What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is a type of mood disorder that has periods of depression that alternate with periods of mood elevation called mania. Frequently the depression is severe and includes sadness, low energy, excessive sleep and potential thoughts of suicide. Mania can include excessive energy, talking and thinking excessively, feelings special and starting new projects. Impulsive buying, increasing sexual drive and poor judgement are often present. If mania or depression become severe, psychotic symptoms may be present as well including auditory or visual hallucinations and/or unclear thinking.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Mood swings can vary from depression with sadness, lethargy, low self esteem and feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts to mania with high energy, less need for sleep, impulsive behaviors like excessive spending. Mood changes can last from several days to weeks and can greatly impact all aspects of your life. Increasingly bipolar disorder is understood as a spectrum meaning sometimes the mood changes are extreme, in others a pattern of varying shifts that influence your life’s decisions on work, career, academic focus and relationship commitments.
Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
Treatment is tailored to our understanding of your mood shifts. Anticipating and being alert to the changes in your mood that can inadvertently influence key decisions. After exploring other medical conditions that can ‘mimic’ bipolar symptoms we may discuss the potential benefits of medication to enhance stability of your mood.