Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder affects 1% of the population, 2 million Americans. It occurs equally in men and women, becoming evident from age 15 to 30. There is an equal occurrence of bipolar in children too.

Mild mood changes occur normally in life, general related to events that occur, such as sadness when someone dies or happiness when a promotion is earned. In bipolar disorder these changes are more severe and interfere with the person's ability to function well in their life. The mood may change from depressive episodes to manic episodes. Bipolar disorder can begin in adolescence.

Depression Symptoms may include:
  • Depressed, empty or irritable mood most or all of the day
  • Greatly decreased interest or pleasure in many activities
  • Lack of motivation, pessimism
  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Difficulty with sleeping (too much or too little)
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Withdrawal from social interactions, isolation
  • Restlessness or slowness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Chronic pain without medical cause
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Manic Symptoms may include:
  • Abnormally elevated, expansive or irritable mood
  • Inflated self esteem or grandiosity
  • Poor judgment
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • More talkative than usual
  • Flight of ideas, racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Increase in goal directed activity
  • Excessive involvement in pleasurable activity (gambling, shopping, sexual activity)
  • Risky behavior
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Out of touch with reality

Causal Factors:
Biologic, Genetic, and/or Sociologic factors. Can be accompanied by other Anxiety Disorders and/or Substance Abuse.

Treatment Options:
Medication, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and/or Psychosocial Therapy.