and cope with the factors that might be exacerbating your symptoms. Every case is different – we can’t tell you exactly how we’re going to treat you until we know what we’re dealing with.


MIXED EPISODE BIPOLAR DISORDER

A rarer form of bipolar disorder, mixed episode bipolar is hallmarked by the peculiar condition wherein the two major symptoms of a bipolar disorder – mania and depression – occur simultaneously.

What Makes a Mixed Episode Disorder

By and large, being diagnosed with mixed episode bipolar disorder means that you’re dealing with much of the same symptoms as regular bipolar diagnoses, with the difference that they’re occurring at the same time. Symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Numbness
  • Irritability
  • Extreme risk-taking
  • Insomnia
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite issues
  • Delusions

Treating your Mixed Episode Bipolar Disorder

Being bipolar doesn’t mean you’re broken – and no matter how long you’ve been suffering from the symptoms of the disorder, there’s always hope that you can turn your life around, and enjoy it again. We help you get passionate about living again through a variety of different treatment options, like:

  • Group Therapy
  • Family-Oriented Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Mood Stabilizers

While it’s a special form of bipolar, the symptoms – and treatment options – still aim to do the same thing. That is, bring your symptoms to a level of normality where you can deal with them.

This is your journey, and your fight. We’re just the armorers crafting the tools you need to forge ahead.


CYCLOTHYMIA

It sounds complicated, and a little scary, but cyclothymia can easily be summed up in a single sentence: it’s a mental disorder wherein your mood shifts significantly enough to adversely affect your life, but not enough to qualify as a regular bipolar disorder.

That’s right – cyclothymia sounds worse than bipolar, but is actually a milder variant. It isn’t, however, just an instance of simple mood swings.

Symptoms of Cyclothymia

While milder, cyclothymia is still a serious mental disorder that requires serious attention. Managing your symptoms is critical if you want to be able to live without having them interfere with your life, or worse yet, cause the stress to force them into developing from symptoms of cyclothymia to bipolar I or II. Cyclothymia symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping problems
  • Eating disorders

Most people have a baseline emotion, with reactionary emotions caused by outside stimuli – feeling sad because of a tragic event, or shocked at the injury of a close friend, or happy about the outcome of movie. Cyclothymia hijacks that emotional system and sends you on moments of elation and depression, above and below your baseline, for no apparent reason.

How We Treat Cyclothymia

While you’re not suffering from bipolar per se, you still need help. We here at Vantage Point take every case seriously, so long as you feel that your mental problems are hijacking your life and diminishing your ability to live life to the fullest.

Don’t let others belittle your condition because it isn’t as serious as some other cases – what matters most is how it counts in your life, not the life of others. We help you tackle cyclothymia through:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication

Most cases usually do not require more than an intensive outpatient level of treatment. Talk and group therapy, mood stabilizers, and a strong aftercare plan usually does the trick, unless symptoms worsen. We make sure to mold our treatment around your specific circumstances and developments – we don’t treat anything in our field as textbook or cookie cutter case, and present every case a flexibility of options within the structure of what we know works best – and we actually genuinely care about the work we do, and how we affect your life. Yet before we can really roll up our sleeves and get started treating you, we have to absolutely make sure that you understand how this diagnosis may affect your life.
Being bipolar may be something you will live with forever – but the longer time goes on, the less you’ll come to fear that term if at all. We don’t take away the fear – we just help you see things differently enough to empower you to become fearless. There’s a lot more involved than just perception and thinking, sure – but knowing that you’ll learn to live a full life with the disorder can be a great first step towards actually living life to the fullest.

Start your journey with one
phone call

Start your journey with one phone call