Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of depression and mania. Manic episodes consist of symptoms that include (but are not limited to) increased self-esteem, increase in risky activities, excitability, and grandiosity. The symptoms that occur during a manic episode make it easier for individuals to experience hypersexuality. Individuals experiencing hypersexuality may deal with symptoms such as a heightened interest in sex, a higher sexual confidence, an increase in sexual experiences and partners, sexual complusivity, a willingness to to experiment with different sexual practices, and engaging in risky sexual behaviors. It can be extremely difficult for individuals as they struggle to feel satisfied and manage the urges they have. Living with a mood disorder can be challenging. Hypersexuality can be difficult because it affects the individual and their partner. People can live with and manage bipolar disorder and symptoms like hypersexuality. The first step is to be aware of the issues so they can be addressed.
Therapy is a helpful way to manage a mood disorder. Hypersexuality can be a symptom of the disorder. Addressing the disorder can affect the impact of hypersexuality. It can be helpful to discuss hypersexuality with a therapist as well. There are times when the symptoms point to a sexual addiction. Having a professional involved can help individuals understand the issues present and address them.
There are medications that can help people mange symptoms of bipolar. Medications address the depression and the mania aspects of bipolar which help with symptoms of hypersexuality. It is important to work with a professional through this process because individuals can also experience hyposexuality which includes a decreased desire in sex. Finding the right balance is important for each individual.
Identify potential triggers
There are potential triggers that can push individuals into depressive episodes or manic episodes. For example, a person might realize that times of high stress at work often result in a manic episode. Managing their stress may help them avoid some manic episodes. It is also helpful to identify symptoms or warning signs that a manic episode or depressive episode is imminent. For some people, hypersexuality may be an indicator that a manic episode is on the horizon. Having an awareness of triggers and symptoms can help individuals get ahead and manage the mood disorder.
Develop and utilize healthy coping skills
It is important for individuals to have healthy ways of managing symptoms of bipolar. Self-medicating through alcohol, drugs, or sex might be some common ways people work to manage symptoms. However, they can cause more harm than good for the person. People can work to identify ways to care for themselves in general as well as when they are in the middle of a depressive or a manic episode. Utilizing healthy ways of coping can help them prevent and manage symptoms.
Mood disorders can be difficult for people to live with. However, when most people are able to identify a treatment plan that works for them, they are able to manage symptoms of the disorder and live the life they want to live.
Michelle Overman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working as a counselor for students, faculty, and staff at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. She works with athletes, bridging the gap between athletics and mental health at ACU. She is becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant in sports psychology. Michelle ran her own private practice in Austin, Texas where she worked with a diverse population, including couples and families. Michelle earned a Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy and has been working in the field for 6 years.