Overview

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious and disruptive mental illness that causes the patient to experience a mix of moods and behaviors ranging from high to low. This disorder can cause manic episodes and depressive episodes.

Manic episodes

During a high or manic episode, someone with bipolar disorder may feel invincible and take excessive risks. Some or many of the following symptoms often accompany the high phase of a bipolar disorder, including:

  • An irritable mood
  • Mood swings
  • An abnormal, persistent and elevated mood
  • Grandiose behavior
  • A sense of heightened self-esteem
  • Excessive talking
  • Racing thoughts
  • Switching topics in mid-sentence
  • Fewer hours spent sleeping
  • High distractibility or agitation
  • Excessive spending
  • Sexual indiscretions
  • Poor judgment

Depressive episodes

During a low or depressive episode, a bipolar sufferer will likely exhibit many of the symptoms associated with clinical depression. Some or many of the following symptoms often accompany the depressive phase of a bipolar disorder, including:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Discouragement
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of emotion/pleasure regarding previously pleasurable activities
  • Frequent crying spells
  • Persistent anger
  • Appetite changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Slowed speech
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Indifference to public appearance
  • Difficulty completing tasks

Treatment

Individuals with bipolar disorder often find relief from their symptoms with medications to stabilize their moods, psychotherapy, support groups and in some cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in which electrical current is used to restore brain chemistry.

Self-care is important for patients with bipolar disorder, especially during depressive episodes. It may be helpful to:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat well-balanced meals on a routine schedule
  • Avoid drugs or alcohol
  • Spend time doing activities you enjoy with people you like
  • Allow yourself to take things slowly or say no to additional responsibilities

If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, contact our specialists for an evaluation your and help with managing your symptoms.

The Stone Institute of Psychiatry offers treatments for a range of disorders, including:

Treatment options offered include:

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