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Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is often misunderstood by many people today. A common misconception is that people with bipolar disorder have major mood swings during a single day.


Treatment Plans to Manage Bipolar Disorder in Adults

 

A tree shaped like a face with no leaves on half of it

Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic-depressive illness, causes a person to experience unusual changes in mood and energy levels. This disorder may present as depression, mania/hypomania or a mixture of both symptoms and can negatively impact one's ability to function normally. 

Severe depression associated with Bipolar Disorder may also lead to suicidal thoughts. If you or a loved one struggles with mental health and has an emergency or feels suicidal, please call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

It is essential to get a proper diagnosis before beginning Bipolar Disorder treatment, as the symptoms can be easily overlooked or confused with another diagnosis. Our psychiatric specialists will assess your symptoms and help you find the best treatment for bipolar disorder. 

Find out about what to expect at your first consultation and schedule an appointment with one of our providers. Our office is conveniently located in St. Louis Park and easy to access from Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs.

What are the common symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Everyone experiences mood changes, from feeling good or happy to bad or sad, depending on life circumstances. However, people with Bipolar Disorder experience severe highs and lows that are more drastic than typical mood changes. These symptoms can vary from person to person and may or may not have a set pattern with varying intensity and frequency.
 
Left undiagnosed and untreated, people living with bipolar disorder often find it difficult to lead everyday lives and may struggle with maintaining employment and relationships. Fortunately, this is a treatable condition with a good prognosis for those that seek help.

Manic symptoms are often similar, but in varying degrees of severity, and include:

  • Feeling markedly happy and optimistic OR very irritable
  • Unrealistic, splendid thoughts about your power or abilities
  • Having high energy levels despite getting minimal sleep
  • Such rapid speech that it is difficult for others to follow a conversation
  • Quickly jumping from one idea or multiple ideas to another
  • Inability to concentrate and very distractible
  • Acting impulsive or behaving recklessly without considering consequences, such as inappropriate sexual activity or excessive overspending
  • In severe cases, delusions and hallucinations

Depressive symptoms in Bipolar Disorder are often similar to Major Depression and may include:

  • Feeling sad and hopeless
  • Feeling tired or lack of energy
  • Appetite or weight fluctuations
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Concentration and memory issues
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Mixed Episodes in Bipolar Disorder have Depression with agitation, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, racing thoughts, and distraction.

Bipolar Disorder Decision Making Graphic

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder in Adults

Most people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder will need medications to manage their symptoms. Psychotherapy and counseling, including family therapy, are also effective in managing Bipolar Disorder symptoms. Through therapy, the person learns how symptoms affect their career, relationships, and self-esteem and develop strategies to implement positive life changes.

A healthy lifestyle, such as having a consistent sleep pattern, regular exercise and reducing stress, is also important to effectively manage Bipolar Disorder. Our team provides psychotherapy services and will collaborate with your other care providers to support the best treatment plan for your Bipolar Disorder.

Medication Management for Bipolar Disorder

Medication plays an important role in managing symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. Most often, medications are continued on a long-term basis and require close monitoring by a psychiatric specialist. We start by conducting a thorough assessment of your symptoms and current or past medications. Then, using this information, we help you find the right medication(s) to manage your Bipolar Disorder effectively.

We work closely with your primary care provider to carefully manage your medications and health issues related to your Bipolar Disorder treatment.

bipolar disorder medication management picture of pills falling into a hand

What Are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?

There are different types of Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder and Cyclothymia. As with any disorder, symptoms can vary based on the individual.

Bipolar I Disorder (Mania and Possible Depression)

Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by episodes of extreme highs or mania. During a manic episode, people may engage in reckless behavior such as excessive spending or gambling, participating in inappropriate sexual activity, or making poor decisions. They may become angry or aggressive if others criticize their behavior or do not go along with their plans. Often, the behavior becomes a safety issue, and the person is hospitalized.

Bipolar II Disorder (Hypomania and Major Depression)

In Bipolar II Disorder, the person may experience unusual levels of happiness or energy. Most people in a hypomanic state can often carry out their day-to-day responsibilities. However, a hypomanic episode can significantly disrupt work, relationships, and reputation. Hypomania can lead to a manic episode and is followed by a Major Depressive episode.

Cyclothymia (Hypomania and Mild Depression)

Cyclothymia presents as numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms but does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode. This type of Bipolar Disorder also causes multiple periods of depressive symptoms that do not meet criteria for Major Depression. People often describe Cyclothymia as a stretch of good days followed by a stretch of bad days with no neutral time.

Schedule a Bipolar Disorder Consultation with our Psychiatric Specialists

The psychiatric specialists at West End Consultation Group take a caring and non-judgmental approach to treating Bipolar Disorder and psychiatric illnesses. We conduct a full assessment of your symptoms, lifestyle, and current medications to find an accurate diagnosis and help you find the best treatment.

Schedule an appointment at our clinic located in St. Louis Park today.

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