An estimated 4.4% of American adults have bipolar disorder, a condition that can affect the person’s moods and ability to stay on top of their responsibilities.
When you love someone with bipolar disorder, it can be difficult to navigate your relationship when you don’t understand what’s causing their mood swings or other unusual behaviors.
At Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment, our board-certified psychiatrist, Richard E. Repass, MD, specializes in services to manage bipolar disorder and its symptoms.
We can help your loved ones learn more about their condition and how to keep it under control in the long term.
What to know about bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder causes dramatic shifts in mood and energy levels. When you have bipolar disorder, you experience extreme highs (mania) and extreme lows (depression). Episodes of mania and depression are cyclical and can each last for several weeks.
The underlying cause of bipolar disorder isn’t well understood, but your genetic makeup and physical changes in your brain may contribute to the condition. You may be at increased risk for developing bipolar disorder if you have a close relative with the condition or experience a traumatic or extremely stressful event.
Drug and alcohol abuse can also be a contributing factor for bipolar disorder. Conversely, many with the condition turn to drugs and alcohol as a method of self-medicating their symptoms. Self-medicating in this way can lead to addiction.
Without treatment, bipolar disorder can also cause financial and relationship challenges and increase risk factors for self-harm and suicide.
Telltale signs of bipolar disorder
People with bipolar disorder may struggle to understand their symptoms. The same may be true for the people who love them. Here are five telltale signs your friend or family member may have bipolar disorder:
During the mania phase of bipolar disorder, your loved one may seem like they have vast amounts of energy. They may talk quickly or change topics suddenly during conversation. You may also notice they get less sleep than usual.
Changes in focus
Manic episodes of bipolar disorder can cause changes in your loved one’s focus. They may either find it difficult to stay focused on activities or seem like they are intensely focused on what they’re doing.
Involuntary facial movements
Some people experience facial twitches or other involuntary movements during the mania phase of bipolar disorder.
During a depressive episode, you might notice that your loved one has difficulties caring for themselves. They may neglect personal hygiene or stop paying their bills or doing household chores.
Withdrawal and isolation
When your loved one is experiencing a depressive episode, they may start isolating themselves from others, canceling plans, and ignoring texts or phone calls.
Help your loved ones get the support they need
If you notice that your friend or family member shows signs of bipolar disorder, encourage them to get help and let them know you support them.
They can schedule an evaluation with our compassionate team to confirm a diagnosis and get the general psychiatry services they need to enjoy a high-quality, happy life.
Call our Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment office in Mercer Island, Washington, today to schedule a consultation for bipolar disorder treatment.