What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition which can cause considerable fluctuations in both your mood and energy levels. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can become apparent at any age, however most people experience symptoms worsening as they reach their late teens or early adolescence. Though every person is likely to experience mood swings at some point, those who suffer with bipolar disorder can experience extreme differences in their mood and emotions that can have an affect on their ability to think logically, interfering tremendously with their day-to-day quality of life.
It appears very common for a person with bipolar disorder to think about what might happen to them in the future, such as whether symptoms are likely to worsen as time goes by, or whether there is any hope of eventually coming off any bipolar related medication.
Does bipolar worsen with age?
Bipolar disorder can worsen as you age or over time if your condition is left unacknowledged and untreated. With each day that passes, a person may encounter emotional episodes that are extremely more severe and likely more frequent than when their symptoms first appeared. The longer that you leave bipolar disorder without sufficient attention, the more likely you are to experience serious problems in personal relationships or daily responsibilities like committing to a full time job or being an active member of your family or friend group.
Untreated bipolar can also lead to inappropriate and dangerous coping mechanisms like substance abuse, which of course can have a negative effect on both your mental and physical well-being. In fact, substance abuse can intensify or prolong symptoms of both mania and depression, leading to uncontrollable reckless behavior such as drinking too much alcohol, driving too fast on the road or behaving overtly aggressively towards other people. If a patient refuses to accept or believe that their treatment is necessary over long continual periods, this might also lead to worsening of their symptoms.
It’s not uncommon for a bipolar patient to think that they have been cured if their symptoms begin to improve, and as a result of this they may make the wrong decision and attempt to stop taking their medication. In many cases, this will lead to nothing but a fast return of symptoms, many of which may even be more intense than before.
The good news is that it’s more than possible to control and manage bipolar symptoms by following a tailored treatment plan that has been created by a doctor, psychologist or group of mental health professionals like our friendly team at the Calgary Institute of Counselling. Though your symptoms may get worse with age if you fail to actively treat the condition, sourcing the most effective treatment option can easily prevent such an event from occurring.
If you or a loved one are struggling with symptoms of bipolar or another mental health disorder, please contact one of our trusted Calgary Psychologists who can tailor make a unique treatment plan that best suits your needs and expectations as an individual.