Outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by cycles of high and low moods. These high and low periods, called manic episodes and depressive episodes, can vary in intensity but share certain traits. These episodes can:
- Disrupt ordinary living
- Strain relationships
- Harm mental and emotional health and well-being
If you or a loved one suffer from this chronic condition, we can help. At Renewed Light in West Deptford, New Jersey, we provide outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder—a healthy and productive step towards managing symptoms and chronic behaviors and helping you live a happier life. Find out more about admissions.
How to recognize symptoms of bipolar disorder
The symptoms of bipolar disorder overlap with those of other mood disorders. Let’s begin by looking at the manic phase. During this high mood, individuals may:
- Feel happy and more active than usual
- Become easily irritated
- Have a racing mind
- Talk rapidly and compulsively (“pressured speech”)
- Multi-task and take more risks than usual
- Have delusions of being famous, important, or talented
On the other hand, individuals in the depressive phase may:
- Feel sad, without energy, and without hope
- Lose all sense of self-worth
- Isolate themselves
- Feel lonely even in the midst of company
- Lose interest in activities that once engaged them
- Talk slowly and vaguely or disconnectedly
You may experience “mixed episodes,” in which both manic and depressive symptoms occur. It may happen that you feel sad and hopeless while at the same time engage in a flurry of activity. Oftentimes, people who are bipolar suspect nothing wrong with themselves but could greatly benefit from an outpatient treatment program.
Does untreated bipolar get worse?
If bipolar disorder goes untreated, it can get worse because its effects on your life can get worse. Beyond the usual ups and downs that everyone experiences during stressful times, bipolar may cause you to sleep less during a manic phase, for instance, but sleep excessively during a depressive phase. During a severe depressive episode, you may find it close to impossible to get out of bed.
Eating habits change, too. Many go on eating binges during the manic phase while neglecting to eat in the depressive phase. (Eating too much is possible in the depressive phase as well.)
Both phases can lead to situations that threaten your life or financial security. During a high mood, someone with bipolar disorder may get drunk or give away large sums of money on a whim. When entering a low mood, they may entertain thoughts of suicide.
How to explain bipolar disorder (and the different types of bipolar disorder)
There are three types of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I
- Bipolar II
- Cyclothymic disorder
Mental health professionals have come up with this distinction based on the severity of the manic and depressive episodes. At Renewed Light, we provide outpatient treatment for all three types of bipolar disorders.
Bipolar I disorder
Experts define bipolar I disorder, the most severe form, based on its manic episode. To qualify as bipolar I disorder, the manic episode must last seven or more days or put the person into a hospital. Regarding the depressive episode, it typically qualifies as a major depressive episode, lasting as long as two weeks. Mixed symptoms may also appear.
Bipolar II disorder
Bipolar II disorder manifests in one depressive episode and one hypomanic, rather than a manic, episode. Hypomanic episodes refer to less severe manic episodes that do not impair daily functioning. So, while the high moods may not reach so high, the low moods typically go very low in this type of bipolar disorder.
This type shows itself in brief, mild, but still frequent cycles of manic and depressive episodes. The episodes must reveal themselves to be so mild as not to qualify as full-blown depressive episodes or hypomanic episodes. The duration of the cycle must also exceed two years in order for professionals to diagnose the condition as a cyclothymic disorder.
What causes bipolar disorder?
Mental health experts have yet to find any cause of bipolar disorder, but they have pinpointed multiple factors that could increase the chances of developing it.
Genetics seem to play a role as those with a family history of bipolar disorder tend to suffer from it. Having a parent or a sibling with bipolar disorder greatly increases your chances of developing it.
Issues with brain circuits and brain chemicals like norepinephrine (a stress hormone) and serotonin (a hormone that regulates mood and relates tod eating, sleeping, sexual activity, and more) can trigger a bipolar episode as well.
You may also be more susceptible to bipolar disorder if you experienced trauma as a child. This includes:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Bereavement (grief)
Even as adults, suffering from a traumatic event like a car accident or natural disaster or living through a stressful situation like job loss or a break-up can make you more vulnerable to developing bipolar disorder.
Types of treatment for bipolar disorder
Though there is no cure for bipolar disorder, you can successfully manage symptoms with a combination of medications and psychotherapy (talk therapy) to live a more satisfying and happier life.
At Renewed Light our medical professionals and therapists have expertise in treating bipolar disorder through individual, group and holistic therapies, and medication management and monitoring to ensure optimal outcomes and minimal side effects.
We offer this in a relaxed, outpatient environment in a convenient location in South Jersey, making it easier for you to get to day or evening appointments.
This involves regular one-on-one conversations between you and a licensed therapist. You have the opportunity to open up about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and the therapist helps you develop ways to cope with problems that interfere with daily living.
Through group therapy, you’ll be with other patients who live with bipolar disorder in a safe, trusted space in which conversation is facilitated by a skilled therapist or multiple therapists. By engaging with others who have similar struggles, you will learn and grow together. Group therapy helps you feel less isolated and allows you to build skills and adopt tools for mentally healthier living.
We also offer family therapy and couples therapy for bipolar disorder, led by a single therapist. These sessions help you learn how resolve communication problems that threaten your close relationships.
At Renewed Light we treat the whole person—not just the condition—introducing you to guided meditation and other types of exercises as well as certain supplements, like fish oil capsules to support brain health.
Discover outpatient treatment for bipolar disorder in New Jersey
If you suffer from a mental health disorder, you’re not alone. More than 50 percent of Americans will get diagnosed with a behavioral health disorder during their lifetime. Fortunately, Renewed Light offers a range of therapy options and programs that can help you take back your life. Located in West Deptford, New Jersey, we serve all of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.