What You Need to Know About: Bipolar Disorder

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings that negatively impact day-to-day life. A person with bipolar disorder will experience manic and depressive episodes. These episodes can vary in length, from a few days to a few months, depending on the type of bipolar disorder.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

  • Mania: A manic episode is characterized by elevated energy levels, restlessness, risky behavior, lack of concentration, aggressiveness, increased self-esteem, and sometimes delusions or hallucinations.
  • Hypomania: A hypomanic state is similar to a manic episode, however it is not as severe.
  • Depression: A depressive episode is characterized by sadness, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, decreased energy levels, changes in sleep patterns, difficulty making decisions, and thoughts of suicide.
  • Mixed: A mixed episode included symptoms of both a manic and depressive episode simultaneously.

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed and treated?

Bipolar disorder is diagnosed with an in-person interview with a trained mental health professional. The interview will cover your symptoms and your family’s medical history.

Treatment of bipolar disorder includes medication and psychotherapy in order to manage episodes. Medications can help stabilize mood swings. Psychotherapy is also very important since it will teach you how to coping with and anticipate mood swings. Additionally, you will learn how to develop a routine and develop healthy relationships.
If you think you or a loved one may have bipolar disorder, click here to browse Urban Balance therapists who specialize in bipolar disorder.
To browse bipolar disorder resources, click here.
Tartakovsky, M. (2015). Bipolar Disorder Fact Sheet. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 15, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/bipolar-disorder-fact-sheet/

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