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Awareness is the beginning of recovery, and when clients come to the Grand House at Avalon Malibu, they discover they are in good hands. At the Grand House, clients find a comforting refuge where they can explore their innermost selves and recover from their mental illness. Avalon Malibu is a place where respect, compassion, kindness and hospitality are extended to all who seek health and healing.
Mental illness takes on many forms, including bipolar disorders. Two significant sub-types of bipolar disorders are treated at Avalon Malibu’s Grand House – bipolar disorder type I and bipolar disorder type II. With the resources available at Avalon Malibu, you can rest assured that we will provide the finest bipolar disorder treatments available, all tailored to your needs to help you find stability and lasting recovery.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by intense mood swings that fluctuate between dramatic highs and deep lows. Known as manic and depressive episodes, these changes in mood can happen quickly and affect energy and activity levels, sleep, behavior, judgment and the ability to think clearly.
Episodes may occur rarely or multiple times throughout the year, but this can vary depending on the individual. Symptoms may also differ depending on which type of bipolar disorder a person has. Because of this, bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as depression. Understanding the differences can help distinguish it from other mood disorders.
Bipolar disorder type I is the most severe form of manic depression. It is distinguished by one or more episodes of intense mania that are highly disruptive to daily life and last for a week or more. Usually, mania is followed by a period of major depression, but not always.
During manic episodes, a person may experience high energy levels, racing thoughts and feelings of elation. However, they’re more likely to engage in risky behaviors and make rash decisions that can have potentially disastrous consequences, such as spending large amounts of money. Some people may also suffer from delusions or hallucinations.
Many people with bipolar disorder type I have long periods between episodes without symptoms, while others experience moods that cycle more rapidly. Mixed episodes can also occur, in which manic and depressive symptoms are present simultaneously.
Bipolar disorder type II is similar to type I, with moods cycling between high and low. The difference is that those with bipolar disorder II never have episodes that reach full (or acute) mania. Instead, they experience hypomania, an elevated mood that is similar to mania but less intense. It is also more common for someone with bipolar II to suffer from depression, which is where the term “manic depression” stems from. Because the symptoms of hypomania are often more subtle, bipolar II is often misdiagnosed as clinical depression.
People affected by bipolar disorder type II have had at least one hypomanic episode in their life. Often, this is followed by deep lows. However, many individuals are able to lead normal lives as they traverse between episodes of hypomania and depression. Avalon Malibu is committed to helping clients manage their mood swings and develop the tools for recovery.
A manic episode is diagnosed when an elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms listed above for most of the day, almost every day, for one week or longer. When a mood is based on irritability, four additional symptoms need to be present.
Bipolar disorder remains challenging to diagnose, as it can be difficult to differentiate between cycling depression that occurs between periods of mania and unipolar depression. This is especially true for those that present with symptoms during a depressive episode and no clear history of mania or hypomania. According to some studies, nearly 70% of people with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed at first, leading to ineffective treatment.
At Avalon Malibu, we perform detailed psychiatric assessments and evaluations to better understand an individual’s symptoms and how they fit into the bigger picture. We look closely at their complete medical and family history to gain an accurate diagnosis and determine whether co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse or anxiety, are present. We also closely examine the challenges they’ve faced and how daily life has been impacted to develop an effective, holistic treatment plan that meets their unique needs.
In most cases, a combination of therapy and medication is needed to manage bipolar disorder and reduce the severity, intensity and frequency of symptoms. To ensure the best results, we perform genetic testing to determine which medications will be the most beneficial. There are numerous options available for treating bipolar disorder, and some people may need one or more medications to achieve the best results. Genetic testing helps to eliminate some of the guesswork involved by providing important clues as to how the body will respond.
Like most mental disorders, bipolar disorder comes in various gradations. Those afflicted with a milder version generally require a break from the stresses of the world to regain a sense of balance in their lives. Therapy can also teach new coping skills for when symptoms arise. Others may benefit from support groups and medication to stabilize their moods.
For people suffering from more severe mania, it is recommended that they choose an extended stay at a professional treatment center to get control of their symptoms. In these cases, proven psychotherapies and medication are often needed to reduce the intensity and duration of manic episodes. Since bipolar disorder often co-occurs alongside substance abuse and other mental health or behavioral concerns, it’s also crucial to provide holistic care that addresses the full scope of each individual’s needs for lasting recovery.
At Avalon Malibu, our team of experienced therapists can provide the guidance and resources needed for all grades of bipolar disorder. We utilize a variety of holistic techniques to help individuals achieve meaningful, lasting improvements, such as:
Our goal is to provide the most effective, individualized treatment plans for each of our clients, helping them to find new ways to manage their symptoms and rediscover a sense of stability and balance in their lives. If you or someone you know is suffering from the difficulties of living with bipolar disorder, contact us today to speak with one of our specialists and inquire about our bipolar disorder treatments. Together, we can begin the healing process.