Expert Bipolar Disorder Treatment in Malaysia
Seeing your loved one struggle with bipolar disorder can be upsetting. One moment they might seem overjoyed, and the next they might be depressed and sad. We understand how difficult this can be, especially if it’s disrupting everyday activities like school, relationships, and day-to-day tasks. It’s important to remember that your child isn’t doing this to get your attention – bipolar is a very real and complex disorder.
Characterised by frequent mood swings, bipolar disorder can be managed with the right treatment and care. At The Wave, we approach all conditions through the lens of trauma and the lens of being human. Bipolar might make life a little more challenging for young people, but that doesn’t mean they can’t flourish. In a stable and supportive environment, they’ll be able to learn how to better manage their condition and live a fulfilling life.
What Is It and How Does It Work?
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is treated by teaching young people how to manage their mood swings so that they can experience fewer highs and lows. At The Wave, we also offer a range of activities, team-building exercises, and educational opportunities as learning new skills and getting a fresh perspective can help relieve symptoms.
We take a holistic approach to treatment and combine traditional medical treatment with alternative therapies, activities, and days out to help young people build for their future.
During a young person’s time with us, we encourage them to eat well, follow a structured routine and exercise regularly to help them care for their body and mind. We fill their daily schedule with therapeutic sessions, life skills development, creative and enriching experiences, sports, and cultural activities.
What Is Early Onset Bipolar Disorder and How Do We Treat It?
Early Onset Mood Disorders
Early onset mood disorders can be difficult to recognise for parents, families and educators, sometimes resulting in delayed diagnosis. Mood disorders can negatively affect daily living for young people and receiving an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan make a huge difference to their lives.
Bipolar disorders are a chronic mental health condition that can show up in a variety of ways. Bipolar Disorder affects up to 4٪ of the population. The age that bipolar first appears and is diagnosed is hugely important in the long term treatment and outcomes. Early onset bipolar begins usually between the age of 14 and 21 years. The average age of onset is 17 years and affects all gender groups – bipolar symptoms that begin before puberty are very rare.
Early Onset Bipolar (EOBP) is often not diagnosed quickly which can cause delays in receiving appropriate treatment. EOBP is often seen with more severe depressive episodes and high levels of anxiety. Substance use (drugs/medication and alcohol) in young people with early onset bipolar is very common.
Exciting progress is being made in understanding the causes of bipolar disorder in adolescents. Research shows that there are some family or genetic links to bipolar disorder and that the environment or situations that children are in also play a part in the development of affective disorders. Recent research reveals that childhood trauma can negatively impact genes related to brain development and repair, potentially altering the structure of the brain in young individuals.
The Wave specialises in the treatment of mood disorders or affective disorders in teenagers and young people. Our team of child and adolescent specialists, led by consultant psychiatrists, work in harmony to formulate effective treatment plans to support our young people and their families. The Wave Team will carefully work within the family system to gather information and support recovery.
Medication is useful in the treatment of mood disorders for some young people. Families and young people may have views on the use of medication or type of medication that is prescribed. Our medical team will work with the family to explain the benefits and likelihood of success of medication over the short, medium and longer term.
Psychotherapy is known to be effective in the management of mood disorders; learning new skills to manage can be helpful in navigating life’s normal bumps in the road.
Psychotherapy together with medication is believed to be the most effective combination for the treatment of affective disorders including bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Young people who have the benefit of residential treatment receive both targeted medication and personalised treatment planning with psychotherapy that is chosen to be most useful to the young persons needs and circumstances.
Laying the groundwork for a bright life after recovery
The Seven Core Elements of Treatment
At The Wave, our programmes center around seven key elements to help young people develop skills in all areas of life. We also combine comprehensive care, evidence-based treatment options, and medical care to nurture the mind and body. All treatment programmes are fully personalised, and we always aim to help young people grow, heal, and learn new skills for their exciting futures.
During their stay at The Wave, young people will develop a newfound confidence in their abilities, values, and beliefs. We support them in forming inspiring goals for the future and assist them as they turn their dreams into reality.
Bipolar disorder often impacts relationships and the way young people approach situations. They might find it difficult to concentrate and focus and may feel like they don’t belong. Our clinical approach is designed to help them make peace with themselves and help them better understand their condition.
Working closely with a team of psychotherapists, young people will come to understand that no one is to blame for their behaviour, especially not themselves. They’ll also learn how to manage mood swings and their emotions better, making it easier for them to integrate with others and form relationships.
Some of our clinical treatment options include:
- Family therapy
- One-to-one therapy
- Expressive arts therapy
- Somatic therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Group therapy
Helping every person develop a sense of self-awareness, our clinical approach aims to give young people the tools needed to transform and stick to their recovery journey.
Medication can help young people manage symptoms of bipolar. At The Wave, our medical team conducts thorough assessments of each young person’s condition and psychological background so they can prescribe medication that suits their needs exactly. We know that everybody is unique, and that no two cases of bipolar disorder will be the same. That’s why our treatment approach is fully personalized.
Throughout the entire process, their medication will always be monitored. If they do experience any bad reactions or side effects, our care team will work with them to find a better-suited option. We also understand the importance of keeping parents and guardians updated, so we’ll regularly update whenever medication is changed or dosages are altered.
Although medication prescribed will depend on each individual’s needs, it may include mood stabilisers like Lithium, antipsychotic medication, and antidepressants. These are usually offered alongside other therapeutic treatment approaches and healing activities to support a holistic recovery.
Without treatment, bipolar disorder can make it difficult to focus and truly get the most out of school and educational opportunities. Bouts of depression and sadness followed by highs can make completing even the simplest of tasks a challenge. That’s why one of our seven elements is purely focused on education – we believe that all young people are capable of growing and reaching new heights. They just need the time, support, and care to get there.
Alongside therapy and medical treatment, we provide a range of educational opportunities designed to bolster a young person’s confidence and skills for life outside of our clinic. Whatever their dream is, we’re here to help arm them with the tools needed to achieve it.
Some of the educational pathways we offer include:
- International GAP-year experiences
- Continuation of GCSEs and A-Levels
- Vocational courses (London School of Art, Royal Horticultural Society, Leith’s School of Cookery, and The British Horse Society)
Each young person will have their own personal learning plan (PLP) to help them stick to their goals and set the foundations for a solid future.
Young people struggling with bipolar disorder often experience highs and lows, so it’s important for them to surround themselves with as much positive energy as possible. This is one of the reasons our global citizenship programme was created – to give everybody in our care the chance to help others and develop a sense of reward and accomplishment. This is called living and learning recovery, and is a great way of getting young people involved in the community and helping those around them.
As part of the programme, everyone will have a chance to take part in volunteering opportunities and get a first-hand view of how positive actions can impact people’s lives. Not only will helping and caring for others bring young people a sense of joy and pride, but it will also give them more perspective on how others are dealing with struggles and that they aren’t alone – there are many who are suffering in the world and in need of help.
At The Wave, recovery is about more than just managing symptoms. We offer a deep, transformative personal growth experience that can lead to a lifetime of mental and physical wellness.
We make use of our beautiful location and facilities to offer a range of experiential therapies and activities such as music, art, and drama therapy. Not only do these activity-based therapies give young people a creative outlet to express themselves, it also helps them develop new skills and hobbies for their future.
We combine a range of creative and holistic treatments into each of our young person’s treatment plans, including:
- Education on the food and body groups
- Mindful movement
- Tension, stress, and trauma release (TRE)
- Eating disorder informed yoga
- Education on nourishment and healthy eating
- Journalling and reflective writing
- Team sports and group challenges
Bipolar disorder often takes a toll on a young person’s mental and physical wellbeing, so our outside/inside approach gives them a chance to rebuild their health and understand what they can do to bring a little bit of peace to their everyday life. Activities such as journaling and regular exercise will give them a chance to express themselves in a healthy and productive way, instead of bottling up their emotions.
Cultivating a strong team spirit, sense of accomplishment, and fun into our treatment programmes is what sets our approach apart from others. We don’t just focus on medical and clinical treatment – we’re also keen to get our young people involved in fun challenges and experiences that will empower them and help them learn new life skills. Not only will this expose them to potential new hobbies, but will also help uplift and elevate their mood in times of depression or sadness.
That’s why one of our seven core elements is experiences. All young people have the chance to take part in a range of experiences and exciting adventures, including:
- Dance and drama productions
- Fashion design
- Batik painting
- Horse riding
- Jungle adventures
- Rock climbing
Bipolar disorder can often impact relationships and the way a young person approaches life. Our ‘experiences’ element is designed to help bolster their confidence to try new things and give them a chance to develop team-building skills.
No matter their condition, young people have got so much ahead of them, and we’re keen to help them realise their dreams and ambitions, giving them the tools and resources to set the cogs into motion.
Our dedicated care team works with each young person to develop an ongoing plan that will help ease them back into everyday life and transition healthily. We know that leaving behind the security and familiarity of treatment can be a little daunting, but we’re here to help each young person develop a set of goals and plans to work towards their future with confidence.
Having some kind of purpose when they leave our clinic will help set them up for their future and limit the chances of them returning to old habits. With a renewed sense of hope and inspiration, they’ll be more likely to stick to their goals and go on to lead a fulfilling life.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment Options
Recovering from Bipolar disorder
We offer a range of holistic Bipolar Disorder treatment options that tackles the condition at its root cause and offers healthy coping strategies for more difficult times, including:
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
IFS is a powerful, evidence-based therapy that can improve symptoms of bipolar disorder and transform a young person’s self-image and self-worth. It uses simple and effective techniques to help them understand their inner world and relate to themselves in a more generous and kind way. IFS additionally offers concrete steps to turn a critical inner voice into a positive one, reduce negative perceptions of the self, and manage impulsive urges.
At The Wave, every young person works with a lead therapist and recovery specialist who stays by their side and guides them throughout their treatment experience. The lead therapist oversees each treatment plan, consistently evaluating and adapting it accordingly to their changing needs. Our therapists also form weekly progress reports and keep family members updated on their loved one’s recovery journey.
When a young person has bipolar disorder, it often affects the whole family. In many cases, parents of young adults may feel stressed and overwhelmed. They may also experience the young person’s emotions, feel unsure of what is happening, and worry about their future.
At The Wave, we’re here to support the entire family. We offer psychoeducation to help family members understand bipolar disorders and answer any questions they have. We also ensure that family members remain updated about the young adult’s progress by offering regular updates. Family therapy also offers guidance on how best to support someone struggling with bipolar disorder and provides tools for coping in difficult times.
A fundamental aspect of treatment for bipolar disorder, group programming can take many forms, such as group psychoeducation, experiential team activities, and group therapy.Research has shown that group psychoeducation can help young people view themselves and their condition more positively and engage better with therapy.
At the Wave, group programming is an integral part of our programme. We believe in the power of community and strong relationships to relieve symptoms of bipolar, build self-acceptance and self-esteem, and create support systems that can guide young people through difficult times.
We work as groups during gardening activities, morning yoga sessions, and many other parts of the day. Meals are eaten together, and we strive to maintain a community atmosphere throughout our centre so young people can learn from and inspire one another.
Frequently asked questions
Bipolar Disorder FAQ's
Manic depression is an outdated term that the medical community no longer uses for bipolar disorder. Whilst people still use the term, bipolar disorder is a more accurate term to describe the condition.
The most significant difference between bipolar I and II is the severity of the manic episodes. People living with bipolar II tend to only experience hypomanic episodes, which are less severe than manic episodes. Bipolar II also usually involves more pronounced periods of depression.
Some people experience high and low symptoms at the same time. They may feel energetic and alert with racing thoughts whilst experiencing feelings of hopelessness and despair.
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