The wonderfully compassionate staff at Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital has had many years of experience working with men and women who have bipolar disorder. We’ve helped restore hope to individuals who feel hopeless, stabilize those overwhelmed with their lives, and teach the coping skills necessary for individuals who have bipolar disorder to lead joyful and fulfilled lives.
What is bipolar disorder?
At Cascade we know that you have probably been suffering from mood swings and other difficulties for some time. Perhaps you’ve been told what you are experiencing is a normal part of aging. Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with unipolar depression and treated with medication, but have noticed the medication isn’t helping or perhaps even seems to have made matters worse.
We understand how difficult it can be to experience shifting moods and not be able to predict when the next episode will occur or to know how much control you will have over managing your own life when it happens. You may also feel alone as you struggle with your moods as perhaps you don’t have the social network or family life you once did. The shifts in mood likely have left you exhausted and the anxiety experienced between moods stages has probably added to this sense of fatigue.
Some look forward to the upswings in mood despite the problems they cause, as that is the only time they feel energetic and motivated to pursue something enjoyable. This makes the lows all the worse, however, due to the contrast between the depression and the positive feelings experienced during the manic phase. In addition, you may have other symptoms you are struggling with including:
- Feeling as if you have no worth or value to contribute to family or community
- A sense of helplessness over the perceived inability to control your surroundings
- Feeling as if everything around you has slowed down
- Trouble sleeping and waking early in the morning with feelings of fatigue lasting through the next day
- Feeling confused or disoriented
- Moving faster than usual perhaps resulting in accidents or falls
- Feeling agitated, irritable or frustrated
- Finding that you have difficulty thinking logically or following a train of thought
- Feeling as if you are talking much faster than normal or rambling
At Cascade we know how difficult your life may have become as you struggle with symptoms of bipolar and possibly a diagnosis that doesn’t seem to fit what you are experiencing. You don’t have to suffer any longer. We are here to help you. We will evaluate not just your symptoms but also get to know you as a person in order to design the most appropriate intervention for your specific needs.
Why seek treatment for bipolar disorder for seniors at Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital
When you come to Cascade you don’t become just another patient, you become one of our family. Our trained and experienced staff is dedicated to learning who you are as a person and not a constellation of symptoms. Our staff is aware of the staggering effects that seniors with bipolar disorder suffer from and they are here to support you. If you are like others with late-onset bipolar disorder you likely have become overly aware of and focused on bodily functioning until perhaps you are interpreting normal aches and pains as an indication of a serious illness or disease. Many suffering from this condition also report being troubled by a decreased ability to plan, remember recently learned information, indecisiveness, and an impaired ability to solve basic problems. Overall, those who suffer from late-onset bipolar disorder come to the point of feeling unable to function normally in all areas of their life.
We know how hard it is to seek inpatient treatment for your difficulties especially if you have already begun treatment at an outpatient, but have felt it hasn’t resulted in the outcomes you would like. This is probably one of the hardest decisions you will ever make, especially given the way your fluctuating mood states and associated symptoms may be effecting your confidence in your decision making.
We will always have the utmost respect for your courage in doing what it takes to care for yourself and improve your life. As we get to know you, we will learn how best to provide you with support as you begin to get your life back together and learn new skills including techniques for coping with stress, life transitions and ways to rebuild or establish relationships.
Treatment philosophy and benefits
At Cascade, we are committed to making sure that the environment you enter when you come to us for help will inspire the healing process. This type of environment allows you to constantly work on your difficulties even when it seems like you’re just relaxing between treatment sessions. The consistency within the unit provides a sense of predictability and trust and communicates feelings of belonging, membership, and respect between group members.
At Cascade we are not interested in success demonstrated while you’re in our program but are committed to viewing your health and healing based on a life-long perspective. Looking to the future and helping you to do so, underlies everything we seek to accomplish. We are dedicated to continuing care and ensuring we are accessible to you even after you have completed treatment with us for small or large issues. We will always be available and are always just a phone call away.
We meet your specific needs along with those of your family and significant others who are important in your life. We are also strong advocates of focusing treatment on the entire person and incorporate your spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological characteristics as we use holistic methods to help you move back towards an optimal level of functioning. Despite how out of control your life may currently feel, we will help you identify the best options for controlling your symptoms, restoring relationships, and starting on the path back towards living a normal life.
Treatment approaches for late-onset bipolar disorder at Cascade Behavioral Health Hospital
Your individual treatment plan will take into account the severity of your symptoms, the length of time between mood episodes, other conditions you may have, and medications you may be taking. As the more extreme forms of mania can lead to serious or potentially dangerous consequences, it is important to engage in risk management quickly to eliminate potential irreversible effects. At Cascade we also use psychotherapy to treat Late-Onset Bipolar Disorder. Psychotherapy is most effective when used in combination with medication.
Medication: You will undergo a comprehensive assessment in order to determine the best techniques and treatments to incorporate into your intervention plan, but there is a heavy focus on the medication evaluation in order to identify and begin you on a medication in order to decrease your extreme mood states as quickly as possible.
Psychotherapy: At Cascade we offer several types of psychotherapy to help you gain control over your mood related symptoms. We use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in individual and group therapy modalities. These approaches help you learn new ways of coping with stress and the consequences of living with bipolar disorder in addition to increasing your tolerance for extreme emotional states to prevent you from misinterpreting normal changes in mood as a return of your illness. CBT helps you learn to alter maladaptive thought processes while DBT focuses on balancing acceptance of past event which can’t be changed with focusing on what can be changed in the here and now.
When psychotherapy is used in conjunction with medication, most individuals experience a significant decrease in symptoms which can be maintained long term with the proper follow-up.
Family Therapy: We recognize the importance of the family in your life and ensure that family sessions are incorporated into your treatment. Our aim is for others in your life to gain a better understanding of your disorder, treatment process, and what to expect in the future, as well as to learn ways to support you as you adjust to living with a chronic condition. As you begin to view your illness as manageable your family will also see the changes you are making in your life and be better able to help encourage you in the process.
Experiential Programs: At Cascade we recognize that coping with the symptoms and consequences of late-onset bipolar disorder is difficult whether you are currently in an extreme mood state or worrying about the next one. That is why we offer experiential opportunities to engage in activities that will continue to help you grow toward a better life through the use of more relaxed techniques. To that end, we offer:
- Relapse Prevention Skills
- Recreation Opportunities
- Spiritual Therapy/ Spiritual consultation
- Relaxation Skills
- Socialization Opportunities
Continuing care – what comes next?
At Cascade we strongly believe in continuity of care and offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that will help you to continue working towards goals that will maximize your quality of life without interruption. This program is designed with the same philosophy and treatment techniques as our inpatient program. This allows transitioning from one to another smooth and stress free. Progress isn’t always straight forward and sometimes people working on one difficulty discover there are other issues they need to address as well. This may necessitate a different approach or program and our staff is always monitoring individuals in order to pick up on a change in needs as quickly as possible and alter your treatment plan as necessary.
We understand that even when individuals have shown a decrease in symptoms during treatment the fear of relapse frequently continues to be a concern. We are committed to taking the utmost care in helping you to determine the best and most comfortable next step for you to take as you work to not just establish a normal life but to establish the ability to live life to its fullest.
Serving the Greater Seattle Area
Our location in Tukwila near Seattle, Washington allows for us to serve residents from all over the SeaTac region – including Renton, Burien, and Des Moines. Call us today to begin the process of recovering from suicidal thoughts.