Bipolar Disorder - Total Behavioral Health

Bipolar Disorder

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What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings or episodes of mania and depression. It affects a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior, often causing significant disruptions in daily life. The exact cause is unknown, but a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors may contribute. There are several types of bipolar disorder, with the most common being Bipolar I and Bipolar II.

Bipolar I: Characterized by manic episodes that last at least seven days and could become severe enough to require hospitalization. Depressive episodes may also occur.
Bipolar II: Characterized by both depressive and hypomanic episodes, which are less severe than full-blown manic episodes.


Symptoms differ for manic and depressive episodes.

Manic episodes:
– Elevated mood
– Irritability
– Increased energy
– Decreased need for sleep
– Impulsivity
– Increased talkativeness

Depressive episodes:
– Persistent sadness
– Loss of interest
– Fatigue
– Changes in sleep patterns
– Changes in apatite
– Difficulty concentrating
– Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

The severity and duration of these episodes can vary among individuals. Between mood episodes, individuals with bipolar disorder may have periods of stable mood.

Diagnosis, treatment, and management

Diagnosis and management of bipolar disorder typically involve psychiatric evaluation, mood tracking, and a collaborative approach between you and your Total Behavioral Health provider. Treatment often includes medication, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and support strategies to help you manage symptoms and lead a fulfilling life. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is crucial to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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