Alternative to Bipolar Disorder Hospitalization

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bipolar disorder hospitalization

Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental health disorder that involves extreme mood swings. While only about 2.8% of U.S. adults struggle with bipolar, a whopping 83% of the cases are classified as severe.

When someone with bipolar disorder succumbs to an extreme manic or depressive episode, they may require hospitalization. A psychiatric hospital setting provides 24/7 suicide watch and other acute stabilization efforts.

Once stabilized, the person is often transferred to a residential treatment center where they will receive mental health care. It is also possible to select the mental health residential setting instead of the hospital, and receive the same level of care.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

What do Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Wolf, and Ernest Hemmingway have in common? Believe it or not, these great artists and authors all happened to struggle with bipolar disorder. When bipolar mania is controlled it can act as rocket fuel for productivity. When the mania or depression are not controlled, it can result in a mental health crisis.

Bipolar disorder is a complex form of mental illness. The most common features of bipolar include abrupt shifts between mood states and energy levels. This challenging disorder can impair daily functioning, and disrupt work life and relationships. 

About 7 million adults in the U.S. struggle with this mental health disorder each year. Men and women are affected in equal numbers. In most cases, bipolar disorder first presents symptoms during the later teen years or early adulthood.

There are four types of bipolar disorders including:

  • Bipolar I
  • Bipolar II
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Unspecified bipolar

Although there may be long periods of calm, the severe nature of the mood swings can wreak havoc in daily life. At present, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. However, there are therapies and drugs that help to manage bipolar symptoms, therefore can improve quality of life. 

What Are the Warning Signs of a Bipolar Breakdown?

When someone has bipolar they may find that the mood swings can escalate to a breaking point. If the disorder becomes so disruptive that it severely impairs functioning, it becomes a psychiatric crisis. 

Knowing the warning signs of an impending bipolar crisis can help divert it by taking proactive steps. Here are some of the red flags of a bipolar breakdown:

  • Extreme feelings of anxiety, irritability.
  • Agitation
  • Extreme mood swings.
  • Going days without sleep.
  • Isolating behaviors.
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Neglecting personal hygiene.
  • Paranoid thoughts.
  • Angry or violent outbursts.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusional thoughts.
  • Slowed movements or speech.
  • Missing work without explanation.
  • Feeling emotionally or physically drained. 
  • Impaired memory and concentration.
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.

What is a 5150 Mental Health Hold for Bipolar?

Someone with bipolar may develop a severe mental health breakdown that poses a threat to themselves or others. In this event, a loved one may call the police and request a 5150 hold. This is a three-day hold in a psychiatric hospital. This allows the person to be monitored during the acute phase of the mental health event.

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The 5150 hold is involuntary and is available when someone you care about shows the signs of severe mental distress. The 72-hour hold offers them a chance to stay in a safe, monitored setting. There they can receive a mental health evaluation, diagnosis, and case management to determine next steps.

About Bipolar Disorder Acute Stabilization

Sometimes, bipolar disorder symptoms can cause the person to spin out of control. When this occurs, it can result in a mental health crisis and the patient will require stabilization. The hospital stay may last a few days to a few weeks. This same level of care can also be provided at a residential mental health center, providing an alternative to bipolar disorder hospitalization.

Sometimes a hospital may be the best treatment setting for acute bipolar events that endanger the person’s life, such as suicide attempts. During this crisis phase, the person benefits from constant monitoring and specialized stabilization measures. In extreme cases, restraints and sedatives may be helpful.

During a severe the bipolar crisis, the person may be held in an isolated location until they become stable. Once stabilized, they can then step down to a residential mental health treatment program and then later to outpatient treatment.

Someone who has experienced the symptoms of a bipolar breakdown should not despair. While in treatment, they will be immersed in various therapeutic activities that will help them get better. These treatment elements teach new coping techniques to access when they encounter stress or triggers in the future. The goal of the treatment program is to provide psychosocial skills that will give them the ability to function normally again.

Residential Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

When someone is diagnosed with bipolar, they are placed under the care of a mental health expert, usually a psychiatrist. The doctor prescribes medication to help manage the symptoms and refers them to a therapist for ongoing sessions.

Should the bipolar disorder mood swings worsen and a reach crisis level, a residential mental health treatment program is an appropriate level of care.

Residential bipolar disorder treatment includes:

  • Medication. Drugs are prescribed according to the person’s bipolar symptoms. Side effects are monitored, and drugs can be modified as needed.
  • Psychotherapy. One-on-one and group therapy sessions provide an outlet to process the disruption that their bipolar disorder causes. Therapy offers solutions to improve relationships and teaches better ways to respond to stressors. CBT is helpful for shifting negative thoughts that drive the irrational behaviors toward more positive thinking. 
  • Family-focused therapy. When a family member has bipolar disorder it can disrupt the family in many ways. Family group sessions allow members to learn healthy ways to manage the bipolar. They practice problem-solving skills and learn to manage anger and conflict better.
  • Stress-management. Stress is a major trigger for bipolar disorder. Learning how to better manage stress levels is key to a positive outcome. These are holistic methods that include yoga, deep breathing, mindfulness training.
  • Lifestyle changes. Making certain changes in daily habits can improve quality of life and help to manage symptoms. These include getting regular exercise, keeping a regular sleep schedule, and sticking to a healthy diet.

You don’t have to suffer the effects of bipolar in a hospital setting. Reach out today to learn about your treatment options.

LifeSync Behavioral an Alternative to Bipolar Disorder Hospitalization

LifeSync Malibu is a leading provider of mental health and addiction recovery services. You or a loved one may be concerned about a possible bipolar disorder hospitalization. To explore alternative treatment options, please give us a call today at (866) 491-4426