Bipolar Disorder Counselling in London & Rome
What is Bipolar Disorder?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines Bipolar Disorder as as manic-depressive illness that is a brain disorder and causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
Furthermore, NIMH reports that approximately 5.7 million American adults are affected by Bipolar Disorder every year. The age of onset is approximately 25, however the illness can begin in early childhood or in someone’s 40’s and 50’s. More than two-thirds of people with Bipolar Disorder have a family member with the illness or with major depression.
Bipolar UK reports that 1-2% of the population experience a lifetime prevalence of Bipolar disorder and that a total of 5% of the population are on the spectrum. Additionally, Bipolar Disorder increases the risk of suicide by 20 times and the average amount of time it takes to receive a correct diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder in the UK is 10.5 years.
Bipolar Disorder is misdiagnosed by an average of 3.5 times and the World Health Organization has identified Bipolar Disorder as one of the leading causes of fatality in 15-44 year olds.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Common symptoms of Bipolar Disorder include periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in behaviour, sleep patterns, and activity levels that are coined, “mood episodes”. “Mood episodes” will be noticeably different from mood and behaviour that is typical for this person and will be accompanied by changes in energy levels and activity. Mood episodes can include symptoms of mania and depression or both.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are four types of Bipolar disorder: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder (also known as Cyclothymia), and Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders. Bipolar I Disorder will be composed of more manic episodes that last approximately 7 days. Bipolar II Disorder, is characterized by depressive episodes and manic episodes. These episodes will not be as severe as the Bipolar I Disorder. Cyclothymic Disorder is characterized by multiple episodes of mania and depressive episodes that last for approximately 2 years. However, the symptoms will not meet criteria for a diagnosis of a hypomanic or a depressive episode. Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders, have symptoms of mania and depression that are different from the three aforementioned categories.
Coping with Bipolar Disorder
The International Bipolar foundation recommends utilizing exercise, managing sleep and food intake, and finding hobbies to help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder. There are several benefits of exercise: physical activity can help to boost your mood and increase energy levels to help with symptoms of depression. Additionally, attending an exercise class can serve as a social outlet and can help channel the energy during manic phases. Hobbies can help you to focus your attention on learning a new skill. This can also be beneficial for raising self esteem as you improve on this skill. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is critical for maintaining stability. Nutrition has a large impact on mood, so nutrition management is key for managing symptoms of Bipolar Disorder.
Therapy for Bipolar Disorder
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder helps to gain control and manage symptoms related to bipolar disorder. Treatment will generally entail a combination of talk therapy and medication. Medications typically used for Bipolar Disorder include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Talk therapy, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help to provide support, education and guidance to the individual and the families. Using CBT, you will work with your therapist to identify triggers, manage stress, and learn coping skills. Interpersonal Therapy is a time-limited therapy (lasting 12-16 weeks) that works to improve the quality of interpersonal relationships and social functioning. Interpersonal Therapy will resolve interpersonal deficits, manage loss or grief, and help with life transitions such as divorce or retirement.
For more information about talking therapies and treatment programmes available at our Clinics in London and Rome please visit our Treatment page.
All our Therapists offer Psychological Therapies for Bipolar Disorder to Adults. Click here to meet the Team.
You can find out more about our fees on our Fees Page. Contact us for a quote on peak and off-peak appointment times and fees. We offer 20% discounts to students and those on low income during off-peak times.
Further Reading about Bipolar Disorder
For further reading, please click here to view a comprehensive list of blogs for living with Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar Hope is a blog is a collection of posts regarding others experiences living with bipolar disorder along with advice that has worked for the bloggers. Additionally, Julie Fast is an author and blogger who has written about her experience in living with Bipolar Disorder. Please click here to view her blog and the 4 books she has written about living with Bipolar Disorder.