Brookhaven Retreat Celebrates History of Bipolar Awareness

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Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, marks February 14 by offering advice about bipolar disorder treatment.

February 14 marks the origin of the concept of bipolar disorder. On this date in 1854, Jean-Pierre Falret presented the first description of bipolar disorder as a mental illness to the French Imperial Academy of Medicine. What he defined was a circular illness punctuated by manic and melancholic episodes that were separated by symptom-free periods.

In their 2000 research paper, “Historical Perspectives and the Natural History of Bipolar Disorder,” authors Jules Angst, MD and Robert Sellaro, BSc, wrote, “we owe the categorization of bipolar disorder as an illness to Falret.” Today, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 5.6 million American adults suffer from bipolar disorder.

If left untreated, bipolar disorder can become a severe, life-hindering disorder. Women with bipolar often suffer from damaged relationships and careers, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and irritability.

However, medication alone rarely helps women achieve emotional stability, and, according to researchers from the University of California in San Diego, residual depressive symptoms are the norm rather than the exception.

Holistic treatment looks beyond medication to include many aspects of life necessary to creating a happy whole. Brookhaven Retreat embraces this philosophy and analyzes all aspects of a woman’s life, including such things as diet, exercise and sleep habits, to help her make the lifestyle and behavioral changes required to ensure that recovery and healing may occur.

Treatment of bipolar disorder has progressed significantly in the last 150 years. It has gone from a barely understood illness to, according to the NIMH, one of the most common mood disorders diagnosed today. By creating a comprehensive recovery plan rather than simply relying on medication, women ensure a strong foundation and cultivate effective therapy skills so that recovery may continue toward long-term mental wellness.

To mark Falret’s historical contribution to mental health treatment, Brookhaven Retreat focuses on increasing awareness of the importance of holistic treatment for bipolar disorder. By encouraging lifestyle and behavioral changes and integrating a variety of treatment techniques that include DBT therapy and family therapy, Brookhaven Retreat helps women develop the self-love and therapy techniques required to create a life worth living.

By looking at the bigger picture that encompasses medication rather than relies on it, women make the changes necessary to create healthy, happy lives worth living.

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Amy Massaglia
Brookhaven Retreat
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