Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health

Bipolar Disorder Treatment Ontario

Bipolar Disorder Overview

Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people around the world. Learning about and understanding the symptoms and causes of bipolar disorder can be helpful if you or a loved one are trying to manage the negative effects and challenges. On this page, we will explain more about bipolar disorder to help you better understand what sets it apart from other mental health conditions. Further down is an overview of the different treatments for bipolar disorder that are available in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Table of Contents

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. These shifts can range from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression).

Someone with bipolar illness may have elevated states of happiness, energy, and productivity during euphoric periods, known as manic episodes. Their minds might be constantly going over things, preventing them from getting any rest. As an added risk, they might go on shopping sprees or act sexually recklessly.

Someone with bipolar illness may have intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and lethargy during a depressive episode. As a result, they may have trouble focusing, sleeping, and eating. It’s possible that they’ve considered suicide or death.

Bipolar Disorder is further characterized by Bipolar 1,  Bipolar 2 and cyclothymic disorder. A person with bipolar 1 will experience a full manic episode, while someone with bipolar 2 will experience mania to a lesser extent.

Those who have bipolar 1 may or may not feel a major depressive episode, while a person with bipolar 2 will feel a major depressive episode.  Those who experience cyclothymic disorder have at least two years of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms. 

Medication, counselling, and behavioural modifications all work together to alleviate the symptoms of bipolar illness. People with bipolar illness can achieve their full potential with the help of appropriate treatment and community resources.

Those who have bipolar 1 may or may not feel a major depressive episode, while a person with bipolar 2 will feel a major depressive episode.  Those who experience cyclothymic disorder have at least two years of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms. 

Medication, counselling, and behavioural modifications all work together to alleviate the symptoms of bipolar illness. People with bipolar illness can achieve their full potential with the help of appropriate treatment and community resources.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Manic episodes (hypomania) are characterized by being over-excited and extremely joyful. On the other side of the scale, a depressive episode is where an individual can find themselves in a hopeless state or excessively depressed. People who suffer through it go through intense emotional states that are often called episodes.

During the manic phase of Bipolar people may experience:

  • Dramatic increase in energy levels
  • Upbeat Attitude
  • Unusually talkative
  • Racing thoughts
  • Poor decision-making abilities
  • Risky and dangerous behaviours
  • Irritability or Agitation
  • Grandiose Thinking

During the depressive episode of bipolar disorder people may experience:

  • The inability to sleep
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of sadness and lack of worthiness
  • Decreased ability to concentrate and focus
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Suicidal ideation

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Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a treatable condition and Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health treats this disorder with a number of different therapies. It is important for individuals to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment in order to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Bipolar disorder can be treated with a combination of medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes. With the right treatment and support, people with bipolar disorder can lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Bipolar Treatment Options Available in Ontario

Bipolar Disorder Lifestyle Changes

The more everyone involved understands bipolar disorder, the easier it will be to manage. Daily habit regulation through social rhythm and interpersonal therapy has had some proven success. Family therapy, called psychoeducation, helps people who are bipolar get the support they need. It also helps your family and other loved ones understand the issues involved.

Pharmaceuticals: Doctors may prescribe prescription medications that are “mood stabilizers”. This medication helps individuals to regulate the moods experienced during episodes. Antipsychotics may also be used to treat this disorder to address unmanageable manic behaviours. Antidepressants may also be introduced to assist with the treatment.


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Inpatient Bipolar Disorder Treatment

At Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health, we treat individuals who may be struggling to manage their disorder. Our team of passionate and dedicated professionals uses evidence-based methods to treat bipolar disorder and assure you or your loved one will receive the very best care. During the intake process, you or your loved one will meet with our psychiatrist to establish a treatment plan. Once we’ve addressed any need for medications, we will begin the therapy portion of treatment. Therapists will work with you and assist you with developing healthy coping strategies. Understanding the condition and becoming familiar with triggers is highly beneficial.

Counselling for Bipolar Disorder

Counselling programs for bipolar disorder typically involve receiving treatment and therapy in person, through telehealth or online platforms. Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health provides clients with counselling services to accommodate those unable to join inpatient programs. Medication management will usually be a part of the program, along with therapy sessions (such as cognitive behavioural therapy or family-focused therapy). These sessions take place with one of our mental health experts, like a therapist or psychiatrist. Additional tools and assistance for coping with symptoms are typically available via these programs, such as self-help literature and support groups. The goal of counselling programs for bipolar disorder is to help clients manage their symptoms, improve their quality of life and have the ability to function well in their daily lives.

Bipolar and Co-occurring Disorders

In addition to bipolar illness, people often struggle with a secondary mental health issue. Bipolar illness often occurs alongside other mental health issues, such as:

  • Addiction to substances like alcohol and drugs is widespread among those coping with bipolar disorder.
  • Anxiety disorders: People with bipolar illness frequently suffer from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder.
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): ADHD is characterized by inattention and impulsive or hyperactive behaviour. People with bipolar illness can sometimes suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder are two examples of personality disorders frequently seen in people with bipolar illness.
  • Eating problems: Those with Bipolar frequently suffer from eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia.

Bear in mind that these are only a few instances of the various mental health issues that can co-occur with bipolar illness; many others exist. In order to properly manage their symptoms, people with bipolar illness should undergo a comprehensive examination for any co-occurring disorders.

Note: Concurring disorders are not required to be present when wanting to visit Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health for bipolar disorder treatment. 

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Considering Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Millions of individuals all around the world suffer from bipolar disorder, which is both a serious mental illness and a fascinating psychological mystery. Mood, energy, and activity levels can fluctuate wildly in those with bipolar disorder, a condition of the brain. With the right therapy and access to community services, people with bipolar disorder may live fulfilling lives. In the preceding section, we presented an overview of the many treatment centres for bipolar disorder in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Bipolar illness often occurs alongside other mental health issues, such as alcohol and drug addictions and eating disorders. People with bipolar illness should undergo a comprehensive examination for any co-occurring disorders in order to properly manage their symptoms. At Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health, we treat individuals who may be struggling with bipolar disorder and are always available to help you or a loved one.

For more information, please email us directly at info@simcoerehab.ca or call 1-833-304-8181

Frequently Asked Questions: Bipolar Disorder

Yes, bipolar disorder is a disorder or mental illness that causes changes in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. 

The causes of bipolar disorder can be attributed to a myriad of factors including childhood trauma, substance abuse, environmental factors and genetics. 

Bipolar disorder can be inherited with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80% of the cause of the condition.  

The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of mental disorders does not place bipolar disorder as a personality disorder.  

Results from the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry show that the estimated prevalence of bipolar disorder was .087% of the Canadian population, 1 out of 1,153 people has bipolar disorder in Canada.

Bipolar disorder can affect family and friends by straining or fracturing relationships. People affected with bipolar disorder may feel more grief and guilt due to medical and interpersonal issues created in their lives. It should be noted that families can heal together with long-term therapy. 

A 2018 review found that up to 40% of bipolar disorder sufferers receive an incorrect diagnosis, most frequently major depressive illness. Even for doctors determining the best diagnosis can be challenging at times.

Although there is not cure for bipolar disorder there are strategies that can help people. Finding the right combination of medication coupled with behavioral therapy will allow a normal and productive life.  

If you are experiencing a medical or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.

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