If you have bipolar disorder, you probably are well-aware of the ups and downs of the disorder. When you’re manic, you’re high as a kite, afraid of nothing, sure that you can do whatever you set your mind to. You may speak frantically as your thoughts tumble out of your mouth faster than you can think them. When you’re depressed though, you may feel the world has stopped around you. You’re hopeless, sad, miserable, and feel worthless – you can’t even muster up enough energy to go to work or school. In between these cycles of depression and mania, your mood may be pretty stable, but you never know when mania or depression will sneak up on you and begin to run your life again. You may know it’s time to make a change in your life, but you may not know how. Vantage Point is ready to help you reclaim your life and make it your own.
At Vantage Point, we understand the unique challenges that living with bipolar disorder causes. We know that the manic moods may feel intoxicating and exhilarating; we also understand that the deep lows of depression can make life feel worthless. Through our eclectic approach to treatment, we’ve helped countless children, teens, adults, and older adults navigate the waters of bipolar disorder and learn to lead a normal, healthy life.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Seek Treatment
Watching your loved one struggle with bipolar disorder can be exhausting – one minute, they’re up while the next, they’re down. You’re probably grappling with a number of emotions – frustration, anger, empathy, and sadness. You don’t want your loved one’s life to be so hard, but you may no longer know how to get through to him or her. It’s time to gently guide your loved one into inpatient treatment for bipolar disorder. Here are some tips to help your loved one into treatment:
Understand that mental illness isn’t a choice: As your loved one may appear normal so much of the time, it can be tremendously hard to recognize that while bipolar disorder is a frustrating illness, it is also a brain disorder that needs constant treatment. Mental illness – including bipolar disorder – is not a choice or a lifestyle; it requires tremendous patience, compassion, and care to overcome.
Recognize your limitations: Like it or not, you’re one person and you can only take care of so much without burning out. This is entirely normal and not something you can berate yourself for. Set your own emotional limits and make sure to enforce them even during manic or depressive cycles. You need to remain sane and functional during this turbulent time.
Take the wheel: Your loved one may not know what he or she needs to be successful – you may have to take the lead and steer his or her treatment into the appropriate setting. Make appointments to talk to inpatient assessment staff and bring your loved one along so any questions and concerns can be alleviated.
Why Seek Inpatient Treatment at Vantage Point
If you’ve been living with unmanaged bipolar disorder, you may realize that the culmination of actions performed during the manic or depressive cycle have led to many disastrous consequences. Manic spending sprees or drug-fueled antics may have left you broke and alone, suffering physical consequences and unsure how to reclaim your life. Depressive cycles may have cost you your job, your friends, and led you to abuse drugs or alcohol in order to cope with the symptoms. You know that you need to get better, but you may not know how to make that a reality.
An inpatient treatment program has been proven to be an effective way for people with bipolar disorder to begin the process of rebuilding their lives. In an inpatient center, you’ll be able to get your medication schedule and dosages to levels that assist in controlling symptoms. Therapies can help you learn ways to continue with treatment even after you’re feeling better. Best of all, inpatient treatment centers allow you to temporarily escape the pressures of daily life so that you can begin the slow process of focusing much energy upon what matters most – recovery.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Vantage Point, we understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to behavioral health treatment, which is why we take the time to get to know each client and his or her needs in order to best understand how we can help. Our clients benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to bipolar treatment that incorporates many different types of caregivers – nurses, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, clinicians, and supportive staff who are able to approach bipolar treatment in a holistic manner. At Vantage Point, we understand that each client is a whole person who is in need of care that meets each of his or her needs – mind, body, and soul.
Treatment Options Offered at Vantage Point
When you first come to our treatment center for help with your bipolar disorder, you’ll undergo a number of assessments that allow us to determine if inpatient treatment will benefit you and your unique situation. If you do require inpatient stabilization, you’ll undergo a battery of examinations to let us best understand your needs so that we can work alongside you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay that will allow you to begin upon your journey toward self-discovery and recovery. The medical examination will determine any medical consequences of drug use or other risky behaviors engaged in during manic episodes and begin treatment as needed. The psychiatric evaluation will determine the type of bipolar disorder you’re struggling with and any co-occurring disorders that may or may not be impacting your life. We’ll work with you and your family to create a plan of care for your stay with us and start planning for your care after you leave our doors.
Medication is often one of the most important components for bipolar treatment. You may be prescribed antidepressants, antianxiety agents, or antipsychotics in order to best control your symptoms and allow you to fully engage in your treatment. Some people may use medications for a little while during their stay and taper down as new coping strategies are learned, but most people who have bipolar disorder will require life-long medication maintenance. Your treatment team will carefully monitor and adjust your medication as needed.
Individual therapy can be helpful for people who have bipolar disorder when they are stabilized and ready to engage in therapy. You’ll work in a private setting with your therapist to discuss and learn new coping strategies, the importance of medication compliance, and discuss ways in which you can manage the consequences untreated bipolar disorder has caused in your life.
Group therapy is a wonderful way for you to experience support and social interaction with people who truly understand bipolar disorder and other types of mental illness. Through group, you’ll form amazing bonds with people who are similarly struggling with mental illness and work on challenges so that you all can grow and heal. Group topics may include relapse prevention, medication compliance, and processing the varied emotions about your bipolar disorder.
Family therapy will work toward the end goal of mending any broken or strained bonds among loved ones who have been negatively impacted by your illness. Family sessions will help to educate your loved ones about bipolar disorder, focus upon repairing rifts in the family dynamic, and discuss ways in which you can support your loved one during his or her recovery.
In addition, we are proud to offer several other types of programs to best heal the whole person during your stay at Vantage Point. These include:
- Recreational activities
- Expressive therapy
- School-based activities (for children and adolescents)
Continuing Care – What Happens Next?
As your time for discharge approaches, you’ll work closely with your loved ones and treatment team to discuss the most appropriate next step in your recovery journey. Some of our clients opt to join a residential program, which will allow a more sustained recovery process to meet continued treatment goals. Others opt for a more intensive outpatient program – a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – both of which allow you to work on your recovery during your day while slowly learning the skills to reintegrate into a stable home environment during the evenings. Still others may feel they’ve made enough progress with us that they’re ready to return to their old lives with a new outlook and referrals to our traditional outpatient therapy program and additional community resources.