Untreated Bipolar Disorder Has Risky Consequences

The goals for treatment of diagnosed bipolar disorder include:

  • making the mood change episodes less frequent or less severe
  • helping patients function well in home, work and life situations
  • working to prevent self-injury or suicide.

Receiving proper bipolar disorder treatment from a qualified mental health professional allows for customization and modification of your treatment plan as changes occur over time.

Bipolar Disorder or Manic-Depressive Illness a Brain Disorder

The National Institute of Mental Health makes note that bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a disorder of the brain where unusual shifts in mood, energy or activity levels occur that effect the ability to function in the day to day world. Behaviors and mood shifts seen with bipolar disorder are often severe, resulting in significant difficulty in maintaining a relationship, holding a job, succeeding in school, or in managing finances. Risk taking, drug or alcohol abuse, and thoughts of suicide are also seen, occurring at higher levels when bipolar disorder is left untreated — either through misdiagnosis or the patient’s own poor judgment and decision making.

Untreated Bipolar Manic Depression Episodes Last Longer

Studies conducted show a distinct difference in the length of bipolar mania and depressive episodes. Sharecare reports that untreated bipolar mania episodes can last for 3 to 6 months, while episodes of depression last for much longer periods of 6 to 12 months at a time. Effective treatment allows those with bipolar disorder to lead full productive lives with a better understanding of how to recognize and manage their behaviors or mood swings.

Consequences of Forgoing Bipolar Disorder Treatment

The National Alliance of Mental Health has reported that there are serious risks in deciding not to treat diagnosed bipolar disorder. Some of the consequences that can occur with untreated bipolar disorder include:

  • Having more severe episodes of mania and/or depression
  • Displaying risky behaviors, taking dangerous chances
  • Extreme changes in energy, activity level, sleep
  • Partaking in excessive drinking, drug abuse
  • Greater risk of suicidal ideation
  • Experience long lasting periods of unstable moods
  • Suffer from higher death rates from cancer, heart disease or stroke
  • Symptoms become more pronounced and debilitating
  • Increased involvement in illegal substances
  • Periods of irrational behaviors

About one-half of all people who have bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness do not receive treatment. While bipolar disorder is a chronic lifelong condition, treatment is effective and frees those from harsh unrelenting episodes of mania and/or depression. Untreated bipolar disorder will display symptoms and behaviors that worsen, becoming more pronounced over time.

A Bipolar Disorder Psychiatrist in Atlanta is a Phone Call Away

Proper diagnosis and treatment is just a phone call away. If you suffer from recurring mood swings and episodes of mania or depression and find it increasingly difficult to manage your life, friends, family or work, call for a confidential appointment and expert diagnosis. Make the call that can change your life for the better.

Correct Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type Directs Treatment

Bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million adults. People with bipolar disorder suffer through periods of intermittent elevated manic or hypomanic behaviors, often experienced along with periods of depressed states that directly interfere with normal daily activities. With bipolar disorder, symptoms may vary from one person to the next, and a proper and correct diagnosis is often difficult to make — even for trained mental health professionals.

Statistics Show Bipolar Disorder Often Incorrectly Diagnosed

Some alarming statistics surround misdiagnosis. Around 70% of those who have bipolar disorder have received at least one misdiagnosis. For another 25% it took up to 3 years before correct diagnosis. Finding the right mental health professional who can pinpoint the disorder and start treatment immediately can be essential to moving toward a healthy life.

Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Falls into Four Basic Types

The primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder is not only difficult to establish, but four basic types of this disorder also need to be considered when developing a successful treatment strategy and plan. An experienced and thorough mental health professional will typically use the DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a guideline for proper diagnosis.

The four basic types of bipolar disorder are:

  • Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic or mixed episodes that continue for at least a 7-day period, or by manic symptoms and behavior that are so severe that immediate medical and psychiatric care is needed. Depressive episodes are also seen, lasting for at least 2 weeks.
  • Bipolar II Disorder where a pattern of depressive episodes with hypomanic episodes are exhibited. There are no severe episodes noted.
  • BP-NOS, Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is a diagnosis given when symptoms of the disorder do exist but they do not meet the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I or II. Symptoms and behaviors demonstrated are outside of a person’s normal range of behaviors.
  • Cyclothymia is a mild form of bipolar disorder where episodes of hypomania and mild depression occur over a 2 year period. The symptoms and behaviors displayed do not meet the criteria for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can also include seasonal changes in mood, rapid cycling mood shifts, and even psychosis.

Atlanta Bipolar Disorder Psychiatrist with Long History of Successful Treatment

Bipolar disorder can be effectively treated and managed, affording you a functional life of work, family, social relationships and personal achievement. Find the right psychiatrist capable of making the correct diagnosis. Dr. Hege has a long history of successfully developing a comprehensive treatment plan that works.

Your life is too important to sort through a series of doctors hoping for the best. Make your first call to Dr. Darvin Hege, Atlanta’s renowned bipolar disorder psychiatrist, and start moving forward toward the healthy functional life that you deserve.