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Battling Bipolar Disorder – Seek Support Before It’s Too Late

Bipolar Disorder (also known as Manic-Depression or Bipolar Affective Disorder), is a mental illness that brings with it severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy, thinking and behaviour. ‘Bipolar’ refers to the two ‘poles’ of mood. Affecting about one-in-50 Australians, researchers believe genetics account for 70 percent of people diagnosed with the life-long illness, though stress and lifestyle choices are also a large contributing factor.

The Characteristics
While it’s unknown what causes Bipolar disorder, people who have the condition swing between extreme, severe and typically sustained moods, sometimes feeling overly elated and energised and sometimes experiencing periods of feeling hopeless and tired. The pattern of these mood swings is different in each individual according to the type and severity of the symptoms, the length of time the cycle lasts and the time between the cycles.

The Difference Between Depression and Bipolar
Having all of the same characteristics of depression, the two illnesses are often confused, however where depression leaves someone feeling ‘down’, Bipolar is characterised by periods of time where someone feels elated, energised, angry or irritable, in between the periods of sadness, low mood and lack of energy.

Damaging relationships, job performance and day-to-day functions, if left untreated Bipolar Disorder in a depressive episode can result in feelings of despair and hopelessness, increasing isolation and powerlessness and eventually suicidal thinking. It is crucial to seek support and treatment before a crisis develops.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Think you or a loved one have Bipolar Disorder? If any of these signs resonate – you can do this quick self-assessment to raise your awareness.

When you are struggling with Bipolar Disorder it can be very difficult to work out if something is wrong because your moods may be impacting the way you’re thinking. Recovery from, or learning to manage the condition is likely to be more successful when underlying causes and environmental factors are addressed at the same time as the presenting symptoms and problems are treated.

Managing the depressive and hypomanic episodes of Bipolar Disorder can be challenging, exhausting and risky when attempting it alone so professional support and treatment is always strongly recommended.

Bipolar disorder is most effectively treated by health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and nurses) who specialise in treating mood disorders. The team at South Pacific Private, Australia’s leading treatment centre, can help you understand and treat Bipolar Disorder.

Supported by most health funds, treatment at South Pacific Private is designed to meet the individual needs of each client and offers the best possibility of recovery, facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team of Psychiatrists, GPs, Registered Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, Therapists and Case Workers.

If you would like to speak to someone who understands the challenges of Bipolar Disorder, and who can discuss your particular situation and treatment needs, please reach out to the team on 1800 063 332 or email us at info@southpacificprivate.com.au for a confidential chat.

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