Bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety are among the most common mental health conditions in the United States. Mental illness can impact every aspect of a person’s life, from physical and emotional health to their ability to function in daily life. It can also negatively impact their ability to communicate effectively when forming relationships or asking for help. According to research, communication can be especially difficult for people with bipolar disorder. If you live with bipolar disorder, completing a bipolar disorder treatment program can help you learn how to manage your symptoms, improve your communication skills, and increase your independence.
Mental illness is treatable. If you or someone you love requires mental health support, reach out to the staff at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health. We offer programs designed to support and empower people on their mental health journey. Call us today at 833.625.0458 or fill out an online intake form here.
Recognizing Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is one of the most common forms of mental illness in America. About 3 million people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder each year. In the past, this condition was called “manic depression,” but it was renamed to help reduce the stigma around the illness. There are several forms of bipolar disorder, but the most common symptoms are mood swings that range from severe depression to mania.
Symptoms of depression are more than just feeling sad. They include:
- Low energy
- Poor concentration
- Apathy—not caring about things that used to matter
- Low self-esteem
- Changes in sleep or appetite
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
When someone has bipolar disorder, they may experience periods of depression that last for a long time and impair their ability to function in daily life.
Periods of mania or hypomania are part of the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder. Mania is defined as a period of increased energy or mood. Symptoms include:
- Unusually upbeat attitude
- Requiring less sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Lack of concentration
- Impulsive behavior–spending large amounts of money, risky sexual behavior, unsafe driving, etc.
- Increased energy
- Agitation or restlessness
People in a manic state can sometimes become psychotic and require hospitalization. Hypomania involves many of these symptoms but is less intense or disruptive. The symptoms and intensity of a person’s bipolar disorder can fluctuate throughout their lifetime. Bipolar disorder cannot be cured but can be effectively treated.
How Does Bipolar Disorder Affect Communication Skills?
New research has suggested that bipolar disorder affects a person’s ability to integrate different aspects of communication, such as facial expression and tone of voice. In studies, people with bipolar disorder showed a difference in their ability to identify and name emotions in photographs of people. They also struggled to match the tone of voice and facial expression in a way that the general population didn’t.
These differences are thought to impair the ability of people with bipolar disorder to understand and communicate effectively with others. Getting effective treatment for bipolar disorder can help people manage their symptoms, learn communication skills, and get the support they need to live full, independent lives.
Learn More About the Bipolar Treatment Program at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health
If you or someone you love require treatment for bipolar disorder or another mental health condition, reach out to the staff at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health. We work to empower and support people at every stage of their recovery from mental illness. In addition to our bipolar treatment program, we offer:
- Depression treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- PTSD treatment
- Residential mental health treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
If you are ready to take the first step in your journey towards positive mental health, we will walk the rest of the way with you. Call 833.625.0458 to speak with one of our caring admissions counselors or fill out an online intake form here.