What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by extreme shifts in mood or personality seemingly without any cause. It can affect the ability to concentrate properly and perform simple daily activities due to unusual mood swings or changes in energy levels. One second, you could be feeling very “up” and elated, and the next feel extremely irritable and disassociated. These extreme shifts are called “manic” episodes and are what cause the extreme highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a very difficult condition to deal with due to the dramatic shifts in mood and personality that it is associated with. Those affected by this condition may have trouble managing their daily lives and leading an ordinary life in regards to work as well as their relationships. There is no cure for this mental condition, but identifying the condition early on and receiving proper treatment is critical for keeping symptoms at bay.
There are three common types of bipolar disorder that all involve sudden shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels:
This is one of the most common forms and is defined by having at least 7 days of manic episodes that result in an immediate need for hospitalization in order to control symptoms. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depressive symptoms and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
Bipolar II is characterized by a regular pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but are not as severe as the manic episodes that are typically found with Type I. It is a less severe form of the disorder that can sometimes lead to more severe symptoms if left unchecked.
Also known as Cyclothymia, this form of bipolar disorder is identified by periods of hypomanic symptoms and depressive symptoms that last for at least 2 years. The symptoms of this mild condition do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode or a depressive episode. It is another example of a mild form of this mental disorder.
Bipolar disorder is most often diagnosed in adolescence, but can also develop later in life due to hormonal and neurologic changes caused by pregnancy or exposure to extreme stress. Although the symptoms may vary over time, the bipolar disorder most often requires lifelong treatment. Following a professional and personalized treatment plan can help you manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.
How Bipolar Disorder Is Treated
Proper diagnosis and treatment for those suffering from bipolar disorder are critical to helping improve symptoms and allow for a more normal and active daily life. We take care to ensure we properly understand your symptoms and medical history because depression and bipolar disorder can sometimes get confused.
Once your condition is properly identified, we match only the latest scientifically-backed treatments and therapies to your unique situation in order to help you manage symptoms and make forward progress. While there is no cure, our treatment methods are designed to help educate you on what you are going through and provide therapies that help you lead a healthy, normal lifestyle. We strive to provide our patients with friendly, patient, and proven treatment plans that give you the tools to succeed and gain control over your condition.