Mental Health Services - Bipolar

Advancements in the mental health field have made disorders more easy to diagnose and treat. Bipolar, also known as manic depression, is one condition that we continue to better understand. This has allowed patients and their loved ones to utilize more accessible resources for care management.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is a book used by mental health professionals to provide a diagnosis for disorders, including bipolar disorders. Since the DSM defines multiple types of bipolar, a complete medical exam is needed to create an individualized plan and help determine the best course of treatment. It is important to understand that the condition is long-term and life changing.

Mental Health Services - Bipolar

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder


According to the DSM-5, those diagnosed with bipolar have had one manic episode and an occurrence of both manic and depressive episodes which cannot be the result of another medical condition. If other family members have been diagnosed, the likeliness of having bipolar increase.

The symptoms which medical professionals consider when making a diagnosis also include:

  • Mood changes that feel sudden and/or extreme

  • A change in sleep habits

  • A loss of interest in activities

  • Fatigue

  • Weight/appetite changes

  • Poor concentration

  • Agitation or nervousness

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Suicidal ideations

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder


There is no cure for bipolar. However, treatments developed specifically for properly diagnosed individuals can be effective. Some of the most effective treatments involve the simultaneous use of psychotherapy and medication. Some patients experience success with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family-focused therapy, mood stabilizers and antidepressants. All patients, particularly those experiencing substance abuse issues, can have success with treatment by improving the following:

  • Sleep

  • Diet

  • Physical activity

  • Attitude about living with bipolar

  • Social interaction

Several celebrities speaking publicly about their bipolar diagnosis the past ten years have, undoubtedly, helped others with the diagnosis. For example, singer/songwriter Demi Lovato sometimes includes her life story in interviews and has started a campaign called “Be Vocal: Speak up For Mental Health”. Legendary Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher spoke openly about her bipolar diagnosis and treatment during her lifetime. Other notable celebrities who have the diagnosis are Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, and Jane Pauley.

Bipolar is addressed publicly with the hopes of continuing an understanding of the condition. This has helped encourage some to get the help they need and be comforting to their caregivers. It has also kept medical professionals focused on treatment and advancements. Most importantly, it can maintain an open discussion which can reduce stigmas that people faced decades ago.