Bipolar Disorder Treatment Center in South Florida

Living with bipolar disorder is a challenge for anyone. Trying to cope with this mental illness without receiving proper help complicates it even more. When you make the brave decision to seek help from a bipolar disorder treatment center, you can begin to start living a happier and healthier life.

At Ambrosia Behavioral Health in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, and Singer Island, Florida, our bipolar treatment center specializes in helping people manage symptoms of various types of mental illnesses, including mood disorders.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects how people think, feel, and behave. Specifically, it is marked by extreme shifts in mood called manic episodes and depressive episodes. Manic episodes are marked by experiencing emotional highs of mania and hypomania that consist of exacerbated good moods and bursts of energy.

Depressive episodes consist of feeling very down, hopeless, and drained of energy. Depressive episodes are more commonly experienced than manic ones. The amount of time a mood range lasts varies. It can last several hours, days, or months at a time. There are often periods between manic and depressive episodes during which a person feels emotionally leveled out.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.8% of adults in the United States. Despite its frequency, seven out of ten patients with the disorder will be misdiagnosed at least once. Untreated bipolar disorder can negatively impact a person’s relationships and ability to work, attend school, and enjoy daily activities. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition but can be capably managed with an effective treatment plan from bipolar treatment centers in Florida.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

The onset of bipolar disorder usually occurs in early adulthood, though children and teenagers can exhibit symptoms. While symptoms are varied, the disorder has three primary diagnostic indicators: mania, hypomania, and depression.

When a person has manic episodes, they may experience intense feelings of euphoria, impulsivity, and excitement. It is not uncommon for people in a manic cycle to go without sleep for multiple days, talk a mile a minute, and be hyperactive. During manic episodes, people commonly experience racing thoughts, being easily distracted, an exaggerated sense of self-confidence, and feeling jumpy or wired. Also, mania may cause episodes of psychosis.

Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes but tend to be less severe. Often, someone in a hypomanic cycle will be the life of the party, taking an intense interest in people, places, and ideas. Specifically, the person may feel a boost in energy, self-confidence, and creativity. Hypomania is more manageable than mania, allowing individuals to continue with their normal day-to-day lives.

Depressive episodes are the down cycle of bipolar disorder. Symptoms are severe enough to cause noticeable disruptions to an individual’s daily activities, such as work, school, relationships, or social activities. Depressive episodes include five or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Restlessness
  • Slowed behavior
  • Changes in appetite
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Loss of interest in activities that are usually pleasurable
  • Depressed mood
  • Decreased ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions
  • Suicidal ideation

Four Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental illness, and its symptoms can be unpredictable. The severity of the illness can vary from person to person and, as such, individuals with the disorder are usually diagnosed with one of four types:

  • Bipolar I
  • Bipolar II
  • Cyclothymia
  • Other types

Bipolar I

Bipolar I Disorder is a specific subtype of bipolar disorder. It is characterized by at least one manic episode that lasts for at least a week or is so severe that it requires hospitalization. A person with this disorder may or may not have episodes of major depression, although most do.

What sets Bipolar I apart from the other forms of bipolar disorder are these severe manic episodes. In Bipolar II, for instance, individuals experience a less intense form of mania called hypomania, along with depressive episodes. But in Bipolar I, the manic episodes can be so severe they result in a break from reality (psychosis) and require hospitalization.

As for treatment, Bipolar I Disorder is typically treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Mood stabilizers such as lithium or valproic acid (Depakote) are often used to control manic or hypomanic episodes. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications may also be used depending on the specific symptoms.

Bipolar I Disorder Treatment
Bipolar II Disorder Treatment

Bipolar II

Bipolar II Disorder is a subtype of bipolar disorder that is characterized by patterns of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.

The key difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II is the presence of manic versus hypomanic episodes. While Bipolar I Disorder includes periods of severe mania, Bipolar II Disorder involves milder episodes of hypomania that alternate with periods of severe depression.

However, even though the manic episodes in Bipolar II are less extreme than those in Bipolar I, the depressive episodes can be just as severe, if not more so. People with Bipolar II often have more frequent episodes of depression than people with Bipolar I.


Cyclothymia, also known as cyclothymic disorder, is a type of chronic mood disorder widely considered to be a milder form of bipolar disorder.

Cyclothymia is characterized by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well as periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years (one year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.

What distinguishes cyclothymia from bipolar I and II disorders is the severity and duration of the mood swings. While individuals with bipolar disorder experience severe highs and lows (mania and depression), those with cyclothymia experience these symptoms in a milder form. The mood swings are shorter and less intense, but they are more persistent.

Another key difference is that, unlike bipolar disorder, periods of stable mood rarely last for longer than eight weeks in people with cyclothymia. The treatment for cyclothymia typically includes a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

Cyclothymia Treatment
Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Other Types of Bipolar Disorder

Other types of bipolar disorder are defined by an individual experiencing symptoms as a result of drug use, co-occurring mental health issues, certain diseases, or other environmental factors.

bipolar disorder treatment center in Florida

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Like many mental illnesses, there isn’t just one exact cause of bipolar disorder. For example, genetics can play a significant role in developing it because many individuals who have it also have a relative with bipolar disorder or depression. Also, environmental factors can contribute to its onset, including stress, sleep disturbances, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, other risk factors include an imbalance of brain chemicals, physical illness, and exposure to a traumatic event.

Oftentimes, individuals suffering from bipolar disorder have at least one other diagnosable mental illness, such as an anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of the prevalence of several mental illnesses in one person, many bipolar disorder treatment centers treat multiple conditions. In addition, many also treat substance use disorders, which co-exist with mental illnesses in many cases.

The Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

Bipolar disorder and addiction often co-occur, and this is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to have substance use disorders compared with people without the condition.

The relationship between these two conditions is complex and influenced by various factors:

  1. Self-medication: Individuals with bipolar disorder may use drugs or alcohol to cope with the uncomfortable symptoms of their mood swings. This is known as self-medication. For instance, during manic episodes, a person might use sedatives to calm down, while stimulants may be used during depressive episodes in an attempt to elevate mood. However, this kind of self-medication often exacerbates the cycle of mood swings that characterizes bipolar disorder.
  2. Shared risk factors: Both bipolar disorder and addiction have shared risk factors, such as genetic vulnerabilities and environmental triggers. For example, experiencing trauma or stress can increase the risk of developing both conditions.
  3. Impact on the brain Structure and Function: Both bipolar disorder and addiction can affect the brain’s structure and function in similar ways. They can impact areas of the brain associated with reward, motivation, memory, and impulse control, which can reinforce the cycle of addiction and mental illness.
  4. Increased severity of symptoms: Substance abuse can exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder, making them more severe and harder to treat. It can also lead to an increased risk of suicide, hospitalization, and poor social functioning.

As for treatment, it’s crucial to address both disorders simultaneously for the best outcome. This typically involves a combination of medication to stabilize mood swings, psychotherapy to understand and manage symptoms, and substance abuse treatment programs to address addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, and peer support groups can also be beneficial.

Why Do I Need Help from a Bipolar Treatment Center in Florida?

When left untreated, bipolar disorder typically only gets worse. Symptoms become more pronounced, making day-to-day life extremely challenging. To regain control, individuals struggling with bipolar disorder need to seek a supportive setting that provides professional help and targeted treatment programs.

As with other mental illnesses, individuals with bipolar disorder are likely to seek ways to numb their pain with harmful substances like alcohol and drugs. In particular, those without a solid support network or suitable management of their illness may self-medicate as a temporary escape route. Commonly, this leads to addiction, which significantly worsens the problem. Additional complications that can result from bipolar disorder include:

  • Struggling at work or school
  • Damaged relationships
  • Suicidal problems
  • Financial issues
  • Changes in weight
  • Heart problems
  • Increased anxiety

Addiction Therapy Services Used to Treat Bipolar Disorder

Everyone who develops bipolar disorder is impacted uniquely, and every person responds differently to treatment. Because of this, it is important to find a bipolar disorder treatment center that can identify your needs and develop an individualized treatment plan specifically for you. While bipolar disorder is not curable, you can learn to manage your symptoms in a way that greatly improves your quality of life. This includes rehab programs in conjunction with addiction therapy services.

Depending on a variety of individual factors, our addiction treatment plans include the following services:

Learn More About Our Bipolar Disorder Treatment Center in Florida

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong mental health condition that requires an effective and individualized treatment program from a qualified treatment center. If you or someone you love is struggling with this condition, we can help.

Our caring and compassionate multidisciplinary team will work with you to find the right treatment plan to help you or your loved one pursue a more hopeful future. Then, we will accept insurance for those who qualify.

To find out more about our bipolar disorder treatment center in Florida, reach out to Ambrosia Behavioral Health in South Florida a call or visit our admissions team today.

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