Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a manic-depressive illness, and involves unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks, as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). There are several diverse types of BPD with the following being the main three: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymic Disorder. Each disorder is characterized by varying levels of intensity and duration of symptoms, with either manic, depressive, or both being the main focus. If a person with BPD experiences a manic episode, they may have racing thoughts, a sense of “being on top of the world” or invincibility, difficulty concentrating, impulsive behavior, and more.
Manic episodes with BPD can be dangerous if a person is not taking prescription medication. Psychotic symptoms can be experienced with bipolar psychosis, which involves hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or touching things that aren’t there) or delusions (believing in things that aren’t there) as well as irrational thoughts/speech and an overall lack of awareness. If a person with BPD is experiencing mania and is angry or irritable, they may become aggressive and violent – mania can give individuals a feeling of “superhuman” power, which can become dangerous if not de-escalated quickly. While having BPD alone doesn’t increase the chances of a person becoming violent, there’s primarily a risk if BPD mixes with alcohol or drug use and high emotional stress. Some situations can trigger intense mood swings which, if not medicated, can cause a person to act more dangerously.
Manic episodes can significantly affect various aspects of a person’s life, however. A 2014 study published in the journal European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience found that manic episodes account for poor work adjustment for those with BPD; racing thoughts and impaired functioning in attention and organization can make it particularly difficult for a person to complete projects and stay on task. In addition to work life, those with BPD may have difficulty in romantic relationships as their partner attempts to understand their mood swings and motivations. For all of these reasons it is essential that a person with BPD seek effective treatment.
BPD in and of itself is not a dangerous disorder – it can, however, get out of hand if combined with the wrong circumstances. If you have been diagnosed, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about various treatment programs and which one may be the right fit for you.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.