Everyone experiences highs and lows in life, but the term “bipolar” has been used to describe those who swing back and forth to the extreme. While there’s some truth to this when it comes to what a bipolar disorder truly is, it doesn’t paint the full picture.
At the Institute for Advanced Psychiatry, Dr. Diana Ghelber is a board-certified general psychiatrist who has extensive training in a wide range of mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder.
Here’s a look at this complex mental health issue and some of the warning signs that bipolar disorder may be present.
The many faces of bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder affects about 2.6% of the population over the age of 18 in the United States, or 5.7 million adults. In brief, bipolar disorder describes a condition in which you experience extreme and unusual shifts in mood, which affects your:
- Ability to concentrate
- Activity levels
- Day-to-day function
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are three main types of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar I disorder
With this type of the condition, you experience a manic episode that lasts for seven days or more. These manic episodes are usually severe enough to require hospitalization. The manic episodes are often accompanied by depressive periods that last at least two weeks.
Bipolar II disorder
If you experience a pattern of manic and depressive episodes, where the manic episodes aren’t severe enough for hospitalization, this is typically labelled Bipolar II disorder.
This type of bipolar disorder is characterized by symptoms of hypomania and depression that last for two years or more (one year in children), but aren’t severe enough to meet the diagnostic criteria of a hypomanic or depressive episode.
As you can see, it can be very tricky to figure out whether bipolar disorder is present, which is why you need the expert guidance of a trained psychiatrist like Dr. Ghelber.
Seeking help for bipolar disorder
If you suspect you or a loved one is showing signs of bipolar disorder, early and expert diagnosis is key. Dr. Ghelber understands the many variations of the mental illness and performs an extensive evaluation before embarking on a treatment plan.
If she finds that your problems are likely tied back to bipolar disorder, she tailors a treatment plan to fit your unique needs. Typically, this includes:
- Psychotherapy (or talk therapy)
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
This last treatment is one worth underscoring as it’s helpful for those who don’t respond to medications or therapy. TMS was cleared by the FDA to address depression, and it’s a technique in which we deliver magnetic impulses into your brain to stimulate the areas associated with depression.
If you’d like to learn more about bipolar disorder, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Fort Worth, Texas, to set up a consultation.