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Signs of Bipolar Disorder in a Loved One

person recognizing signs of bipolar disorder in a loved one and trying to help

If someone you care about is experiencing periods of mania and/or depression, it’s understandable to feel some concern. Becoming familiar with the signs of bipolar disorder in a loved one is a significant first step in leading a person to recovery. Keep in mind that even if they already have a formal diagnosis of bipolar disorder, impactful interventions are available.

Are you looking for bipolar disorder treatment in Washington State? Consider Northpoint Seattle and reach out today for more information. We’re available at 888.483.6031 or by email and would happily connect with you and answer your questions. 

What Are the Major Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? 

Previously known as manic depression, bipolar disorder features alternating manic or hypomanic periods and depressive periods. Mania and hypomania are extended states of elevated energy and mood. Depression is an extended state of low energy and mood deflation. Only a qualified medical professional can give a formal diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It’s thus wise not to self-diagnose or make assumptions about loved ones without a skilled professional weighing in.

Nonetheless, getting a sense of what your loved one may be dealing with can be an excellent first step toward impactful mental healthcare. If a person has been displaying multiple signs of bipolar disorder, a doctor may diagnose them. The following are symptoms of bipolar types I and II: 

  • Feeling unusually jumpy or wired
  • Seeming upbeat beyond the normal scope of their personality
  • Euphoria, or disproportionate feelings of pleasure and self-confidence 
  • Inability to make wise decisions and thus engaging in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex with multiple partners or excessive spending
  • Difficulty concentrating due to racing thoughts or a tendency toward distraction 
  • Verbosity, or talking excessively 
  • Psychotic breaks during which it is difficult to differentiate reality from internal psychological experiences 
  • Sleep disturbances, reflecting either excessive or insufficient sleep
  • Feeling hopeless, sad, worthless, or empty
  • Lacking interest or joy in activities that previously brought fulfillment
  • Appetite and weight changes not brought on by dieting or other medical conditions

Symptoms of bipolar disorder may also include suicidal ideation, planning, or attempts.

Why Might Dual Diagnosis Care Be a Good Idea If Your Loved One Shows Signs of Bipolar Disorder? 

Like many mental health issues, bipolar disorder has a high tendency to co-occur with substance abuse. A person coping with an untreated bipolar I or II is all too likely to self-medicate as a way to cope with the challenging symptoms of depression. In manic periods, too, they may abuse drugs or alcohol because of their elevated mood and artificial sense of invincibility. 

What’s more, undergoing either mental health or substance abuse treatment can help in the short run but often backfires over time. Frequently, the unaddressed condition resurges at a later date and triggers a multidimensional relapse. For example, if a person’s mental health remains unaddressed, completing drug rehab alone won’t help them cope with psychological symptoms going forward. This can trigger more self-medication down the line. 

For these reasons, dual diagnosis and treatment, like the rehab programs offered at Northpoint Seattle, are the most effective strategies. In this model, doctors and psychologists work to identify all the presenting issues with which a client enters treatment. Caregivers treat these issues simultaneously, maximizing positive impact and minimizing relapse risks. Clients access optimal therapeutic outcomes through a combined approach featuring talk therapy, group support, and medication when needed. 

Call Today to Learn More About Bipolar Disorder Signs and Treatment at Northpoint Seattle

If you or your loved one is coping with bipolar disorder signs and symptoms, get help right away. This mental health issue can cause severe and protracted difficulties across multiple areas of life, including an increased likelihood of substance abuse. Know that you’re not alone if you’re struggling, and the caring team at Northpoint Seattle is here to help.

Call us at 888.483.6031 or fill out our confidential online form for answers and assistance.