Most people think of bipolar disorder as people alternating from the extreme form of high mania to severe depression. You may be surprised to learn that this definition only fits 1 percent of the population. Five percent of the population have more mild forms of bipolar that often include differing degrees of depression, irritability, anger, and hypomania.
If you are reading this, you may be wondering if you or a loved one is bipolar. Statistics state that it takes an average of 20 years for a person with bipolar disorder to be correctly diagnosed. In addition, 37 percent of people are misdiagnosed with depression and placed on antidepressants, which can worsen their illness. Part of our therapy together would be exploring your family history, chart your moods, and discuss life challenges so that we can accurately assess whether you have bipolar disorder. Any successful treatment therapeutically or medically requires that the diagnoses be accurate, which is my first priority.
Results you can expect from therapy for bipolar disorder:
- Therapy will provide emotional support and help you understand which parts of your feelings are yours and which parts may be distorted due to the illness.
- Psychoeducation is a big component. You will learn how to recognize the stressors that trigger mood swings and plan ahead to manage them.
- You will begin to think more clearly and be able to process your reactions to others in healthier ways. You will communicate better which will strengthen your relationships.
- You will have space to grieve the impact of bipolar disorder. I hope that you can come to some acceptance of your illness and this will enable you to take responsibility and manage bipolar to the best of your ability. I have seen marked improvement in people who invest the hard work of understanding bipolar disorder, learn tools to minimize the negative impact of the disorder, and take responsibility to do what is necessary so they can lead happy and fulfilling lives. For many clients, psychotropic medication is a part of their treatment and I often confer with psychiatrists so you can get the best treatment.