Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive, is a brain disorder that is characteristic of sporadic changes in mood and energy levels. Individuals experiencing bi-polar disorder can go from periods of extreme “ups,” also known as manic episodes, feeling happy and energized, even elated. Rather quickly, their mood can shift into depressive episodes, where hopelessness and sadness take over. Manic periods that aren’t as severe are referred to as hypomanic episodes.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines four basic types of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar I Disorder— individuals experience manic episodes lasting at least 7 days, or they experience manic symptoms so severe that the person that immediate medical care is needed. Typically, depressive episodes occur too, lasting at least two weeks.
Bipolar II Disorder—individuals experience a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the manic episodes described above.
Cyclothymic Disorder—an individual will experience periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years, but the symptoms don’t meet diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic or depressive episode.
Manic episodes may include:
Feeling very “up,” “high,” or elated
High energy and increased activity (more activity than usual)
Overconfidence in accomplishing tasks – thinking they can do many things at once
Risky behavior – reckless spending or sexual activity
Depressive episodes may include:
Feeling very sad, empty, or hopeless
Having little or no energy
Have decreased activity levels
Sleeping too little or too much
Eating too much or too little
Help for Bi-polar Disorder and Substance Abuse in Tennessee
JourneyPure Center for Professional Excellence men and women’s professional program specializes in treating substance use and mental health disorders. If you believe you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are also using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate, please contact us. We can help.