Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder leads to serious cycles in mood, energy, thinking and behaviour. Unlike ordinary mood swings (feeling low when under pressure or stressed or great when something goes well), the mood changes of bipolar are intense. They can range from mania at one extreme, to depression on the other which can interfere with the ability to function day-to-day.

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Signs of bipolar

The cycles of bipolar disorder can last for days, weeks or months.

Mania can cause a person to feel unusually ‘high’ and optimistic or extremely irritable, is often accompanied with racing thoughts that jump quickly from one idea to the next and an inability to focus or concentrate. Other symptoms can include:

  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Impaired judgment and impulsiveness – acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)

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How we can support your employee

We can offer assessment and support with ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder.

Psychological therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and/ or medication can be used to help manage bipolar disorder. These approaches can help to:

  • Identify and correct unhelpful thoughts
  • Understand stressors that increase vulnerability to symptoms feeling unmanageable
  • Achieve better coping in relation to changes in mood
  • Reduce the impact of bipolar illness, including on loved ones and work colleagues
  • Keep motivation to take medication
  • Identify triggers and help reduce chances of a relapse

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Psychiatric care

Psychiatric care can be provided where it is clinically appropriate and if this is in the agreed support plan for your member/employee. Psychiatry will provide a comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, treatment recommendations and medication where appropriate and ongoing review as required.

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