Bipolar Disorder is a condition involving emotional highs and lows.  The highs, called manic episodes, involve periods lasting a few days or more of unusually cheerful, happy, or irritable mood.  The lows, called depressive episodes, involve periods lasting several days or more involving depressed mood or loss of interest, and symptoms such as changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, attention and concentration, self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts or actions.

Approximately two-thirds of all patients who are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder suffer from at least one other co-occurring disorder. In other words, Bipolar Disorder is more likely to require careful diagnosis and treatment as a cluster of conditions rather than a single disorder.

One of the most common co-occurring conditions with Bipolar Disorder is Drug and Alcohol Abuse. If you are interested in learning more about treatment options for Bipolar Disorder and co-occurring Substance Abuse, please click the link above for additional information. If you would like to learn more about Bipolar Disorder, please continue reading below.

How The Arroyos Can Help With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is considered to be spectrum of disorders ranging in severity.  The most severe condition, Bipolar I Disorder, involves having manic symptoms that interfere with work, school, or social functioning.  Bipolar I symptoms last at least 1 week, may include psychotic experiences, and may require hospitalization.  Bipolar II Disorder is less severe, with manic symptoms lasting 4 days or more and not so severe as to significantly affect work, school, or social functioning.  Cyclothymic Disorder occurs when the patient experiences two years of continuous low grade
manic and depressive symptoms that are not so severe as to fit Bipolar I or Bipolar II diagnoses.

At The Arroyos, bipolar disorder is diagnosed by psychologists and psychiatrists through interviews and psychological testing.  An individual with bipolar disorder may also have other psychiatric diagnoses such as an anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a drug or alcohol addiction, trauma-based disorders, or medical conditions such as cardiac illness, thyroid disease, or diabetes.  If present, these co-occurring disorders also need to be diagnosed and a comprehensive treatment plan must be created to treat all of the patient’s conditions.  Treatment typically consists of medications and psychotherapy in an appropriate setting to manage the patient’s symptoms and behavior.

Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

Psychotherapy for bipolar disorder at The Arroyos involves treatments that include psychoeducation addressing the bipolar condition to help the patient and his or her family learn more about bipolar disorder and develop coping skills to manage bipolar symptoms and the effect these have on the family.  Our office staff can accommodate the patient’s schedule if he or she is working or managing a household.

The Arroyos offers three types of bipolar-specific psychotherapy.  Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy identifies current interpersonal problems and develops effective coping skills as well as stabilizes and 24 hour circadian rhythms.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Bipolar Disorder identifies dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behavior and helps the patient develop healthy alternatives in order to live a more effective life.  Family Focused Therapy, in which the patient and his or her family come in for family therapy, addresses problem-solving skills and improved communication among family members.

Medications for Bipolar Disorder

Medications for bipolar disorder are managed at The Arroyos by a board certified staff psychiatrist. Our psychiatrists collaborate closely with the patient’s therapist to provide integrated care. The patient may be given a mood stabilizer, an antidepressant, and sometimes medications for agitation, anxiety, insomnia, or psychosis. Special care must be given to avoid addictive medications for patients who have a drug or alcohol addiction problem. When patients have co-occurring conditions such as ADHD or ongoing depression, medications for these disorders may conflict with the primary treatment of the bipolar disorder. In such instances the psychiatrist often will stabilize the primary bipolar disorder first, and treat the additional conditions when the bipolar disorder is stable.

Partial Hospitalization Program

The Arroyos operates a Partial Hospitalization Program from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Meals are provided weekdays between 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  We offer a less intense Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) three hours a day, three to five days a week, with flexibility as to which days the patient attends. The Day Treatment Program has patients who are coping with a variety of psychological disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety disorders, and psychotic disorders, sometimes with co-occurring chemical dependency diagnoses.  The program consists of a wide variety of group therapy experiences which can be viewed by clicking here. The Program is coed and patients with a variety of different conditions attend it.

Our Partial Hospitalization Program patients also have individual psychotherapy sessions three times a week with a licensed clinical psychologist who is an expert in treating depression.  Each patient also see a board certified psychiatrist for medication management once a week.

Those patients who are also suffering from co-occurring chemical dependency problems such as alcohol and drug abuse problems find that in many respects the Day Treatment Program operates like a depression rehab center.  The program includes Chemical dependency relapse prevention groups three times a week. Patients with depression who do not need PHP or IOP may attend a single group or choose a few groups to attend at their convenience. If you would like to speak with us about the Day Treatment Program, The Arroyos PHP, or The Arroyos IOP, please contact us by calling (877) 884-8272 for further information.

Transitional Living Program for Bipolar Disorder

Clients may choose to live in The Arroyos Transitional Living facility, a safe and secure private home in a beautiful residential community. Resident enjoy opportunities to visit the greater Pasadena area with shopping plazas, movie theaters, the Rose Bowl, mountain hiking trails, and more.  Extended stay residents can sign up for classes, volunteer activities, and part-time employment.