Differentiating Bipolar I & II

Differentiating Bipolar I & II

As of lately the diagnosis of bipolar has been thrown around casually without much knowledge about the topic. That is why it is crucial to find out what is really going on; if there really is any behavior that shows signs of the bipolar diagnosis, or if it’s something else. Being in a treatment facility can be extremely beneficial in being diagnosed. There are three stages to withdrawal; mild, moderate and severe. After the detoxification period is over, a licensed psychiatrist will be able to diagnose based on behavior, without substances clouding the mind. There are two forms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I will have episodes of manic behavior, while bipolar II is more calm with hypomania. This may seem like only a slight difference at first, but it is very obvious in the bigger spectrum. Those with bipolar I can also have symptoms of bipolar II, but those with bipolar II do not have symptoms of bipolar I.

Those of who have Bipolar I will have very erratic behavior lasting for longer periods of time. This behavior is more bizarre, out of control, and impulsive. While being diagnosed, a psychiatrist will look at the patient’s history regarding mania and depression. There is a criterion that must be met, in order to put this diagnosis on any medical record. Since this form of bipolar is more extreme, a prescribed mood stabilizer will help with symptoms. While on mood stabilizers there can be no substance abuse in any form. Medication and therapy combined should allow for an enormous shift in the patient’s behavior. However, this is a lifelong diagnosis that will have to be taken very seriously. Often times when a patient start to feel better, they go off of the medication, which leads to a downward spiral once again.

Bipolar II is classified as being milder, but not any less of a concern for psychiatrists treating a patient who shows these symptoms. However, this behavior doesn’t interfere with daily life as much as bipolar I. Those with bipolar II disorder, have been linked to poorer health-related issues, and higher depressed day count. Patients with bipolar II are also less likely to be able to return to normal lives as those with bipolar I. Both bipolar I and II have stages of euthymia, which means a normal state of mind. There is no way to tell how long these will last for or when they might occur. Much like the disease of alcoholism, no two bipolar diagnoses are exactly the same. Each person will have their own symptoms and story. As long as the patient is willing to accept this diagnosis, life will keep having preventable, unnecessary ups and downs.

If you are struggling with a mental illness and/or addiction, Enlightened Solutions offers dual-diagnosis treatment with licensed professionals. Our holistic, clinical and 12 step approach is designed to help patients prosper in the road to recovery. For more information call today: 833-801-5483.


Bipolar Can Come With a Lot of Creativity

Bipolar Can Come With a Lot of Creativity

One conversation occurring about people who are bipolar is that they often have great access to creativity.  The link between bipolar and creativity is substantiated by significant data.  Many who are living with this disorder grow to associate their creativity as related to their mental health.  There is collective value in acknowledging this experience of creativity when evaluating the benefits of treatment for bipolar.  During the process of determining treatment, it is paramount to consider the necessity of a creative perspective for someone with bipolar when examining a range of treatment options.  Being a channel of creativity crafts a unique life perspective, different from one who lives primarily on the plane of rational logic. Potential threat lies in the perspective of a treatment option which might violate the natural creative flow.

Due to the the chemical basis of bipolar’s effect on mental health, it is widely recommended that medication be used in the treatment strategy.  Unlike other mental health challenges, bipolar disorder will exist despite changes in environmental experiences.  The necessity of medication is similar to insulin for the diabetic.  Folklore about medication and bipolar is that the creative energy is squelched by this aspect of treatment.  This myth must be debunked as those living with this disorder have special gifts to offer the collective as well as an obligation to their own health.  

The life experience unique to someone with bipolar disorder is a pendulum swinging across two realities.  This disorder expresses two distinct realities, depression and mania.  It is the swinging between these states that generates the powerful energy for creativity. Bipolar is similar to a waterfall, the space between running water of a stream and the pool of water at the bottom of the gravitational flow.  Both are bodies of water and the water that is contained by each space is the same, yet there is a power that is generated in the fall that is booming with effect.  

The journey to finding the medication that will allow this beautiful flow of energy to exist without debilitating effects is challenging.  Balancing brain chemistry with an external influence, like medication, is an imperfect science and also one that saves lives.  The journey is one of minor degrees of change which are sometimes felt as no change at all.  Commitment to continue is essential for both survival and longevity.  When that commitment flounders, return to the vision of the creative gifts that will be generated over a lifetime. Without medication, this creative energy may be extinguished early or stunted by debilitating highs and lows fulfilling the original fear that causes resistance to medication for the person with bipolar disorder.  

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


partial care program

Staying On Medication and 3 Other Helpful Habits For Bipolar And Addiction

Psychiatrists, physicians, and treatment professionals often quip that bipolar disorder is one of the most curious mental health disorders to treat because of the way that people relate to their medication. Bipolar disorder is well known for creating delusion within its two emotional states: depression and mania. Mania is defined by highs which make depression seem even lower. Part of the depression is caused by the sudden loss of euphoria which can be experienced during mania. Mood stabilizers and other medications which treat bipolar disorder help someone feel more stable and feel better in their lives. Once they feel better and like the way they feel, people with bipolar seem to forget they’re bipolar and in need of medication. They stop taking it, stop attending meetings with their psychiatrists, and slowly spiral back out of control. Problematically, they will repeat this cycle over and over again.

Get Consistent Sleep

Having shifting moods which cannot be controlled can mess with your daily routine. Part of the challenge of living with bipolar disorder is creating consistency from one end of mania to the other end of depression. Mania causes people to lose sleep while depression can cause an excess amount of sleep. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule each night can create stability and not cause other major disruptions which result due to abnormal sleep.

Stay Sober

Bipolar disorder and addiction, as well as alcoholism are frequently co-occurring and present a constant problem. In times of a manic episode, someone is inclined to feel invincible and energetic, inspiring them to party and use substances excessively. During depressive episodes, someone with bipolar will turn to depressant substances to cope with their feelings or stimulant substances to try and make themselves feel like they did during mania.

Ask For Help

Learning to manage bipolar disorder during recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is challenging. Nobody expects you to do it perfectly! If you are struggling with manic-depressive episodes which are causing you to have cravings, it is okay to reach out for help. Don’t feel ashamed that you have bipolar and that you struggle with addiction. Courageously reach out for help and get the assistance you need to feel better.

If you are struggling with bipolar disorder and addiction, help is available. Enlightened Solutions has a variety of programs which can work for you to heal mind, body, and spirit. You will have balance again. For more information, call 833-801-5483