Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depression. It is a condition that affects moods which can swing from one extreme to another. If you have bipolar disorder, you will have periods or episodes of:

  • Depression – where you feel very low and lethargic
  • Mania – where you feel very high and overactive (less severe mania is known as hypomania)

We offer assessment and treatment for Bipolar Disorder in our clinics in Godalming (near Guildford), Surrey and Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

During a manic phase of bipolar disorder, you may feel very happy and have lots of ambitious plans and ideas. You may spend large amounts of money on things you cannot afford and would not normally want. Not feeling like eating or sleeping, talking quickly and becoming annoyed easily are also common characteristics of this phase.

You may feel very creative and view the manic phase of bipolar as a positive experience. However, you may also experience symptoms of psychosis (where you see or hear things that are not there or become convinced of things that are not true).

Bipolar disorder is characterised by extreme mood swings. These can range from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression). Episodes of mania and depression can often last for several weeks or months rather than rapidly fluctuating over hours or days.
Depression

During a period of depression, symptoms may include:

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • feeling worthless and useless
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and becoming intolerant of others
  • having reduced motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling anxious or worried
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
It’s believed that several things can trigger an episode or bipolar disorder including extreme stress, overwhelming problems and life-changing events.
The manic phase of bipolar disorder may include:

  • feeling very happy, elated or overjoyed
  • talking very quickly
  • feeling full of energy
  • feeling self-important
  • feeling full of great new ideas and having important plans
  • being easily distracted
  • being easily irritated or agitated
  • being delusional, having hallucinations and disturbed or illogical thinking
  • not feeling like sleeping
  • not eating
  • doing things that often have negative unintended consequences, such as spending large sums of money on expensive and sometimes unaffordable items
  • making decisions or saying things that are out of character and that others see as being risky or harmful

Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Therapy for bipolar disorder aims to reduce the number and severity of the episodes of depression and mania that characterise the condition and thus aims to cultivate a feeling of balance.

Treatments for bipolar disorder cover both Psychological Therapy and Medication.

Psychological Therapy

 
Psychological therapy can be helpful for people with Bi Polar Disorder and most commonly we would suggest Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Medication

 
Your GP or Psychiatrist may discuss medications such as quetiapine, olanzapine, aripiprazole & lithium. It is important to understand these medications and their side effects. Whilst we cannot prescribe or manage medications, we can liaise with your GP and/or Psychiatrist to ensure your GP is aware of your psychological therapy.

Assessment & Treatment



We offer assessment and treatment for Bipolar Disorders in our clinics in Godalming (near Guildford), Surrey and Haywards Heath in West Sussex.
If you would like to arrange an initial confidential telephone conversation for you or someone you know, please get in touch.

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