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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder was previously known as manic depression and is a mental health disorder characterised by periods of depression which alternate with periods of abnormally elevated mood.

If the elevated mood is very pronounced it is classified as mania but if it is less severe, it is then known as hypomania.

When a person experiences the manic phase they are often highly energetic, irritable or unusually happy and are prone to making impulsive decisions without due consideration of the possible consequences.

If the mood switches to feelings of depression sufferers often develop a very negative outlook about life, find socalising difficult and amy spend a lot of time in tears.

Because bipolar disorders have such a pronounced impact on the mood of the sufferer there may be a tendency to develop substance abuse problems as a way of coping with the mood swings.

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Whilst the biological causes of Bipolar Disorder are yet to be discovered there is some suggestion that genetics may play a role.

Long term exposure to environmental stressors and incidents of childhood abuse are both striongly correlated with this disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

The main symptoms and signs associated with bipolar disorder tend to appear between late adolescence and early adulthood.

  • Intermittment periods of mania and depression (symptoms are usually absent in between these phases)
  • Mood disruptions
  • Irritabiity
  • Bouts of hyperactivity and inactivity
  • Delusions or hallucinations (generally only in Mania not Hypnomania)
  • Large shifts in the sense of self-esteem
  • Reduced social inhibition

As is the case with many of the mental health disorders, the symptoms associated with BPD also occur in non-disordered individuals and so could be tought of as normal.

It is the intensity, severity and frequency of the symptoms that defines someone with bipolar disorder rather then the behaviours themselves.

Scientist examining the possible causes of Bipolar Disorder

Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

Technically, only a psychiatrist can diagnose bipolar disorder, but in the UK general practitioners have tended to diagnose mental health problems by using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The DSM lists specific symptoms against a range of disorders and whenever a person meets this criteria, they are said to be suffering from that disorder.

Diagnostic procedures for mental health disorders do NOT make use of medical testing (for example blood tests) in order to produce a diagnosis, but rather is an opinion based on the observation of certain behaviours in the person who is suffering.

Because of this lack of verifiable medical testing, diagnosis remains a controversial subject, particularly within the psychological community.

However, in the UK access to support services is often contingent on receiving a diagnosis, so in this sense, a formal diagnosis may be useful.

Getting a Mental Health Diagnosis

Please be aware that Lee Psychology do not diagnose mental health disorders.

Our psychological counselling services do not require you to have been formally diagnosed but should you wish to obtain a formal mental health diagnosis, then please contact your GP who can arrange it for you.

Therapist and Bipolar Disorder sufferer in counselling session

Therapy & Counselling for Bipolar Disorder

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Bipolar Disorder and related problems.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for BPD on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.

Psychiatry Through the Looking Glass

Read what the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) and the United Nations (U.N.) said recently about the biomedical models of mental illness on Psychology Today.

W.H.O. and U.N. Join Calls to Transcend the Medical Model

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What to have a chat about your problem?

We offer a FREE 50 minute initial consultation to all prospective clients.

Call Paul on 07434 776125 - paul@leepsychology.com

Call Joan on 07434 776504 - joan@leepsychology.com

Paul Lee MSc.

Psychologist Paul Lee BSc MSc

About Paul

TEL: 07434 776125

Joan Lee D. Hyp.

Hypnotherapist Joan Lee D. Hyp. MIAEBP

About Joan

TEL: 07434 776504

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