Bipolar Disorder: Cognitive Deficits of Which You May Not Be Aware

By Samantha Glosser

When you hear the term “bipolar disorder” your first thoughts are most likely about the cycle of elevated and depressed moods, of extreme highs and extreme lows. This is to be expected, as these states of mania and depression are hallmark features of bipolar disorder, and they are typically the symptoms highlighted by mainstream media. In mania, individuals exhibit symptoms of high energy, decreased need for sleep, feelings of euphoria, extreme irritability, and impulsivity. In a depressive state, individuals display symptoms of low energy, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, avolition, and suicidal ideation.

Sometimes there can be more to bipolar disorder than just these symptoms. For some, after the onset of bipolar disorder symptoms, there is a marked decrease in cognitive capacity across a few different areas. Typical cognitive deficits reported with bipolar disorder include the following: difficulties with working memory, such as word retrieval, and executive functioning, such as problems with planning, prioritizing, and organizing behavior. Individuals also experience difficulties retaining information that was just presented to them and can even experience slowed thought processes. These adverse cognitive impacts appear at both polarities of mood. It is also important to distinguish between two types of cognitive deficits: mood-phase specific and enduring. Mood-phase specific cognitive deficits are typical to most individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as these symptoms are only present during periods of mood intensity. Enduring deficits, on the other hand, will remain present even when an individual has sustained a period of partial remission or is at a baseline level of functioning (i.e., they are not experiencing mania or depression). Not everyone diagnosed with bipolar disorder experiences enduring cognitive deficits. Individuals with a history of higher acuity symptoms, as well as individuals with a history of treatment resistant symptoms, treatment non-compliance, and/or unhealthy lifestyle choices are more likely to suffer from enduring cognitive deficits.

If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from bipolar disorder, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/


Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/bipolar-you/201412/cognitive-deficit-in-bipolar-disorder

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Holding Down a Job with Bipolar Disorder

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If you suffer from bipolar disorder, keeping a job can be difficult, at times painful. Not just because of the manic or depressive episodes, but because of the stigma that comes with having the disorder itself. What to do if you have bipolar disorder and are worried about the future of your job? It’s helpful to focus on some goals.

    1. For starters, accept the fact that you have an illness. You are not responsible for having it, but you are responsible for taking care of it.
    2. Learn what makes you feel better. What distracts you from the pain of your depressive episodes? What makes you happy? Maybe it’s reading a book or going out with friends. Whatever the case, look forward to these things — and do them.
    3. Practice coping statements like I have been through these episodes many times. I will get through them.

You may find the pursuit of these three goals therapeutic. Following your goals, combined with medication and actual therapy, may stabilize your mind and emotions and help you keep that job. If you believe or a loved one suffer from bipolar disorder and are having occupational difficulties, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200711/holding-down-job-bipolar

Bipolar Disorder: Signs and Symptoms

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Bipolar Disorder: Signs and Symptoms

Catherine Ferreira

Bipolar disorder has a history of being greatly misunderstood. Often confused with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), it is an affliction whereby the afflicted goes through on-and-off periods of mania and depression. Symptoms for bipolar depression include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Change in weight (not due to dieting)
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Fidgety OR slow
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
  • Poor concentration or having difficulty making decisions
  • Thinking about death or suicide

On the other hand, symptoms of bipolar mania include:

  • Exaggerated beliefs of having power, importance or ability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Extremely talkative
  • Rapidly changing, unrelated or racing thoughts
  • Easily distracted
  • Extremely driven behavior
  • Risky behavior

How to deal with bipolar disorder in a way that goes beyond medication? Simple: psychotherapy and support groups.

If you or a loved one experience the above symptoms, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source : http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder-symptom-information?driverbipolarsymptoms

Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

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By: Michelle J. Hong

As most of us know, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that induces the two mental states of mania and depression. These two polar opposite states can cause elevated energy levels, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, etc. Because of this constant war of going back and forth between the two mental states, individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder tend to self-medicate to feel “normal”. Unfortunately, often these individuals do not realize that drugs and alcohol have the opposite effect on their illness, and exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Self-medication usually includes all types of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, illegally obtained prescription pills, and other mood-altering substances. Approximately 60% of people who suffer from bipolar disorder experience substance abuse at least once in their lifetime. People who exhibit both bipolar disorder and drug and alcohol problems have a dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and substance abuse, but it is important to locate a psychologist, a psychiatric nurse, or a psychologist who can correctly diagnose this. When individuals with bipolar disorder use drugs and alcohol while taking mood-stabilizing medication, it can often interfere with the medication’s effectiveness and create chemical imbalances in the brain that can worsen the manic and depressive episodes. Substance abuse effects can mask the symptoms of bipolar disorder, resulting in incorrect treatment. In order to prevent misdiagnosis of individuals with both bipolar disorder and substance abuse, the substance abuse needs to stop. Once individual no longer abuses substances, a proper evaluation and diagnosis can take place. Dual diagnosis treatments are becoming more common to accurately diagnose both disorders and give the most fitting treatment for these individuals.

 

If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from bipolar disorder and/or substance abuse, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information

 

Sources:

http://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/dual-diagnosis/bipolar-disorder-substance-abuse/

http://www.addictionsearch.com/treatment_articles/article/understanding-the-connection-between-drug-addiction-and-bipolar-disorder_108.html