Do You Think You're Bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is marked by unpredictable shifts in mood, energy, and activity. The condition affects the ability to concentrate and carry out daily tasks.

In the past, bipolar disorder was sometimes referred to as manic-depression. Someone who is bipolar experiences both euphoric highs and hopeless depression, often without any tangible reason for the highs or the lows.

The Three General Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar I: manic symptoms often last about seven days while depressive episodes can go on about two weeks.

Bipolar II: a clear pattern of manic and depressive episodes that's not as severe as Bipolar I.

Cyclothymia: the periods when symptoms occur last longer but not nearly as severe. However, depressive episodes can last up to 2 years.

Psychiatrists diagnose and prescribe treatments for bipolar disorder. Before the consultation, however, gather your concerns, symptoms, and questions together so that you can give the psychiatrist a complete picture.

Diagnosis and treatment can both be received online via telemedicine. However, depending on the diagnosis, the online psychiatrist may recommend that you obtain treatment in person.

It's important to under that treating someone with bipolar disorder is a lifelong process with many options including:

  • Psychotherapy

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

  • Medications like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants

Your psychiatrist will explain your diagnosis and all your treatment options in great detail.

Understanding and Support

Doctors know that the brain structures of people with bipolar disorder are different from the brain structures of people who don't have bipolar disorder. Genetics is the primary culprit, but not the only one. For example, with identical twins, one sibling may be bipolar while the other may not be. Research continues, and there's little doubt that treatment options will improve and scientists learn more.

In the meantime, bipolar support groups are a great way to stay up to date on the latest developments and treatment options to discuss with your psychiatrist if you're diagnosed. These organizations offer camaraderie and group support as well as advocating for the rights of the mentally ill.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Group (DBSA)

The DBSA focuses on offering support for those with mood disorders. They also offer wellness-oriented help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online. You can also find local DBSA support groups and printed materials at most mental health facilities.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

While not dedicated to Bipolar Disorder, NAMI is a grassroots organization that is committed to improving the lives of mentally-ill Americans.

About Me

understanding your doctor's orders

When your doctor gives you test results or tells you what your blood pressure is, do you understand what he or she is saying? Do you know what a healthy person's blood pressure should be? Do you know what weight you should try to maintain for your age and height? My blog will help you better understand what your doctor is trying to tell you as he or she discusses the results of your tests with you or tells you that you need to drop a few pounds or change your diet to improve your blood pressure. Hopefully, it will help you understand why you have been given the doctor's orders that you have been.