Bipolar disorder is a clinical diagnosis for a person who experiences significant changes in energy levels, mood, activity levels, and thought processes. Bipolar disorder has historically been called manic-depressive disorder. Five types of bipolar disorder that mental health professionals can diagnose are:
Bipolar disorder “other specific”
Bipolar disorder “unspecified.”
You can learn more about the differences between bipolar I and bipolar II disorder here.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
While each type of bipolar disorder has a unique set of symptoms, some commonalities exist. Each type of bipolar disorder is marked by extremely energetic symptoms, also known as manic symptoms, and low symptoms, also known as depression.
Having sleep problems (e.g., sleeping too much, or difficulty falling and staying asleep).
Experiencing increased appetite.
Feeling sad and hopeless.
Having little to no energy.
Thinking of death, including thoughts of suicide.
Having difficulty concentrating.
Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder
Only a mental health or medical professional can diagnose bipolar disorder. It is also important to examine other factors that can contribute to the symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as medical complications and substance use.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can reflect symptoms of other mental health disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder, so it’s important to rule out other possible mental health diagnoses.
Drug and alcohol use can contribute to the development of some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. For example, the use of hallucinogens such as methamphetamines can cause high energy, rapid speech, and delusions.
Underlying medical problems can influence the presence and development of symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Comprehensive testing for bipolar disorder includes a complete physical exam, medical tests to rule out any other illnesses, and a psychiatric evaluation by a mental health professional.
Bipolar disorder is treatable through interventions such as talk therapy, medication, and other complementary therapies. However, a proper diagnosis is needed to create an effective treatment plan.
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, you are not alone. In fact, 2.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and researchers believe the number of people affected is even higher. Bipolar disorder can be managed, and the symptoms can be treated through medical interventions such as therapy and medication. Proper diagnosis is important so an effective treatment plan can be created for you. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, speak to your doctor about whether telehealth or in-person treatment is best for you. If you have thoughts of suicide, call the national suicide crisis number at 800-273-8255. If you are considering acting on your thoughts or have a plan for suicide, please call 911 or go to your local emergency department immediately.
Valera Health offers doctors and therapists through telemedicine that are available to help you navigate your personal journey to improved wellness.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 6.1 million youth in the United States, which equates to roughly 9.4% of this population. Of those teens and children, 64% have another mental health disorder, with anxiety, depression, and behavior problems being the most prevalent.
ADHD also affects 4.4% of adults. Many adults who have ADHD don’t know they have it because it went undetected earlier in their lives. If you’re an adult who suspects they may have ADHD, try reviewing and determining whether your symptoms impacted you during childhood and early adulthood, and may have followed you into the present.
Knowing how to spot signs and symptoms of ADHD can help you determine whether you may need professional treatment for this mental health disorder.
Consider getting help today if you think you have any of the following seven symptoms of ADHD.
1. Difficulty Concentrating and Paying Attention
People with ADHD often have difficulty concentrating and paying attention, which is also a common symptom of anxiety. In fact, nearly 50% of adults and 30% of children with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder.
You may have ADHD if you experience these symptoms all the time. If you only experience these symptoms at times you’re feeling anxious, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Fidgeting, difficulty sitting still, and excessive movement are all symptoms of hyperactivity. These symptoms may occur when a person with ADHD is engaging in tasks they feel are not interesting enough to keep their focus. Many mental health professionals now help people with ADHD to harness their fidgeting and hyperactivity to increase focus and productivity.
3. Difficulty With Communication
ADHD can make it difficult for people with this condition to communicate with others. They may interrupt others without meaning to or miss important details of a conversation. They may also forget what they were going to say or swerve into another area. Struggling with word choice, zoning out during talks, and short conversations are other signs of ADHD that are associated with communication difficulties.
4. Difficulty Completing Tasks That Require Focus
People with ADHD may try to delay or avoid performing tasks that require them to stay focused, such as listening to lectures or doing homework. Their inability to sit still and concentrate can become stressful and overwhelming, which can cause them to leave certain tasks incomplete.
5. Difficulty Being Patient
People with ADHD may experience difficulty when forced to wait their turn, such as when standing in line, speaking, or sitting in traffic. Being patient can often be uncomfortable for people with ADHD. They may need help to practice patience. It is often difficult for people with ADHD to relax and be patient.
Daydreaming tends to be more intense in people with ADHD given how the brain has difficulty transitioning from one task to another. People without ADHD can often easily stop daydreaming right away, while people with ADHD may have difficulty refocusing their attention.
7. Excessively Talking
Excessive talking in ADHD occurs on behalf of hyperactivity and impulsivity and is often difficult to control. People with ADHD often do not realize they have taken over conversations and may also talk a lot because they have difficulty focusing on what others are saying.
Getting Help For ADHD
If you think a loved one may have ADHD, see your pediatrician or family doctor right away for an evaluation. Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or another mental health professional who can properly diagnose and treat the condition. Treatments for ADHD can help your loved one effectively manage their symptoms.
Could You Have ADHD? Signs It’s Time To See a Doctor
Valera Health provides tele-mental health care in the form of therapy and psychiatry services for those who suffer from mental health disorders including ADHD, depression, and bipolar disorder. Request a consultation with us today and get started on your personal journey to improved mental wellness.
Anxiety is a common mental health disorder today. Maybe you have been experiencing symptoms of anxiety for years, or perhaps your anxiety emerged as a result of a global pandemic, social divide, and other environmental factors. Often our experience of anxiety is very internally disruptive but invisible to others. We may hesitate to tell others about what we are going through out of fear of being judged, thoughts that we have failed in some way, or beliefs that if we ignore the feelings of anxiety that it will just go away.
If you have noticed your anxiety increase, regardless of the reason, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are one the most common mental health disorders today with more than 40 million adults in the United States meeting the diagnostic criteria. Anxiety and stress are normal responses to life’s stressors, and a number of factors contribute to the development of anxiety—difficult life experiences, personality traits, family history of mental health disorders, and physical health. During moments of high distress, it may seem as though the physical sensations of anxiety will never go away; however, research shows us that anxiety is treatable and the feelings we experience are temporary.
Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are a number of different anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The different types of anxiety disorders share some commonalities which can include symptoms such as racing heart, sweating, and racing thoughts. There are some differences in the experience of anxiety among the different anxiety disorders. People with panic disorder feel as if they are in sudden danger, feel helpless, and feel as if they are losing control even though there is no real threat or danger. A panic attack can last for several minutes and can occur at random. Generalized anxiety refers to a persistent feeling of worry. PTSD is generally a result of experiencing a traumatic event. PTSD refers to the intense and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic experience. OCD refers to the unwanted thoughts and emotions that cause a person to engage in a behavior repetitively.
What Does Anxiety Look and Feel Like?
Symptoms of anxiety can be both physical and psychological. Many of us know that feeling when we are about to give a presentation in front of a group of people, take a test, or meet someone for the first time. While our triggers to anxiety symptoms may be different, it is highly likely that we have all experienced anxiety at some point in our lives. Anxiety isn’t all bad as it does serve a purpose in helping alert us to threats and helping us prepare for important moments in our lives. However, if anxiety increases in severity and duration and begins to cause problems in your life, your anxiety may be at an unhealthy level.
Difficulty sleeping is a warning sign that can look different for each person. You may find yourself thinking about the past or the future as you lay in bed, preventing you from falling asleep. Or perhaps, you may notice that you are waking up every 3 to 4 hours and cannot easily fall back asleep. In both situations, it is common to begin to worry about what will happen the next day if you can’t get to a restful night’s sleep.
2. Lack of Concentration
You are having a hard time concentrating and following through with things at home, work, school, and in relationships. You may miss important deadlines, overlook key details, and fail to follow through with important obligations. It can look like slipping grades and poor performance at work.
3. Being Easily Irritated
You notice you are on edge, restless, and are easily irritated. You often find yourself in disagreements with loved ones and co-workers over small instances such as someone’s loud chewing or that they did something differently than what you would have done.
4. Feeling Tired
You feel tired easily and experience more fatigue with anxiety. Your energy level is low, causing you to struggle to find the motivation to complete simple tasks like getting out of bed in the morning and doing laundry. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages are no longer doing the trick and giving you the burst of energy you need. Maybe your laundry has been piling up or you have missed several days of work due to fatigue.
5. Intense and Prolonged Worry
Anxiety may cause you to have a hard time controlling worried thoughts. Your mind can race with “what if” thoughts about the future such as “what if I fail”, “what if they don’t like me”, and “what if I’m not good enough”.
6. Fast Heartbeat
If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety, your heart may beat really fast. You may check your pulse and notice your heartbeat increasing and your mind jumps to the worst-case scenario about your increased heart rate.
When to Get Help
Here are some questions to consider to help you determine if you should seek help for your anxiety:
Am I avoiding activities, people, and places that remind me of a time I experienced a panic attack?
Has my anxiety contributed to conflict in any of my relationships with loved ones?
Have I missed important family, work, and school responsibilities because of my anxiety?
Have I tried to control or manage my anxiety in other ways without success?
If you answered yes to any of these questions or if you want to talk to someone about your anxiety symptoms, help is available. Many people may be hesitant to get help for a number of reasons including not knowing where to turn for help, feeling shame or embarrassment about anxiety, or confusion about their insurance coverage. A good place to start can be to talk with your doctor or medical professional. If you are confused about your insurance, you can call the number on the back of your card to determine your coverage and identify treatment locations that accept your insurance provider. Anxiety can be treated by medical and mental health professionals.
Valera Health offers therapy and psychiatric services via telehealth so you can receive the mental healthcare you need from the comfort of your home. We can help you on your personal journey to get treatment for anxiety.