Area of Focus

Bipolar Disorder

Compass Health Center’s treatment teams provide patient-centered behavioral health care and crisis support to children, adolescents, young adults, and adults struggling with Bipolar Disorder. With Compass's individualized programming for Mood Disorders, our priority is to help participants build the necessary skills needed to thrive in their daily lives as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

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What Is Bipolar Disorder? - Compass Health Center

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by intense high and low moods, along with irregularities in sleeping patterns, energy levels, thought processes, and overall behavior. Bipolar Disorder affects 2.8 million Americans each year, with 83% of these cases considered severe.

Individuals who are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder can experience periods of feeling ecstatically happy and full of energy, and other periods of feeling distraught, sad, hopeless, and sluggish. Treatment for Bipolar Disorder encourages patients to learn coping skills necessary to help manage extreme mood swings.

People without bipolar disorders might experience mood changes as well. These mood changes are usually short-lived, typically lasting for hours rather than days, and are not accompanied by other symptoms of Bipolar Disorder such as extreme behavioral change, impairment in performing daily routines, or difficulty in social interactions.

There are three major types of Bipolar Disorder, which can be classified as:

  • Bipolar I disorder (mania or mixed episode)
  • Bipolar II disorder (hypomania and depression)
  • Cyclothymic disorder (hypomania and mild depression)

Common Bipolar Disorder Symptoms - Compass Health Center

Common Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Individuals who have Bipolar Disorders experience serious shifts in mood, thinking, and behavior. These dramatic highs and lows do not necessarily follow a pattern. An individual with Bipolar Disorders may feel the same mood, such as a manic episode, several times before switching to a depressed mood. If left untreated, these episodes can last a period of weeks, months, or even years.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms of Mania (The “Highs”):

  • Excessive optimism, happiness, and excitement
  • Abrupt changes from being happy to being irritable
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid speech delivery and lack of concentration
  • Increased energy, resulting in less need for sleep
  • Unusually increased sex drive
  • Habitual planning of unrealistic and grand schemes
  • Showing or expressing poor judgment
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Showing constant actions of impulsivity
  • Lost appetite
  • An enlarged sense of self-confidence
  • Being easily distracted

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms of Depressive Episodes (The “Lows”):

  • Extreme feelings of sadness
  • Loss of energy or will to do daily activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in the things that they once enjoyed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Talking slowly
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Inability to feel pleasure in most things
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in appetite and weight gain or loss
  • Thoughts about death or self-harm
  • Suicide attempts

Effects of Bipolar Disorder on Your Life - Compass Health Center

Effects of Bipolar Disorder on Your Life

While Bipolar Disorder symptoms vary, strong mood episodes can disrupt relationships and cause challenges in an individual’s workplace or education. Living with Bipolar Disorder can dramatically affect the consistency of daily functioning, as sudden shifts in mood can cause the loss of interest in activities or disruption of energy levels. Due to shifting highs and lows, it might be a challenge to maintain stability.

When to Seek Treatment for Bipolar Disorder - Compass Health Center

When to Seek Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

It may be time to seek treatment if a person’s Bipolar Disorder symptoms are disrupting their life. In some cases, an individual who has Bipolar Disorder may not realize that treatment is needed. When someone you know is experiencing reduced quality of life due to manic or depressive episodes, you may consider intervening to help them seek treatment.

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

Bipolar Disorder is mostly diagnosed in teenagers and young adults, but can occur in children. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, one-third of the 3.4 million children and teens with Depression may be experiencing the early onset of Bipolar Disorder. Almost three percent of American teens aged 13 to 18 have Bipolar Disorder, and 2.6% of this number have severe impairment. 

Bipolar Disorder in children can cause severe mood swings ranging from hyperactivity or euphoria to serious depressive episodes. In between these episodes, they return to their usual moods and behavior. Teenagers with Bipolar Disorder may experience mood changes in the same way as adults, though teens tend to be more irritable than euphoric during manic episodes. Medical professionals believe that bipolar disorder in teens is caused by a combination of family genes, brain structure, and environmental stressors.

Bipolar Disorder in Adults and Young Adults

Although Bipolar Disorder can occur throughout the age spectrum, it is typically diagnosed in a person’s teenage years or early 20s. Just over four percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 in the United States have Bipolar Disorder, with 82% experiencing severe symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. An estimated 4.4% of American adults experience Bipolar Disorder at some point in their lives. Treatment for Bipolar Disorder is necessary to learn the skills needed to maintain a healthy quality of life and positive relationships.


Bipolar disorder involves a pattern of different type of mood episodes, depression and manic episodes. In order to diagnose a patient with depression, the clinical team will need to take stock of not only what is happening with the person currently, but what their history of mental health symptoms are.

The terms Bipolar I and Bipolar II are medical terms to describe slight variations in how patients present. Bipolar I describes someone with at least 1 manic episode, an intense period of mood elevation. Bipolar II describes someone with what is called a "hypomanic" episode, similar to a manic episode but less intense. At Compass, we encourage patients to ask questions about their diagnoses but be more focused on what they mean and what needs to happen for them to feel better.

Treatment of the different Bipolar Disorders may differ slightly in regards to medication prescribed, but the therapeutic interventions are largely the same.

At Compass Health Center, we want to make sure that a patient can get the healthcare they need, regardless of their insurance coverage. We accept most commercial insurance plans, and we offer flexible payment plans to help make our services more affordable. Our billing team works with the patient/family to establish any plans needed.

Treatment of the Bipolar Disorders typically involves a combination of medication and therapeutic interventions. The therapeutic interventions target building health living skills and skills to manage intense thoughts and feelings safely and effectively.

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Our Success Stories

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Compass saved my life! I came into Compass with suicidal ideations and no hope. After a couple of weeks of being in the program, I did not have those thoughts anymore. Compass helped me change my mindset, from a negative pattern of thoughts to a more positive and optimistic frame of mind.

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My child is leaving Compass more equipped to handle her emotions, her anxiety, her depression, and the things that all trigger these. She is willing to use the skills, which is a huge change, and this is all due to how well Compass worked for her.

Parent of Child Patient
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I liked how in Compass, everyone was respectful of my opinions, pronouns, and preferred name. There was no judging, and you can open up to people. I also like how I can relate to other kids. I also really appreciate learning new skills.

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Compass is a godsend. An amazing program for children who are struggling and families who are seeking help and guidance. I could not imagine that she would be so much better in less than 2 months. I wish we could have found Compass without going to the ER. Thanks for all you do!

Parent of Child Patient
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The evening IOP program challenged me in a supportive and respectful way to help change my way of thinking. Compass provided me with the tools to help deal with life situations in a healthy way.

Adult Patient
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