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Bipolar can and should be treated

When you can’t predict how you’ll feel from one day to the next, gaining control over your emotions can be life-changing.

Bipolar can and should be treated

When you can’t predict how you’ll feel from one day to the next, gaining control over your emotions can be life-changing.

What we can help with

Depression

Strained relationships

Mood swings

Anger & irritability

Racing thoughts

Brain fog

Treatment works

About 3% of Americans live with bipolar disorder – however many more have symptoms of it. but don’t meet the official criteria. Although treatment helps, most people wait an average of 11 years after symptoms start to seek treatment. You don’t have to be one of those people who wait it out – you can get help now because treatment works.

 

What we can help with

Depression

Strained relationships

Mood swings

Anger & irritability

Racing thoughts

Brain fog

Treatment works

About 3% of Americans live with bipolar disorder – however many more have symptoms of it. but don’t meet the official criteria. Although treatment helps, most people wait an average of 11 years after symptoms start to seek treatment. You don’t have to be one of those people who wait it out – you can get help now because treatment works.

 

FAQs about bipolar

What is bipolar?

Bipolar is a health condition where you have changes in your mood, going between highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Sometimes the “highs” can be experienced as high anxiety or irritability too. Along with the change in mood, you can also experience high energy, insomnia, heightened activity, or changes in your judgement and behavior. You don’t have to have all of these symptoms, but many of them are usually present during the mood episode.

What is bipolar depression?

Many people with bipolar actually have a type of bipolar called bipolar 2. This means that you don’t have full-blown manic symptoms, but you usually have some recurrent episodes of depression punctuated by brief periods of elevated mood. For many people, their “elevated mood” may not be that striking, and it may just be slightly higher than their typical, non-depressed mood. What is striking is the frequent depressive episodes throughout their life. It’s thought that at least half of people diagnosed with depression actually have a depression that is more on the bipolar spectrum. It’s important to differentiate because the medications that treat bipolar depression differ from those that treat classic depression, and in cases where medication would be particularly helpful, it’s important to choose the most effective options. 

How common is bipolar?

Although about 3% of Americans meet the criteria for bipolar disorder, many more people have some symptoms of it but don’t meet the full criteria. Also, it’s thought that about half of people with depression have some degree of mood cycling so symptoms of bipolar are actually very common, without meeting the criteria for it.

Doesn't everyone feel good sometimes?

All of us have shifts in our mood even through the course of a typical day, and these passing mood states don’t mean someone has bipolar disorder. However, healthy emotions are those that don’t control us. For instance, we may feel sad, but it doesn’t last very long and doesn’t interfere with our lives. Bipolar is a state where not only does someone feel sad, elevated, or mad, but the person also experiences a lot of other symptoms at the same time, like having low energy, feeling excessively guilty, not enjoying things they normally would, poor concentration, and changes in appetite or sleep. During an elevated mood, the person might also experience racing thoughts, increased energy, distractibility, increased speech, or being super productive. When even a few of these symptoms happen together, your feelings begin to change your thought patterns and your behaviors in unhelpful ways, and that makes it different than experiencing everyday emotions.

Will I need to be on medications?

It depends. In milder symptoms, therapy and lifestyle changes can help someone gain control over mood swings. When symptoms begin to interfere with daily life more and more, it can make sense to combine medication with therapy. Especially in bipolar, compared to classic depression, medications often require adjustment to best treat the current episode a person is experiencing. Working closely with a psychiatric provider becomes very important in living your healthiest life. Once symptoms are well controlled, it’s common to go into “maintenance mode” where medication doses can be decreased. In our practice, we always try to prescribe the lowest amount needed for treatment, increasing doses when symptoms emerge but then decreasing again when someone has improved.

What is the role of prevention?

There are many people who have one manic episode and never have another. Some of these people do begin to experience some early signs of mania, but they recognize the signs, reach out to their doctor or therapist, make some lifestyle changes, and are able to avert an episode. We treat many, many young people who have had quite distressing episodes in the past, but now know the specific strategies that keep them well. One of the most powerful strategies for treating bipolar is to stabilize sleep. Oftentimes, changes in sleep is one of the earliest symptoms in a coming episode and promptly noticing and taking steps to improve sleep can even help prevent episodes.

 

Get started with your care today! Schedule a visit online or let us help you figure out the right fit.