While the existence of any mental illness can elicit monumental disturbances in an individual’s life, conditions like bipolar disorder have the potential to produce chaos in the lives of those afflicted by it. An illness that induces oscillating moods that vary from feelings of euphoria to feelings of utter despair, bipolar disorder can cause sufferers to feel as though they have lost control of their minds. While some people with this illness will experience more emotional highs than emotional lows and vice versa, there are others still who suffer from rapid-cycling, in which their moods can change unexpectedly in a manner of minutes. The loss of control that individuals suffering from bipolar disorder experience on an ongoing basis can leave them feeling as though every day is an uphill battle.
At Sierra Tucson, we recognize how troubling and overwhelming it can be to face each day plagued by the symptoms of bipolar disorder and have therefore developed specialized programming options that are designed to meet the myriad of needs that sufferers of this mental health condition present with. The caring and compassionate staff at Sierra Tucson will do everything in their power to help the men and women who are entrusted into our care overcome their challenges and rediscover a happy and healthy life, free from the devastating symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Bipolar disorder does not only affect those who are suffering from the illness, but it affects the lives of those around sufferers as well. If you have a family member or loved one who is battling the ups and downs of bipolar disorder, it can be difficult to know what, if anything, you can do to help him or her. The following are some suggestions that you can consider as you work towards helping and supporting your loved one:
- Educate yourself on bipolar disorder so that you can gain somewhat of an understanding as to what your loved one is going through. Not only will this knowledge help you discover ways in which you can be of most help to your loved one, but it will also aid in providing you with a sense of empathy towards the trials your loved one is facing, assisting in alleviating some of the anger or frustration that his or her behaviors may elicit.
- Research various treatment options that specialize in providing care for bipolar disorder. Offer to accompany your loved one to any appointments that are scheduled for evaluations or tours of different treatment centers.
- Once your loved one has become engaged in treatment, be an active part of his or her therapeutic process. The more involved friends and family members are, the more likely individuals are to experience successful treatment outcomes.
- Adhere to recommendations that your loved one’s treatment providers offer so that you can help your loved one maintain continued success once he or she has completed treatment.
- Assist your loved one in remaining consistent in the taking of any medications that may be prescribed. It is not uncommon for people with bipolar disorder to maintain a steady regimen of taking their medications, only to suddenly stop taking them once they feel better. The repercussions of doing so, however, can be devastating. Allow your loved one’s treatment providers to guide you in this process.
- Remain an unconditional beacon of hope and support for your loved one. Remember that this is a troubling condition that will not immediately be healed. Patience is key.
Why Consider Treatment at Sierra Tucson
When men and women are suffering from the symptoms of bipolar disorder, they have many options for treatment interventions that they can partake in that will assist in alleviating their distressing concerns. When these people are denied access to treatment, however, the consequences can be devastating, far-reaching, and long-lasting. People with bipolar disorder often engage in problematic behaviors that are confusing to those around them, leaving them in a place of isolation, feeling misunderstood. During the euphoric highs that are characteristic of bipolar disorder, individuals are likely to engage in high-risk behaviors because they feel that they are invincible. Furthermore, drug and/or alcohol abuse is vast amongst people with bipolar disorder as they try to, consciously or unconsciously, self-medicate their distressing symptoms. The longer that the use and abuse of substances continues, the more likely these individuals are to experience overdose and the detrimental health consequences that occur as a result. Suicidal ideation is often a prominent aspect of the lives of people with bipolar disorder as well. Additionally, engaging in self-harming behaviors is common, rendering these individuals susceptible to countless adverse health consequences. Fortunately, by engaging in treatment, these detriments can be successfully avoided.
Types of Treatment Offered at Sierra Tucson
As an internationally known and respected treatment provider of medical, therapeutic, and experiential services, Sierra Tucson is pleased to offer state of the art treatment for a wide range of behavioral health concerns. Through the integration of evidence-based practices and integrative therapies, Sierra Tucson prides itself on being a leading provider of services that are effective in treating addictions and other behavioral health problems. Holistic and individualized treatment is cornerstone to the care offered at Sierra Tucson, and is provided by a staff of qualified and experienced. Sierra Tucson’s primary goal is to deliver services in such a manner that all who come to us for treatment will benefit from our services and resume the pursuit of a healthy and productive future.
Sierra Tucson includes Desert Flower Hospital, a 15-bed psychiatric hospital, and a 124-bed behavioral health residential treatment center, both of which are situated on the same campus. Patients who require immediate stabilization due to the presence of psychiatric concerns, such as those that may be associated with bipolar disorder, or those who are in need of medical detoxification services can receive these interventions at Desert Flower prior to engaging in Sierra Tucson’s residential care. Following completion of the programming at Desert Flower, patients will then engage in the comprehensive treatment offered at Sierra Tucson’s behavioral health residential treatment center.
Treatment for bipolar disorder is delivered through Sierra Tucson’s Mood and Anxiety Program. Offered within our behavioral health residential treatment center, services supplied in this program are designed to produce the most favorable outcomes for all patients. The neuropsychiatric treatment provided in this program is designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit in a naturally scenic, tranquil setting that offers around-the-clock care. Using an interdisciplinary team approach through a customized blend of conventional, complementary, and evidence-based treatments, the caring and compassionate staff strives to support each person’s unique capacity to flourish and achieve overall wellness. The all-encompassing goal of the Mood and Anxiety Program is to help patients decrease the symptoms that plague them, while also helping them to gain the tools needed to resume healthy daily functioning, free from the turmoil elicited by the manic highs and depressive lows of bipolar disorder.
The intensive nature of this program incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy workshops in addition to continuously providing psychodynamic therapy throughout the various aspects of the therapeutic process. Patients engaged in the Mood and Anxiety Program are offered the following treatment methods, which are outlined in each person’s individualized treatment plan, as well as in Sierra Tucson’s daily treatment schedules:
Medication management: The use of psychotropic medications, including mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and/or antianxiety agents, are cornerstone to successfully treating the symptoms of, and alleviating the distress that results from, bipolar disorder. The need for medication, however, is always determined on a case-by-case basis. Patients engaged in the Mood and Anxiety Program are seen by a psychiatrist or attending physician on a weekly basis in order to determine the need for medication, monitor medication, and adjust any medication that has been prescribed. Registered nurses and clinical technicians also assist in monitoring a patient’s medication needs.
Individual therapy: Upon entering the Mood and Anxiety Program, each patient is assigned a primary therapist with whom they will meet at least once each week. All individual sessions are conducted by Master’s level clinicians and licensed psychologists and are designed to afford patients the opportunity to discuss his or her progress in treatment, address any concerns that may arise, and process through various feelings that he or she is experiencing.
Group therapy: At the time that patients are admitted into the Mood and Anxiety Program, they are assigned to a small group of peers, all of whom are engaged in the same program. This group will meet together for therapy sessions four times per week. In addition to serving as a general process group, topics that are covered during these group sessions may include, but are not limited to:
- Healing anxiety
- Managing stress
- Learning about codependency and coping skills
- Learning about holistic options for healthy living
- Learning tools for how to express anger in a healthy and productive manner
- Relapse prevention
- Working through grief and loss
- Identifying and processing feelings of shame to move to a place of resilience
Four Day Family Program: Recognizing the important role of loved ones in the lives of patients, Sierra Tucson includes the Four Day Family program for family members and other close identified loved ones of patients. This program typically occurs during a patient’s third week of treatment and allows loved ones to engage in the therapeutic process to practice healthy communication and boundaries with understanding and support. Family members and loved ones can attend psychoeducational lectures, process groups, and a family dinner that can unify a family unit in a powerful way. Lastly, loved ones can remain in contact with a patient’s primary therapist should questions or concerns arise during the course of treatment.
Therapeutic Recreational Activities Program: In order to help patients build a stronger sense of self and increased confidence as they overcome the symptoms of bipolar disorder, this program offers patients a myriad of therapeutic activities, which are conducted daily or on a weekly basis. A patient’s participation in such activities will be outlined in his or her treatment plan and may include the following:
- Enhanced equine therapy
- Adventure therapy (including a ropes course and rock wall)
- Art therapy
- Play therapy
- Personal training
- Movement therapy
- Opportunities for additional exercise
- Chi Kung
Additional services: In order to fully care for the needs of those who are working through the symptoms of bipolar disorder, Sierra Tucson is proud to offer a number of additional services through an innovative approach to treatment. Special time is set aside for selected individual appointments which will be outlined in one’s treatment plan in order to address individualized needs. Such services may include, but are not limited to:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Psychological testing
- Acupuncture – occurs at least once per week
- Biofeedback – occurs at least once per week
- Somato-emotional response massage (SER massage) – occurs at least once per week
- SE (Somatic Experiencing) – occurs at least twice per week
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) – occurs at least twice per week
Furthermore, each day will end on a positive note by allowing patients to gather together and reflect through a Gifts and Blessings Ceremony.
Should a patient require stabilization services while engaged in Sierra Tucson’s residential programming, he or she is able to partake in the services supplied by Desert Flower Hospital before returning to residential treatment. The staff of professionals conducts an ongoing assessment of each patient’s progress and needs and offers assistance in making this transition smooth so as to continue the process of healing with as little disruption as possible.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
Sierra Tucson’s method for providing all-encompassing care for every patient who comes for treatment includes thorough discharge planning and continuing care services that are second-to-none. Once a patient engages in services to treat bipolar disorder at Sierra Tucson, a comprehensive continued care plan is devised so that they can remain successful once treatment is complete. Those partaking in the services at Desert Flower Hospital meet with continued care staff to assess each individual’s needs and plan for discharge. Those engaged in the residential programming at Sierra Tucson meet with the same continued care staff and regional outreach specialists and partake in lectures and one-on-one planning sessions to ensure quality referrals and to establish any follow-up appointments that may be required once they have been discharged.
Furthermore, patients exiting the residential programming, along with their family members, can benefit from The Connections Program. This program includes 12-month-long case management services that are in place to offer ongoing and substantial support to former patients. A representative from this program contacts patients 48 hours after they are discharged and is available to assist these individuals in seeking and receiving the additional services they need in order to remain successful in the process of healing and recovery.
Lastly, former patients can take part in the Alumni Services affiliated with Sierra Tucson. These services include groups offered through outpatient centers, which are located across the United States.
If you or a loved one wishes to receive the superior care that has improved the lives of many individuals who have struggled with bipolar disorder, look no further than Sierra Tucson. The life you have envisioned can begin here.