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Treating bipolar disorder in Melbourne

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterised by extreme mood swings between severe depression and elation, verging on euphoria, or mania, and the condition was once-called "manic-depression".

Many people who have bipolar disorder experience relative stability between the manic and depressive episodes, which can each last anywhere from a few days to a few months.

During the ups and downs, some people may have delusions or hallucinations. Sometimes, people go through what is called “hypomania”, where the “up” is not as high as a manic episode. This can be seen as quite a positive experience, as the person can be very creative and focused. Left without treatment, however, hypomania can also be devastating.

The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but research indicates a genetic predisposition. Onset usually occurs in the late teens or early 20s and it is estimated that it affects one in 50 Australians.

There are a number of conditions across the bipolar disorder spectrum, ranging from Bipolar Disorder I to cyclothymia - where the hypomanic phases are less severe - and so-called "subsyndromal" conditions.

What are some of the signs?

Elation:

  • Feeling very happy and like nothing can bring you down
  • Taking risks
  • Very fast thoughts
  • Feeling like you don’t require much sleep

Depression:

  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Lack of concentration

Strategies to help manage bipolar disorder

  • Take responsibility for your moods, and stay involved in your treatment process
  • Learn about bipolar disorder, including why it happens and what particular management strategies work for you
  • Medication can often be useful in bringing your moods back to equilibrium
  • Depending on whether you’re in a manic or depressive episode, increase or decrease the amount of stimulation around you, in order to bring your mood back to normal
  • Decide on steps to take if you find your episodes are too much to handle and you feel you may harm yourself or others
  • Keep a regular sleep routine and eat regular, healthy meals

When to seek professional assistance

About one third of people who suffer from bipolar disorder have work or relationship difficulties due to the condition. If you suspect that you are suffering from bipolar disorder it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.

For more information or to make an appointment contact us on our Live Chat or phone (03) 9629 1001 or send us an email via our contact form.

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"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next."

—Gilda Radner

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