Diagnosing and Treating Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar, or manic-depressive illness, is a mental disorder that triggers extreme shifts in an individual’s moods, and energy levels thus affecting their abilities to handle day-to-day living.

The disorder is characterized by clear changes in mood that range from periods of an individual being extremely energized and manic, to periods of being sad, hopeless, and depressed.  Some individuals experience cycles of hypo-manic episodes that are less severe. In others, the mood swings become mixed, causing the person to feel elated and depressed simultaneously.

Bipolar disorder is not a rare diagnosis, though it can be difficult to diagnose, especially in the young. A 2005 study found that 2.6 percent of the US population, more than 5 million people, live with some degree of the disorder. Symptoms tend to present themselves in the late teenage or early adult years, with women more likely to be diagnosed than men.

Symptoms of Mania

During a manic bipolar phase, it is common for a person to have heightened feelings of energy, euphoria, and creativity. Talking non-stop and needing little or no sleep is another sign of being in a manic phase. Individuals often feel all powerful and destined for greatness. Often during a manic phase, the person finds themselves out of control and engaging in reckless behavior such as gambling, risky sexual behavior, or over-spending.

Mania also can result in a person becoming angry, irritable, and aggressive. Some may lash out and pick fights when others refuse to go along with their ideations; blaming others if they criticize their behavior is also quite common.

Symptoms of Bipolar Depression

Bipolar depression can be significantly different from regular depression in that many people suffering from it do not respond to antidepressants. Recent research suggests that people suffering from bipolar depression can be triggered into mania or hypo-mania by the use of antidepressants. There is increased evidence that antidepressants used to treat bipolar depression can interfere with other mood stabilizing drugs and cause rapid cycling between mood states.

Bipolar depression is more likely than regular depression to present itself as irritability, guilt, and unpredictable mood swings. In addition, during a bipolar depression cycle, a person may speak slowly, require a lot of sleep, and gain weight. There is also a chance that the person will develop psychotic depression where they lose touch with reality and experience extreme difficulties with work and social situations.

If you suspect someone you know is suffering from bipolar disorder, screening is the first step toward remission.

How to Diagnose Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is frequently misdiagnosed especially in its early stages if they present during a person’s teenage years. When incorrectly diagnosed, the disorder can worsen due to incorrect treatment protocols.

Bipolar treatment, including for bipolar anxiety, begins questioning to determine current symptoms. It is necessary to determine how long they been occurring and how they disrupt life. Detailed personal and family medical histories are required, as well as histories of drug and/or alcohol and physical abuse. Any bipolar diagnosis will take into account the persons medical history and medications, legal and illegal, that have been taken.

For an exact diagnosis, doctors/clinicians use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Five (DSM-5). Research is ongoing, and it is important for diagnostic and treatment purposes to stay up-to-date with new findings about Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar Disorder and associated behaviors are a lifelong condition. However, with an effective treatment plan, which typically includes the right combination of medication and psychotherapy, most people with the disorder can learn to effectively manage their lives.

The correct medication can help control symptoms, but the wrong ones can lead to negative side effects, including suicide, particularly during a depressive episode. It is critical that medications be administered with the greatest care and supervision. Typical medications include mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics.

Any medication is recommended to be combined with some form of psychotherapy to provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder as well as their families.

Bipolar therapy treatments include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Family-focused therapy
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
  • Psycho-education

Because the Bipolar Disorder shares many symptoms associated with other mental disorders, it is often misdiagnosed as:

  • Unipolar (major) depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Eating Disorder
  • Personality Disorders

At Braden Counseling, we are committed to helping people by helping them to first understand what is happening to them, we are here to help. If you feel like someone you know needs evaluation for bipolar disorder, please contact us immediately. We can help you and your loved one get your lives back in order. We have five convenient locations in Sycamore, Rochelle, Elgin, Oregon, Geneva, and Bartlett.

What Our Clients are Saying...

I love my therapist at Braden, I always feel listened to and I look forward to my visits. All of the staff I've interacted with has been super friendly and helpful, and the environment is very calming. Best therapy center I have been to.
Devon Buza
Devon Buza
15:25 25 Jun 21
Very professional and they were extremely nice, I'm happy with my choice of going threw Braden counseling center for my classes!
gage butts
gage butts
19:43 07 Feb 21
Amazing place
Ralph Burton
Ralph Burton
16:30 30 Jan 21
Braden Counseling’s staff is outstanding! The counselor conducted herself in a very friendly, courteous, and professional manner. I was treated with dignity and respect. I was put at ease and the evaluation went smoothly, and efficiently. I would definitely recommend Braden Counseling for all of your personal needs.😊
Gregory Link
Gregory Link
17:16 21 Jan 21
Excellent first visit with Dr. Braden.
Gary Duffett
Gary Duffett
21:18 19 Dec 20
My son liked his first visit and is open to going back again.
Veris Nicole
Veris Nicole
22:36 12 Oct 20
Very friendly and welcoming staff. Highly recommend
Jennifer Rosales
Jennifer Rosales
21:50 29 Jul 20
I could not be more satisfied with braden counseling with thier help. Very patient with clients in crisis and need of thier help.
randall nuckles
randall nuckles
15:12 09 Jul 20
I truly got the help I needed here and I appreciate all the staff member for making it a comfortable environment to feel free to talk about what's on your mind and making sure you get the proper help you need.
Majah’s Mayhem
Majah’s Mayhem
19:30 20 May 20
Love the staff .. came here for help and they definitely made a point to take care of all my paper work I needed .. would highly recommend them mostly Nikki shes a great help with anything .. always so cheerfull here 🙂
miguel tovar
miguel tovar
00:58 17 Dec 19
All staff very nice, respectful, caring, patientWould definitely recommend
Zack Newby
Zack Newby
01:23 18 Nov 19
One word....AMAZING !Very Comprehensive and Professional service. I would Highly Recommend to any one in need.
Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry
16:58 10 Jul 19
Dr. Jane Braden was absolutely wonderful and help me though my whole dui process, made it easy and help me understand.thank you some much DR. Branden for everything, your the best !!!😜
Sean Battersby
Sean Battersby
18:46 12 Mar 19
Shout out to Nikki and Nicole. These special women are compassionate professionals and have earned my utmost respect. Braden Counseling is lucky to have them on staff. Also, Cindy at the front desk is amazing!
Angie Johnson
Angie Johnson
21:34 08 Oct 18
Friendly staff, very professional and results driven
Jeffrey Kerner
Jeffrey Kerner
13:53 01 Aug 17
Braden Counseling really cares about their clients! They offer discounts to military veterans which I believe shows their true caring nature! Its nice to have a local place for people to go for help!
Travis Velazquez
Travis Velazquez
22:27 12 Jan 17
Caring staff. Dr Braden was extremely compassionate and supportive during a difficult time. Recommend to anyone!
T Anderson
T Anderson
21:54 06 Apr 16
Braden Counseling center has the finest professionals around. I'd highly recommend their services should a need arise.
Ndisox
Ndisox
03:03 29 Mar 16
Braden Counseling is amazing! Very kind, very friendly staff. Treated me as though I'd been family. I'd recommend them to anyone!
Jessica jorgensen
Jessica jorgensen
22:34 24 Mar 16
They have amazing staff. They listen and help out so much I would recommend them to anyone .
Brad Jorgensen
Brad Jorgensen
22:33 24 Mar 16
The staff is very welcoming and friendly and professional when you walk through the door!! I had been dealing with some anxiety for some time.... I am so glad I went to Braden counseling my first visit there I felt a sense of being welcomed and actually listened to!! Needless to say when I walked out the door I felt a weight off my shoulders I haven't felt in sometime!! So thank you to your wonderful staff!! I would highly recommend Braden counseling to anyone who is looking for a great counselor to talk with and help with your mental health!!
Deborah Mccoy
Deborah Mccoy
19:00 24 Mar 16
I was an emotional wreck when I first went. I was nervous and probably not making a lot of sense. The staff seemed to understand and immediately put me at ease. By the time I left, life just didn’t seem so bad. Thank you Braden Center for being there.
Pam Pascolini
Pam Pascolini
15:57 24 Mar 16
The staff is friendly and courteous. I was amazed at how helpful they were. These people are top notch and very professional. I would highly recommend this office.
Tricia Hernandez
Tricia Hernandez
15:45 24 Mar 16
Braden Counseling Center has always been wonderful. Their front staff is very kind and helpful and Dr. Braden is nothing but professional during all encounters I have had with her. Their facility and staff care about providing quality services to their clients. I highly recommend them.
Amanda Poturalski
Amanda Poturalski
13:56 24 Mar 16
Would give this place more then 5 stars if I could. I Highly recommend them. Staff is amazing there and so helpful .
Master Shake
Master Shake
21:57 23 Mar 16
I highly recommend Braden Counseling. All the staff there is amazing and very sweet 🙂
Melissa Stathis
Melissa Stathis
21:48 23 Mar 16
Highly recommend this place. Very helpful and always courteous. Ms. Rogers is the best and has excellent skills with people to help them through a multitude of problems.
Sarah Schuyler
Sarah Schuyler
20:37 23 Mar 16
Amazing place! The counselors have helped me through some of my lowest points & the girl at the front desk, Cindy, is always super helpful, kind & courteous. Highly recommend!!!
Jennifer Alexander
Jennifer Alexander
19:54 23 Mar 16
I highly recommend Braden Counseling Center for all of you mental health needs! The staff is courteous, respectful and kind. Dr. Braden is one of the best clinical psychologists I have had the pleasure working with.
Wendy Hardesty
Wendy Hardesty
15:58 22 Aug 12