Living with bipolar disorder can make many aspects of a person’s life difficult. Often, the person who has it and those around them recognize that something is wrong and can even put a name to it. When someone has high-functioning bipolar disorder, they may not realize what’s wrong. They also become so adept at covering up their symptoms that those around them do not realize that the individual has a mental health disorder. New View Wellness in Atlanta provides a structured approach to treating bipolar disorder, including the high-functioning kind. We offer access to several types of therapy that help people change how they act and react to challenging situations and improve their symptoms.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that falls under the heading of a mood disorder. Someone with bipolar disorder will experience difficulty regulating their moods, which cycle from feeling extremely depressed to the euphoria of mania. The cycles can happen every few weeks or months and leave the person feeling frustrated and exhausted. While bipolar disorder is not curable, seeking long-term treatment helps minimize the symptoms and gives a person a better sense of control.
There are five main types of bipolar disorder that include:
- Bipolar I Disorder
- Bipolar II Disorder
- Cyclothymic Disorder
- Rapid Cycling
- Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
A qualified mental health expert can provide an assessment that determines which type of bipolar disorder a person has.
What is High-Functioning Bipolar Disorder Like?
While a person may end up having extreme difficulty participating fully in their lives due to their mental illness, for some people, it’s a somewhat different experience. Some people have what’s called high-functioning bipolar disorder. They make a tremendous effort to hide their symptoms and often end up doubting if they are sick enough to qualify for care. Someone with high-functioning bipolar disorder may appear to have a better ability to handle bipolar disorder than others. However, the reality is that they still suffer and work hard to maintain the appearance that all is well.
Someone with high-functioning bipolar disorder often does well or at least appears to do well at things like:
- Taking care of themselves physically
- Excelling on the job
- Doing well in school
- Having an active social life
- Engaging in meaningful personal relationships
Despite appearing to have minimal symptoms to others, someone with any type of bipolar disorder needs to receive focused care that meets their specific needs.
Why People Try to Hide Their Bipolar Disorder
Too often, people hear “bipolar disorder” and make a host of negative assumptions. For this reason, many people make a tremendous, ongoing effort to hide their symptoms to the point that they can be considered to have high-functioning bipolar disorder. The individual may fear that if their diagnosis is known, it could compromise their careers. They don’t want to be known as someone with bipolar disorder because assumptions may be made that they won’t excel at their work or can’t handle new responsibilities or promotions.
Fear may also influence a person not to discuss their mental health when it comes to relationships. Whether it’s with a family member, friend, or romantic partner, there remains a real fear that the person will be perceived as emotionally unstable and unable to have a healthy relationship.
Living with high-functioning bipolar disorder means hiding symptoms and suppressing emotions as long as possible. The belief is that learning to hide mood swings and related symptoms keeps the person able to keep their job, stay in school, and have relationships. They attempt to avoid the stigma associated with having a mental health disorder. Unfortunately, this plan uses up a lot of energy and becomes emotionally exhausting. It also delays the person getting the help they need that can result in actual relief of symptoms, rather than just hiding them.
How is High-Functioning Bipolar Disorder Treated?
High-functioning bipolar disorder is treated using a menu of different types of therapy. An assessment of each person we treat helps us match them with the right types of therapy for them. Choices for therapies include:
- Family Counseling
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Genetic Testing
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
We also offer prescription medications that can help a great deal with easing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. The combination of therapies and meds helps people feel more in control and able to function better without faking it.
Begin Treatment for High-Functioning Bipolar Disorder
Do you have high-functioning bipolar disorder and are tired of living with the burden this causes? It can be exhausting trying to hide a mental illness, especially when you don’t know that help is just a phone call away. New View Wellness in Atlanta provides several levels of outpatient treatment for people who have bipolar disorder. We match you to the right level for your needs and enroll you in different types of therapy to help minimize your symptoms. We also offer access to prescription medications that help even out the way you feel. This gives you a better ability to participate in therapy and eases the difficulties that happen when you have bipolar disorder.
Visit our admissions page now and start a conversation with us. We are happy to answer any questions about how our outpatient treatment can change your life.