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Your Counselor on the Criteria of and Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

two parasailers in the skyBoth Melancholia and Mania have etymological roots in the pre-Hippocratic humoral theory of the Ancient Greeks.

The onset of symptoms of this disorder begin during the late adolescence period, or the early adulthood and the diagnosis are based on the individual’s self-reported experiences and observed behaviors.

In this blog post, your talk therapist in Burleson will be going through the DSM criteria for this disorder and the treatment of the disorder.

Let’s begin.

The DSM V Criteria of Bipolar Disorder

According to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association, it is necessary to meet the criteria for the manic episode and the episode should be preceded or followed by a major depressive episode.

DSM 5: Manic Episode Criteria

  1. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased goal-directed activity or energy, lasting at least one week and present most of the day, nearly every day
  2. During this period, three or more of the following symptoms should be present to a significant degree:
    1. Grandiosity or inflated self-esteem
    2. Decreased need for sleep
    3. More talkative than usual
    4. Flight of ideas
    5. Distractibility
    6. Increased goal-directed activity
    7. Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences
  3. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features
  4. The effects are not attributable to physiological effects of a substance

DSM 5: Major Depressive Episode Criteria

  1. Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.
    1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
    2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities for most of the day, nearly every day
    3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain
    4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
    5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
    6. Fatigue or loss of energy
    7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
    8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
    9. Recurrent thoughts of death
  2. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
  3. The episode is not attributable to physiological effects or a substance or another medical condition

The Causes of Bipolar Disorder

There are several causes of bipolar disorder. In this section of the blog, I’ll go through them.

Biological Causes of Bipolar Disorder

These include the organic factors that contribute to the disorder such as genetic influences, neurochemical factors, elevated cortisol levels, abnormalities of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-thyroid axis, reduces blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, enlargement of basal ganglia and amygdala, and disturbances of the sleep and circadian rhythms.

There isn’t always a known cause. There are many things that can contribute to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. As a clinician, my belief is the label is not what is important- it’s about getting back to your functioning baseline, a place where you feel good and have stability.

Final Words

There is hope! Bipolar has an unnecessary stigma that we are working to reduce. With therapy and medication, there is help and there is hope. The first step is reaching out to find out if you can benefit from treatment for bipolar disorder. You can reach Kristen Hardin, LPC at 817-223-3685 located in Burleson, Texas. 

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