BiPolar disorder is a disorder that affects the chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. As the name suggests the effect of the disorder causes a polarity in moods. Usually causing the individual to range from a high, or manic state, to a low, or depressive state.

It is hard to describe the symptoms of bipolar disorder since the symptoms range in variety and severity depending on the person. Starting with the mania, which is usually described as a high, or an elated feeling. This can appear in some individuals with bipolar as a psychotic state, where they are talking fast, cannot sleep, participating in extreme reckless behaviour, or in extreme cases, can even cause hallucinations. It needs to be noted that the manic states in those that have bipolar are not the same as those that have another psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia. If there are psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, voices, or paranoid behaviour, they usually disappear when the manic state is either treated or ends.

The depressive state, is similar to those suffering from depression itself. People who have bipolar stay in a low mood, with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness for varying periods of time. The danger in bipolar disorder, comes with the the extreme changes in mood. Those that go from the extreme mania often end up in extreme depression. These individuals are the most at risk for suicidal thoughts and even attempts.

Treatment for bipolar disorder depends on the person, as it does with any medical condition. There are treatments of course that can be proactive, such as exercise and diet, and the reduction of environmental triggers, which can help with the severity of the symptoms. Diets that are high in carbohydrates and refined sugar only make the problems worse in the brain.

Medication is the primary treatment and Lithium and Lamictal are considered the mood stabilizers of choice.  It’s important to note that bipolar needs to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist, and people who have bipolar should be followed up with a doctor on a regular basis. This is because the chemical imbalance that causes bipolar usually needs to be treated by medication. There are a few medications that lead the way in treatment, but they change from year to year, and like everything else will vary in effectiveness by person. It’s also important to make sure to check in with someone that will be able to keep an eye on the changes in mood.

It’s important to read through the information, and if you suspect that either you or someone you know might have bipolar, that you try and speak to a professional about it.


Bipolar disorder is recurrent, meaning that more than 90% of the individuals who have a single manic episode will go on to experience future episodes. Roughly 70% of manic episodes in Bipolar Disorder occur immediately before or after a depressive episode. Treatment seeks to reduce the feelings of mania and depression associated with the disorder, and restore balance to the person’s mood.

Living with Bipolar Disorder can be challenging in maintaining a regular lifestyle. Manic episodes can lead to family conflict or financial problems, especially when the person with Bipolar Disorder appears to behave erratically and irresponsibly without reason. During the manic phase, people often become impulsive and act aggressively. This can result in high-risk behavior, such as repeated intoxication, extravagant spending and risky sexual behavior.

Bipolar Brain


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Debra Meehl

Debra Meehl, DD Pastoral Counselor, DBT Trained Skills Trainer, Board Certified Hypnotist & President, Meehl Foundation Intenselevly Tained DBT Team

Speaking Engagements
Texas TAAP Convention-San Antonio, TX
August 15, 2014 (11:00am-12:30am)
West Coast Symposium- Cape Cod
Bipolar Borderline & Substance Abuse
Sept, 13, 2014 (10:45am-12:15am)
NAADAC- Seattle, WA
Radical Acceptance-Getting to the root of the problem
September 28,2014 (1:30pm-3:00pm)
NASW-Texas State Conference
Bipolar Borderline & Substance Abuse
San Marcos, TX October 18, 2014 (2:30pm-4:00pm)
NASW-Atlanta, GA State Conference
Using DBT Therapy for Mood Disorders and SA October 23, 2014 (9:00am-12:15)
Radical Acceptance-getting to the root of the problem
October 24th, 2014 (1:30pm -3pm)
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