You May Be Dealing with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to think clearly. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe and are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. People living with bipolar disorder often experience extreme lows (depression) and extreme highs (mania), and sometimes feel paranoid, believe things that aren’t true or hear voices. These lows and highs usually occur in cycles, and may last weeks or even months.  
Symptoms of either a manic or depressive episode may include:

 

  • Severe mood changes; feeling “too happy” or very depressed for weeks
  • Having a lot of energy or very little energy
  • Talking very fast, being unable to get a complete thought out
  • Getting little or no sleep for many days in a row without feeling tired 
  • Engaging in reckless behaviors such as spending sprees, drug use or impulsive sex
  • Believing one has increased abilities (delusional)  
It is important to seek treatment immediately for any one of the following symptoms associated with bipolar disorder:

 

  • Impulsive behavior and poor judgment is putting job, home-life or person at risk
  • Staying awake for 4 or more days in a row
  • Periods of intense depression and isolation

Causes and Risk Factors

Mental illness is not your fault.

There is no single cause for mental health disorders; instead, they can be caused by a mixture of biological, psychological and environmental factors. People who have a family history of mental health disorders may be more prone to developing one at some point.

Bipolar disorder cannot be prevented or cured. It is a lifelong condition that begins either in the late teens and early 20s or in middle age. The condition affects men and women equally, with about 2.6% of the U.S. population diagnosed with bipolar disorder. If left untreated, bipolar disorder usually worsens. However, recognizing early warning signs can allow people to seek treatment and learn to control symptoms through therapy and lifestyle choices.

Scientists have not yet discovered a single cause of bipolar disorder, but believe several factors may contribute including brain structure and functioning, genetics, family history and stress.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health condition like major depression, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! The Center for Health Care Services can help. Our Adult Behavioral Health Division offers the following comprehensive services:

  • Psychiatric evaluation and treatment
  • Medical follow-ups and management
  • Wellness counseling, education and therapy
  • Integrated and primary care
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Psychosocial rehabilitation
  • Case management
  • Crisis services
  • And other services to support each person’s goals for recovery

In the event of a mental health crisis including suicidal or homicidal thoughts, please call the 24-Hour Crisis & Substance Use Helpline at 800-316-9241 or 210-223-SAFE (7233). Please call 911 if harm to self or harm to others is imminent.

The CHCS team helps people find hope, determine their path to wellness, and discover their way to an independent, productive life. For more information, or to begin receiving services, please contact our Outpatient Clinic Mental Health Eligibility and Intake.

Adults: (210) 261-1250 Children: (210) 261-3350

Create Your Calm

Alternative Approaches to Mental Health and Wellness

Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques:

In general, relaxation techniques involve refocusing your attention to something calming and increasing awareness of your body. To reap the benefits of deep breathing, focus on taking deep breaths in and out through your mouth, feeling the air slowly fill your chest and belly and then slowly leave them again. The hand on the chest should stay still, while the one over your diaphragm should rise with your breath. This is how you know the breath is deep enough. Breathe in for a count of five, and slowly release the breath through your nose at the same rate. Continue deep breathing until you feel relaxed. 

Be Open to the Present and Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness can help ground you in the reality of what’s around you. Since panic attacks can cause a feeling of detachment or separation from reality, mindfulness works to combat your panic attack before or as it is actually happening. Additional benefits include mental well-being, stress reduction, and increased calmness, clarity and concentration – to name a few.

Reduce Stress by Indulging in Relaxing Activities.

For example, music and art therapy, journaling, reading or taking to a crossword puzzle.   

Light Exercise:

Walking, yoga and stretching creates movement, changes the way we breathe and can provide sensory distraction helping to reduce the amount a person thinks about symptoms. Aerobic exercise can help treat mild depression as it increases endorphins and stimulates norepinephrine – improving a person’s mood.

Mood and Food:

Important nutrients found in food can affect brain chemistry, impact moods and improve memory and cognitive function. By maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet, and avoiding processed foods, you’re more likely to feel calmer, more content and generally in a better mood. Foods that adversely impact mood include caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugary snacks, refined carbs and fried food. Foods that can boost moods include omega-3s, nuts, avocados, flaxseed, beans, leafy greens and fresh fruit.  

Additional Alternative Approaches:

Include massage, acupuncture, meditation, faith, aromatherapy or hydrotherapy to create your calm.  

Knowledge is Power! Learn more about mental health:

A New Option in Behavioral Health Care

CenterCare Health and Wellness prides itself on offering easily accessible and affordable, first-rate, behavioral health care in a comfortable and convenient location. Additionally, CenterCare clients will have an opportunity to bypass the long wait times typically associated with psychiatric services, and see a provider within a few days of scheduling an appointment. 

Patient Perks

 

Being a VIP has its Perks!

At The Center for Health Care Services, YOU are a VIP – Very Important Patient! And to help make your Patient Experience even better, we have developed numerous Patient Perks to get you on the fast track to where you want to be. 

As our VIP, you can now take full advantage of these Patient Perks.

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