Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, previously referred to as manic depression, is a disorder affecting mood and behavior. People diagnosed with the disorder have extreme fluctuations in activity, mood, and energy fluctuations. Episodes of depression and loss of energy follow periods of heightened energy and positive mood.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “An estimated 2.8% of U.S. adults had bipolar disorder in the past year.” Avery Lane uses various therapeutic modalities to help women manage bipolar disorder and co-occurring disorders.

Bipolar Disorder

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycles of “highs” and “lows.” The “high” points of the cycle leave people feeling energized, elated, and confident. “Low” points involve varying levels of depression, loss of interest, hopelessness, and feelings of dread. Each episode may last a week to several months, depending on the type of bipolar disorder a person experiences. Symptoms are reported most days during an episode and may fluctuate in intensity over time.

There are several types of bipolar disorder, including:

  • Bipolar I: Episodes of manic behavior followed by deep depression
  • Bipolar II: Episodes of severe depression followed by hypomania
  • Cyclothymic Disorder: Cycles between depression and hypomania with less severe symptoms than bipolar II

The frequency of symptoms and how they manifest vary from person to person. However, most depressive, manic, or hypomanic states last for between a week and several months.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Bipolar Disorder

The specific symptoms and side effects a person experiences depend on various factors, including age, gender, genetics, and medical history. In addition, manic and depressive episodes each have unique symptoms and may fluctuate in duration or intensity.

Some of the most common symptoms and side effects of bipolar disorder during a manic episode include:

  • Feeling energized or unusually hyperactive
  • Increased irritability and uncharacteristic aggression
  • Feeling elated
  • Racing thoughts
  • Faster speech patterns
  • Insomnia, difficulty staying asleep, or feeling a reduced need for sleep
  • Feeling unusually capable and powerful
  • Engaging in risk-taking and impulsive behaviors

Some symptoms and side effects people report during depressive episodes include:

  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Lethargy
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or oversleeping
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Slowed speech patterns
  • Changes in appetite
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Self-harming thoughts or behaviors

Psychological health has a direct effect on physical health. According to MedlinePlus, BD and other “Mood disorders can increase a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.” The more severe side effects may be avoided by early intervention and treatment.

How to Help a Loved One With Bipolar Disorder

Many people with bipolar disorder go through periods where they feel on top of the world and invincible. People experiencing a manic episode may not recognize the need for treatment. On the other hand, during depressive episodes, it might feel too overwhelming to reach out for help even if they feel hopeless and want treatment. Family and friends can help their loved ones by staging interventions, providing details on local treatment programs, and educating themselves about the realities of bipolar disorder. Friends and family must often prompt loved ones with bipolar disorder to get the treatment they need to manage their disorder.

Bipolar disorder affects many aspects of a person’s life, including relationships and family dynamics. Family members and friends show their love and support by providing the following:

  • Practical assistance, including locating treatment options or providing transportation to appointments
  • Emotional support before, during, and after treatment
  • Motivation and inspiration to continue making positive lifestyle changes throughout treatment

Families affected by bipolar disorder benefit from engaging in professional mental health treatment. Currently, no cure exists for bipolar disorder. However, the condition can be successfully managed using a combination of psychotherapy and prescription medications.

Treating Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder and Bipolar Disorder at Avery Lane

Avery Lane treats primary and secondary mental health disorders, including dual diagnosis involving substance misuse and bipolar disorder. The programs provide multiple levels of care, including:

  • Medically assisted detox
  • Residential treatment (RTC)
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient
  • Sober living support

Clients collaborate closely with the care team to ensure they receive the level of support they need to heal. Clinicians use the following treatments and services to help women struggling with bipolar disorder:

  • Brain Spotting
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Alternative holistic therapies

Treatment generally involves addressing any active and underlying issues simultaneously using integrative and complementary care. Many people with bipolar disorder have underlying trauma affecting their mental health and overall well-being. The clinicians at Avery Lane are experts at treating trauma and offer a variety of additional trauma-focused treatments and services.

Aftercare Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder may need to take medications or attend individual therapy long-term to manage their condition. According to NIMH, “Although symptoms may come and go, bipolar disorder usually requires lifelong treatment and does not go away on its own.”

Some of the most common prescription medications used to manage BD include the following mood stabilizers:

  • Lithium (Lithobid)
  • Valproic acid (Depakene)
  • Divalproex sodium (Depakote)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro, etc.)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)

Avery Lane also uses energy healing and naturopathic medicine to help clients achieve greater mood stabilization. The treatments provide a solid foundation for the transition into ongoing recovery.

Untreated bipolar disorder impacts many areas of a person’s life, including professional and personal relationships. Early intervention and treatment are the best way to reduce side effects and manage the condition successfully. Avery Lane uses evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies to help clients manage mental health disorders and dual diagnosis. To learn more, call us at (800) 270-2406

Contact Avery Lane Admissions Today

Summer Lan Franco
MA, MFT-t, Primary Therapist

Summer Lan Franco loves working with people to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders, disordered eating, mental health issues and complex trauma. She earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University Chico and MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. She has worked in community-based and private practice settings. Her approach is personable and sincere. Summer believes in helping people rediscover their true selves by uncovering barriers that stand in the way. Her warmth and earnest interest in others’ wellbeing are always present in the work she does with people seeking help. She has experience with trauma recovery, substance abuse recovery, codependency, family issues, disordered eating, treatment for anxiety and depression, and working with personality disorders.

Alaina Dunér
Office Manager, Sound Healing Group Facilitator, Reiki Master

Alaina Dunér is a Sonoma County native. She studied sociology and outdoor adventure programming for two years at Loyola University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College. In 2016 Alaina was on a recreational skydive and had a crash landing that resulted in her fracturing multiple vertebrae in her spine. Since her accident, Alaina has emersed herself in understanding the nuances and complexities of health and spirituality. She is passionate about supporting clients through Reiki and Sound. Since taking a pause from university, Alaina has become a certified Reiki Master Teacher in the Tibetan Usui system, an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a trauma informed sound facilitator. At the end of 2022 Alaina will attend Southern Utah University to complete her bachelor’s in aerospace and aviation with an emphasis on rotary flight.

Sunnie Skillman
Energy Worker

Sunnie has worked within the field of Energy Psychology for over 20 years and has been trained in a number of healing modalities, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Access Consciousness. She has been using the tools of Access Consciousness for 23 years, teaching classes and working with clients using various hands-on energy body work techniques. She specializes working with clients who have symptoms of PTSD and assisting in clearing where trauma is stored in the body.
Sunnie brings her personal experience with trauma healing as well as her kind and
caring energy to support the ladies interested in working with other healing modalities
at Avery Lane.

Nicole Collins,
AMFT, Primary Therapist

Nicole Collins entered the field of healing after receiving her BA from Colorado State University
in Human Services, which led her to work in domestic violence. Following her beliefs and
passion in the body-mind-spirit connection and the Intelligence of the Self-healing power, she
got her MS from Touro University in Vallejo. She believes that addiction, alcoholism,
depression, the things that push against your joy, calm, serenity, and sense of security, are
powerful and baffling. Still, there is something unique inside of you that is ready to push back
against it all. The fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that press against your head and chest
are real, but they should not define you. She feels her role is to help you find the resources
within to overcome the challenges and suffering that life may bring. She specializes in trauma,
substance abuse, LGBTQIA+ community, matters of belonging, helping individuals heal in their
relationships within themselves. In your work together, she will meet you where you are and
support you in reacquainting you, with all parts of yourself, including your inherent wisdom.

Erin Miller, RADT
Recovery Counselor

Erin is a Registered Alcohol Drug Technician, Certified Recovery Coach, and Certified Clinical
Trauma Specialist-A (Trauma and Addiction). She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology and Addiction Studies at Aspen University. Through her personal experience with
alcohol addiction and recovery, Erin was inspired to support others on their recovery journeys.
She brings kindness, compassion, and encouragement to her work at Avery Lane. Erin lives in
Sonoma County with her husband and their two adventurous children.

Laurel LeMohn
Recovery Counselor

is a Mendocino County native. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University. She has been a Recovery Counselor at Avery Lane since October, 2021, and works from a trauma-informed, psychodynamic, and humanistic lens. She has had a desire towards helping others since she was young and looks forward to working with you as you transition your life into one where you are thriving and proud to be living.