Psychiatrist For Bipolar Disorder (BPD)

bigstock-Metaphor-Bipolar-Disorder-Mind-

Are you having mood swings that are uncontrollable? Do you experience emotional highs that feel too high? Emotional lows that are unbearably low? Bipolar disorder (BPD) can cause an extreme fluctuation of emotions, where a person deals with mania, hypomania, and depression.

When you become depressed, you may feel sad, hopeless, or lose interest in most activities. When your mood shifts to a high (mania or hypomania – a less extreme emotional high than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy, or unusually irritable. Mood swings can impact your sleep, energy levels, and your ability to think clearly.

Evaluation and diagnosis of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is complicated and accurately diagnosing bipolar disorder is even more complicated. In fact, most people who have bipolar disorder receive one or more wrong diagnoses such as depression. Accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite to effective treatment. Get diagnosed by a psychiatrist with experience identifying and treating bipolar disorder. (Learn more about getting an accurate diagnosis.)

Treatment for bipolar disorder

After you have been diagnosed by a psychiatrist, you and your psychiatrist can tailor a combination of therapy and medication for you and your unique set of needs. Creating a treatment plan that works for you with the guidance and support of your psychiatrist is possible, and you can begin this journey.

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. Episodes of mania and depression typically recur. Some people may have symptoms between episodes.

Treatment can help many people, including those with the most severe forms of bipolar disorder. An effective treatment plan usually includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy, also called “talk therapy.”
– Bipolar Disorder, National Institute of Mental Health (1)

Bipolar disorder does not get better without treatment. A qualified mental health professional with experience in BPD can help you get your symptoms under control. Effective continuous treatment, maintained over time, can help you manage your mood swings and other symptoms. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medications and psychotherapy (psychological counseling). Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a rich, fulfilling life.

What causes bipolar disorder?

While the exact cause for bipolar disorder is unknown, it is widely believed that both biology and genetics play a role in who has the disorder. Studies show physical differences in the brain in those with bipolar disorder and those without. If someone has a direct family member who also has bipolar, their chances increase of also having the disorder. However, it is important to note biology is not destiny, and having a parent with bipolar disorder does not mean you will definitely have BPD.

Checklist of BPD symptoms – mania or hypomania

Bipolar disorder can cause extreme mood swings. The emotional high episodes are called mania or hypomania. A manic episode is a more severe episode than a hypomanic episode, but both types of episodes include three or more symptoms:

  • A sense of euphoria and invincibility (exaggerated feeling of well-being, extreme self-confidence)

  • Increased energy and activity (agitation)

  • Racing thoughts

  • Abnormally upbeat and jumpy (wired)

  • Impulsive or poor decision-making (risky or dangerous behavior – extreme buying, rash investments, sexual risks)

  • Decreased need for sleep

  • Unusual talkativeness

  • Distracted (lack of focus)

Checklist of BPD symptoms – major depressive episode

A major depressive episode will include five or more symptoms:

  • Feeling depressed (sad, hopeless, empty, tearful)

  • Loss of interest or feelings of pleasure from formerly enjoyable activities

  • Loss of energy (fatigue)

  • Weight fluctuation – significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or loss of appetite

  • Sleep problems (insomnia or sleeping too much)

  • Feeling not worthy (worthlessness) or feeling excessive or inappropriate guilt (shame)

  • Lack of ability to focus (decreased ability to think or concentrate) or inability to make decisions (indecisiveness)

  • Feeling restless or slow (sluggish) behavior

  • Suicidal thoughts, suicidal plans, or suicide attempts

Treatment of bipolar disorder

Dr. Dhrymes offers psychotherapy and treatment for bipolar disorder. The most important step to managing the disorder is obtaining the correct diagnosis. If you have been struggling with these symptoms, it can seem daunting and debilitating to ask for help. You are not alone – effective treatment is available. Reach out today for an appointment.

Emergency help for suicidal thoughts and behavior

If you have thoughts of hurting yourself, immediately call 911 or go to an emergency room, confide in a trusted relative or friend, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide, has expressed suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or has made a suicide attempt, make sure that your or someone else stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If you can safely take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room, do so.

Resources

(1) Bipolar Disorder, National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml#part_145406. Retrieved Dec, 3, 2020.