While the term bipolar disorder might sound daunting, it is not an uncommon mood disorder experienced by 3 million adults in the United States per year. The disorder causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).
People having a manic episode may:
Feel “jumpy,” “high” or irritable
Have a decreased need for sleep
Have a loss of appetite
Feel like their thoughts are racing
Think they can do a lot of things at once
Feel like they are unusually important, talented, or powerful
People having a depressive episode may:
Feel very sad, “down,” empty, worried, or hopeless
Have trouble falling asleep, wake up too early, or sleep too much
Experience increased appetite and weight gain
Talk very slowly, feel like they have nothing to say, forget a lot
Feel unable to do even simple things
Feel hopeless or worthless, think about death or suicide
The causes of depression vary among biological to environmental factors such as genetic features, brain chemical imbalances, environmental distresses, and psychological and social influences.
Support groups are safe spaces structured to allow participants to share personal experiences, feelings, coping strategies and information about symptoms and treatments. The discussions often are facilitated by an experienced leader or a medical professional.
Feeling isolated or lonely might be a vicious cycle that leads to worsening bipolar disorder symptoms. Support groups can allow us to make connections, providing tangible benefits to people experiencing mental health issues.
Benefits of participating in support groups can include:
Reducing feelings of loneliness, isolation and stigma
Getting practical advice or information about treatment options
Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope
Learning about health, economic or social resources
Benefits of online support groups can include:
Faster time to get help, skipping appointment wait time
More frequent or flexible participation
A cost effective way to see a licensed mental health professional
A degree of privacy or anonymity comparing to local community support groups
Opportunities for people in areas with no face-to-face support groups
You are not alone. Herd is ready to support you.