Crownview Psychiatric Institutes offers dynamic, community-focused care to help adults who have been struggling with severe symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Our programming incorporates the principles of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders. The Unified Protocol establishes a consistent, structured approach for helping people with bipolar disorder and other complex mental health conditions.
The dedicated professionals who provide care at Crownview use the Unified Protocol and an array of additional methodologies and treatment techniques to help our clients achieve goals such as:
- Experiencing relief from the symptoms of bipolar disorder
- Developing skills in areas such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, and cognitive flexibility
- Overcoming maladaptive thought patterns and other vulnerabilities
- Gaining greater self-awareness and acting in a more purposeful and intentional manner
- Exerting greater control over their thoughts and actions
In addition to helping our clients work toward these general objectives, we also offer the customized services and support they need to identify and achieve their personal short- and long-term treatment goals.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health concern that is characterized by dramatic shifts in mood, mindset, and energy levels. People who have bipolar disorder often go through what clinicians refer to as manic, hypomanic, and major depressive episodes:
- Manic episodes are periods when a person has elevated energy, motivation, and self-confidence. During these episodes, a person may have racing thoughts and rapid speech patterns. They may also engage in dangerous, impulsive behaviors. A manic episode will last for at least one week, with symptoms present nearly every day, for most of the day.
- Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes, but they don’t last as long. To meet the criteria for a manic episode, a person must experience symptoms most of the day for four days.
- Major depressive episodes are the opposite of manic episodes. During a major depressive episode, a person may struggle with extreme sadness, lack of motivation, poor self-esteem, and diminished energy. They may be plagued by a pervasive sense of hopelessness and recurrent thoughts of death. Major depressive episodes will last for at least two weeks, with symptoms present most of the time.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are three distinct types of bipolar disorder. As described below, these three disorders are differentiated by which types of episodes or symptoms a person experiences.
Bipolar I Disorder
To meet the clinical criteria for bipolar I disorder, a person must have at least one manic episode. They may also have hypomanic or depressive episodes, but the only requirement for this diagnosis is a manic episode.
Bipolar II Disorder
To be accurately diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, a person must have at least one hypomanic episode and at least one major depressive episode.
People who have cyclothymic disorder will have hypomanic symptoms that do not last long enough to qualify as a hypomanic episode. They will also have depressive symptoms that do not rise to the level of a major depressive episode. These symptoms must be present at least half the time for a period of two years, and the person must not be asymptomatic for more than two consecutive months at a time.
Signs of Bipolar Disorder
The signs of bipolar disorder can vary depending on which type of episode a person is having or, in the case of cyclothymic disorder, which type of symptoms they are experiencing.
Manic & Hypomanic Symptoms
During a manic or hypomanic episode, or while having hypomanic symptoms, person may behave in the following ways:
- Speaking rapidly and jumping from topic to topic
- Making statements that indicate inflated self-esteem
- Establishing grandiose, unrealistic goals
- Launching multiple projects or taking on an excessive amount of work
- Showing little or no need for sleep
- Acting with an abundance of energy
- Engaging in impulsive sex
- Going on spending sprees
- Risking exorbitant amounts of money through online or in-person gambling
- Eating large amounts of food in a short amount of time (binge eating)
While in the midst of a major depressive episode, or when experiencing depressive symptoms, a person may act as follows:
- Sleeping excessively (hypersomnia) or hardly at all (insomnia)
- Unintentionally gaining or losing weight due to a significant change in appetite
- Finding it difficult or impossible to concentrate or focus
- Being exhausted and fatigued, even after sleeping
- Neglecting their appearance and personal hygiene
- Thinking about, discussing, or attempting self-harm or suicide
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, or helpless
- Having little to no motivation
- Losing interest in people, events, or topics that used to be important to them
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Being unable to feel joy or experience pleasure
Effects of Untreated Bipolar Disorder
Unpredictable changes in mood, energy, and focus can make it extremely difficult for a person to make appropriate progress in school, find a job, and remain employed. Other potential negative effects of untreated bipolar disorder include the following:
- A lack of healthy, meaningful relationships
- Social withdrawal or ostracization
- Inability to achieve an independent lifestyle
- Physical injuries and legal problems that result from impulsive behaviors
- Risk of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and other sexually transmitted diseases
- Other medical problems due to poor self-care
- Substance use as a form of self-medication
- Onset or worsening of co-occurring mental illnesses
- Elevated risk of suicide
The impact of untreated bipolar disorder can be nothing short of devastating.
For example, experts estimate that the life expectancy of a person with bipolar disorder may be as much as 17 years shorter than among the general population. Studies also suggest that as many as 60% of people who have this type of mental illness may attempt to end their own lives, and as many as 20% may die by suicide.
Thankfully, when a person gets the right type and level of care, they can avoid many of these negative outcomes and achieve improved quality of life.
How We Can Help: Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
When a person enters Crownview Psychiatric Institute, one of their first activities is to complete a thorough biopsychosocial evaluation. This allows us to better understand the full scope of their needs, so that we can develop the personalized treatment plan that is best for them.
For clients who have bipolar disorder, treatment at our center typically includes medication, therapy, adjunct services, and education.
Several prescription medications have proved to be effective at easing some symptoms of bipolar disorder. After reviewing each new client’s history and current needs, a psychiatrist may prescribe an antidepressant, antipsychotic, mood stabilizer, or other appropriate medication.
We closely monitor all clients’ medication use so that we can make any necessary medication changes or dosage adjustments throughout their time with us.
Depending on a client’s needs and treatment goals, the therapeutic component of their care may include elements such as the following:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy
- Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT)
- Acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT)
- Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT)
If a client has a history of trauma, we may also include trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
We offer several adjunct options to supplement our more traditional therapeutic services. For clients who are receiving treatment for bipolar disorder, the following may be beneficial:
- GeneSight® testing
- Psychological testing
- IV vitamins
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy
We discuss all adjunct services with our clients, their insurance provider, and (when appropriate) their family before incorporating them into the client’s treatment plan.
In addition to learning to manage the symptoms they have been experiencing, many people who have bipolar disorder need additional help with essential life and work skills. The educational part of a person’s care at Crownview may help them in areas such as the following:
- Scheduling and time management
- Diet and nutrition
- Planning and preparing meals
- Organizing their finances
- Personal hygiene
- Motivational interviewing
- Mock interviews
- Job search skills
- Employment workshops
Our case managers can also help clients with activities such as connecting with community-based services, applying for benefits, acquiring a driver’s license, navigating the local public transportation system, and other essential functions.
Community & Connection
For most of our clients, our treatment environment is one of the most important aspects of receiving care at Crownview Psychiatric Institute.
People whose lives have been impacted by acute symptoms of bipolar disorder often have great difficulty finding places where they can fit in and be accepted for who they are. The moment a person arrives at our center, they discover a welcoming place where they are not merely tolerated, but welcomed and celebrated.
Crownview Psychiatric Institute is a dynamic community of compassionate professionals and clients who are working together to build a more hopeful future for themselves. We know that no two people are walking the same path, but we also understand that the bonds that unite us are much stronger than the challenges that divide us.
We harness the power of community and the promise of meaningful connections to help each client realize their greatest potential and achieve the best possible quality of life.
Learn More Today
If someone that you care about has been exhibiting severe symptoms of bipolar disorder, please know that effective treatment is available. To learn more about our programs and services, or to discuss the specific ways we help your loved one, please contact us at your earliest convenience. Working together, we can make a world of difference.