Warner Park Recovery Center – Woodland Hills Mental Health

Bi-Polar Disorder

What is Bi-Polar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness) as defined by the Mayo Clinic, is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Bipolar Disorder (BD) causes the individual to feel unusual shifts in mood, energy, concentration, activity levels and the ability to maintain success in sustaining daily functioning. Learning the facts about bipolar disorder is crucial if you want to understand the illness and ultimately know how to help those suffering from it. It is important to recognize no two people with bipolar disorder have the same experience, but there are some commonalities and symptoms that can assist in both diagnosing bipolar disorder and treating it.

There are three different types of Bipolar Disorder. All three types have similar symptomology in the way they affect energy, mood, and activity levels.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The mood swings associated with Bipolar Disorder often range from periods of extreme elation, irritability, or having very high energy levels to then shifting dramatically to feelings of extreme hopelessness, apathy, and depression. The periods of elation are known as manic episodes while the periods of despondency are referred to as episodes of depression.

 For people who have BD, occurrences of mood swings may be rare or occur multiple times a year. Most people diagnosed with BD do experience some emotional symptoms between serious episodes some do not. BD is a lifelong condition that can be diagnosed at any age. Individuals who develop bipolar disorder typically begin to show symptoms in their teenage years or early 20’s. Symptoms can change and vary overtime.

Mania and Hypomania

Mania and hypomania are periods where the person feels elated and full of energy. Hypomania refers to a less severe or intense version of these symptoms. Both episodes can include these symptoms:

  • Abnormally upbeat or jumpy
  • Increased irritability or agitation
  • Decreased need for sleep.
  • Unusual talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Trouble concentrating

Engaging in risky behaviors

Redefining Mental Illness

Get Help Today

Call Today For A Free Consultation

Warner Park Recovery has live representatives standing by 24/7 to chat with you or a loved one. Call Today 1.866.623.6905

Major Depressive Episode

An episode includes these symptoms.

  • Depressed Mood, feeling sad, tearful, or empty.
  • Lack of pleasure in all activities
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much.
  • Loss of energy and fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt and shame
  • Indecisiveness
  • Thoughts, plans, or intentions of suicide

Bipolar I Disorder

Having had at least one manic episode that began with or was followed by a major depressive episode. In some cases, mania can trigger a psychological break from reality called psychosis.

Bipolar II Disorder

having had at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but never a manic episode.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Having has at least two years in adulthood of many periods of hypomania symptoms and depressive symptoms.

Other Types

Bipolar Disorder can also be induced by the usage of drugs and alcohol or due to certain physical illnesses such as multiple sclerosis or stroke.


Although the symptoms of BD can be isolating and confusing, it is important to know that BD is a common mental illness, estimated to be affecting 5% of the world’s population. The World Health Organization lists the following statistics regarding BD.

  • According to The World Health Organization, bipolar disorder is one of the top three causes of hospitalization in people aged 15-44
  • It is estimated that 5% of the world’s population is on the bipolar spectrum, while just 1-2% are diagnosed.
  • Bipolar disorder is more common than you might think. Around 4.4% of U.S. adults develop bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.
  • In adolescents, the prevalence of bipolar disorder is higher among females (3.3%) than in males (2.6%)
  • Bipolar is a recurring illness. More than 90% of people who experience a single manic episode will go on to have another.
  • Around 60-70% of manic or hypomanic episodes occur before or after a major depressive episode.
  • Treatment is successful in the majority of cases. Approximately 20-30% of people living with bipolar type I disorder and 15% of those with bipolar II disorder experience significant symptoms despite treatment compliance.
  • The average age of bipolar onset is 20 for both men and women, though the disorder can develop at any time.

BD as a Co-Occurring Disorder

The National Alliance on Mental Health states that over half of the people with bipolar disorder (56%) have a history of illicit drug abuse, while 44% have abused or are dependent on alcohol. When BD co-occurs with addiction, the symptoms can be exacerbated. Certain drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines are known to increase and sometimes induce a state of mania and psychosis. Other substances such as opiates, marijuana and alcohol serve as a depressant and increase negative side effects that way. Those that are dual diagnosis are at higher risk of alleviated complications and risk of overdose.

Treatment Plans

There are effective ways to treat, manage, and in some cases eliminate the symptoms of BD. Some of the treatments used include;

  • Medications: Mood stabilizers, antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs can be used in the treatment of BD. If you are interested in getting help with medication try reaching out to your local mental health professionals and providers
  • Therapy: Different modalities of talk therapy such as Cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoeducation are used to help with treatment.
  • Alcohol Rehab, Drug Rehab and other Treatment Programs: Entering into a residential or outpatient treatment center can be an effective and safe way to stabilize the symptoms caused by BD and other co-occurring diagnosis. It can be a great way to connect with others that share in a common experience and combat isolation. There are many addiction treatment and mental health centers that treat BD.

The Light at The End of The Tunnel

If you, a family member, or someone else you love are struggling with the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and or a substance use disorder it may be time to seek treatment and addiction recovery. The chaotic and debilitating symptoms of BD do not have to be the norm anymore. You are not alone, and we are here to help.

Reach Out Today!

If you or anyone you know is dealing with issues around mental health or addiction, contact us for a full evaluation and treatment options.  We understand that it is not a process that any individual should tackle alone, and that is why we have a team of qualified personnel who are available to offer you the help you need.