Imagine being on a roller coaster, you are not in control of where you are going as you ascend to the highest heights and then come plummeting down to the lowest lows. It sounds wonderful as a finite adventure, but for people living with bipolar disorder, the ride doesn’t end.
2.6% of Americans (that’s almost 10 million people!) are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It affects men and women equally. Within that percentage, 83% of diagnosed cases are considered severe.
The current research points to multiple causes of the onset of bipolar disorder :
3) brain structure and function.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder include manic episodes which might mean hallucinations and distorted reality or a less severe form of mania, known as hypomania, in combination with depression. While bipolar disorder can occur at any age, it is most commonly recognized in late teens or early 20s.
Bipolar disorder is not something you can manage on your own. We typically use a combination of psychotherapy, medications, and self-management strategies. Exercise and meditation can be used as a complimentary intervention but are not usually enough on their own.
If you feel like your moods swing from one extreme to the other or if your family or friends have expressed concern over your mood changes, it may be time to talk to your health care provider.