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How Untreated Bipolar Disorders Impact Work, Health & Relationships

Pursuing professional Mental Health treatment with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist is the key to healing from your Mental Health Disorders and regaining control in your life. This is particularly true for individuals with Bipolar Disorders, a Mental Health Condition that involves drastic shifts in mood, affect, behavior, and energy levels known as manic or depressive episodes.  

Unfortunately, many people avoid seeking Mental Health treatment because they think they have their symptoms under control or because they do not know what steps to take. But without treatment, Bipolar Disorders can be detrimental to your physical, mental, and emotional health, intimate relationships, ability to function at work, productivity, and overall well-being. Learn more about how unmanaged Bipolar Disorders impact your quality of life, relationships, and work with this overview. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder? 

Bipolar Disorder, formerly known as Manic Depression, is a Mood Disorder that causes individuals to cycle through severe highs and lows in mood and energy. High points, known as manic episodes, are periods of hyperactivity. During a manic episode, you feel constantly energized with an elevated mood and grandiosity. You might talk faster, be easily distracted, require less sleep, and have inflated self-confidence. Many people experience increased activity during a manic episode. They might take on several projects at once, invest in new hobbies, pursue new, grand ideas, or spend money on addictive behaviors, shopping sprees, traveling, gambling, and other maladaptive behaviors due to grandiosity and feeling immune from any adverse consequences. Manic episodes can also lead to reckless behavior, such as increased aggression or reckless driving. In severe cases, a manic episode can cause delusions or hallucinations, making it hard for the individual to separate fantasy and delusions of grandeur from reality. 

Low points, known as depressive episodes, are the opposite. You feel drained, depleted, defeated, exhausted, loss of interest in work and other usual activities, and lethargic. You might sleep more and eat less. Many people have difficulty finding motivation or focusing on subjects during a depressive episode. These extreme dips in mood can also cause you to lose interest in activities you once enjoyed, which in turn can lead to isolation and emotional numbness. Feelings of sadness, guilt, worthlessness, and apathy are also common symptoms of depressive episodes. 

Barriers to Treatment 

It is clear that the symptoms of Bipolar Disorders can have a severe, negative impact. Therefore, it is crucial to seek evidence-based treatments that are customized and tailored to your unique clinical needs and other relevant variables in your life from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. 

One issue is the illusion of control. Some individuals with Bipolar Disorders might feel like they can manage their symptoms without professional intervention under the care of a Licensed Psychologist. This is particularly true during manic episodes, where someone might feel positive, excited about their life, or even invincible. Unfortunately, these feelings do not change the fact that Bipolar Disorders are still in control of your mood, thoughts, behaviors, and decision-making abilities. Without treatments under the care of a qualified Licensed Psychologist, the symptoms of Bipolar Disorders can continue to grow in severity and negatively impact your quality of life, physical health, career, intimate relationships, and overall well-being. 

Other people might avoid treatment for the opposite reason; they might feel out of control and overwhelmed by their symptoms to the point that taking action seems impossible. Feelings of shame and worthlessness—combined with mental health stigma from peers and the media—can hold someone back from pursuing the treatment they deserve. Over time, their symptoms will continue to worsen, exacerbating the issue and making it harder and harder to find help. 

Bipolar Disorder Affects Your Personal Life 

There are many ways unmanaged Bipolar Disorders negatively impact your quality of life. One major issue is disruptions to your sleep schedule. The highs and lows of manic and depressive episodes affect your sleep patterns and can create insomnia, which can be extremely detrimental to your mental, psychological, emotional, and physical health. Sleep deprivation can cause cardiovascular disease, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and other physical ailments. 

Furthermore, depressive episodes often lead to isolation and feelings of lethargy, anhedonia, apathy, decreased libido, hopelessness, inability to thrive, isolation, and/or suicidal ideation. This shift can lead to increased boredom, loneliness, detachment, disassociation, addiction issues, and other numbing behaviors. These symptoms often occur alongside other comorbid Mental Health Disorders such as Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Addiction Disorders, Traumas, Attachment Disorders, and more. These comorbid conditions further harm your overall functioning, inability to work productively, relationship conflicts, intimacy issues, and physical health. 

Bipolar Disorders Negatively Affect Your Intimate Relationships at Home and Work 

Manic episodes of Bipolar Disorders often involve feelings of irritability, aggression, and recklessness. These behaviors can put you at odds with loved ones and create strain in relationships. Meanwhile, depressive episodes cause many individuals to self-isolate in order to self-medicate or engage in various addictions in a futile attempt to escape their painful reality or engage in fantasy and numbing behaviors. This isolation makes it harder to cultivate and nurture meaningful connections. It can also prevent you from the ability to function at work and constrain your productivity. 

It also affects romantic relationships. Unpredictable mood swings, hallucinations, periods of isolation, intimacy issues, and other challenges put strain on romantic relationships and make it harder for couples to work through these issues effectively. The symptoms of Bipolar Disorders can also make parenting difficult and can disrupt family life, putting even more strain on family relationships. 

Bipolar Disorders Affect Your Career and Ability to Thrive 

Unmanaged Bipolar Disorders also have a negative impact on your career. Drastic mood swings can harm your relationships with colleagues and disrupt your ability to collaborate successfully. During depressive episodes, low energy levels and a lack of motivation harm your productivity and can cause you to miss deadlines, procrastinate, and perform poorly. Bipolar Disorder symptoms also cause you to miss work more often, which can create problems with your level of productivity as well as hinder your relationships with colleagues.  

Suicide and Self-Destructive Behaviors 

Individuals with Bipolar Disorder face a significantly higher risk of attempting suicide or participating in self-destructive behaviors than individuals without Bipolar Disorders. Manic episodes often cause you to feel powerful or even invincible, which can lead to risky behaviors such as reckless driving, unprotected sex, and substance abuse. Depressive episodes can also lead to the urge to pursue maladaptive coping techniques such as substance abuse or self-harm and self-injurious behaviors. 

Suicide rates are also higher among individuals with Bipolar Disorders. You might experience more severe urges to self-harm or attempt suicide. That is why unmanaged Bipolar Disorders put both your mental and physical health in significant danger. By pursuing proper Mental Health treatment and necessary interventions using scientific-based models from a qualified, skilled, and Licensed Psychologist, you can overcome symptoms and recover from the pervasive physical, mental, and emotional challenges of your Bipolar Disorders.  

Getting the Treatment You Deserve 

The team at Blair Wellness Group offers expert, evidence-based treatment plans for individuals with Bipolar Disorders. With your specialized interventions and customized treatments that are holistic and scientifically based, you can achieve your clinical objectives, health, mental health, functioning, sobriety, and regain control over your physical, mental, and emotional health. Find a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Irvine, Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Bel Air, Century City, Brentwood, Westwood, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, and the surrounding areas when you book your appointment with Blair Wellness Group. 

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