Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood changes, thoughts, activities, energy levels, and behavior. It is known for causing people to experience severe “highs” and “lows.” Since these mood changes are complicated to predict, bipolar disorder can have a significant effect on a person’s quality of life.

Although dealing with “up and down” moods can be a normal part of life, bipolar mood swings are considerably different and more extreme. From maintaining healthy personal relationships to succeeding professionally or academically, many aspects of everyday life may be challenging for those with bipolar disorder.

At Elevate Psychiatry, we understand the challenges and effects of bipolar disorder on your overall health. Our committed team provides personalized treatment and support designed to meet your unique specific needs and preferences.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Bipolar disorder presents a range of symptoms across manic, hypomanic, and depressive phases, each phase having its distinct features. The intensity and length of these symptoms vary from person to person, shaped by the severity of their condition.

Symptoms of a manic or hypomanic episode include:

  • Elevated mood, extreme joy, enthusiasm, or feelings of euphoria
  • Increased energy, irritability, and agitation
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Rapid speech and thoughts
  • Participation in risky behaviors and impulsive decisions
  • Exaggerated self-confidence or grandiose feelings
  • Excessive appetites for food, drinking, or heightened sex drive

Symptoms of a depressive episode include:

  • Persistent low mood, including feelings of sadness, despair, or emptiness
  • Diminished energy and fatigue
  • Sleep issues, either insomnia or oversleeping
  • Difficulty focusing and making decisions
  • Memory issues
  • Changes in appetite
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Thoughts of suicide or a negative outlook on oneself

Mixed episodes can also occur, featuring simultaneous symptoms of both manic and depressive episodes.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder appears in different forms, each characterized by distinct mood episode patterns. Recognizing the exact form of bipolar disorder is crucial for crafting the most appropriate treatment plan.

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I disorder is defined by the presence of at least one manic episode, which might precede or follow hypomanic or major depressive episodes.

Manic episodes in bipolar I disorder are severe and usually persist for at least seven days. They can significantly impact daily life and, in some cases, may require hospitalization.

Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II disorder shares similarities with, but is generally milder than, bipolar I disorder. It is characterized by at least one major depressive episode and one hypomanic episode without ever reaching the intensity of full manic episodes.

The hypomanic episodes in bipolar II resemble those of manic episodes but are less severe and usually do not cause major disruptions in daily life. Regardless, the depressive episodes within bipolar II disorder can occur more often and may be as debilitating as those experienced in bipolar I disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar disorder, marked by fluctuating mood states.

Those with cyclothymic disorder encounter mood episodes similar to hypomania and depression, but these manifestations are not as intense or enduring as those seen in standard hypomanic or depressive episodes. These conditions are characterized by more persistent and generalized symptoms lasting at least two years.

Additional Types

This category covers other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders that do not fit into the previously defined categories yet still cause significant distress or impair daily functioning.

Each variant of bipolar disorder poses unique challenges and requires a personalized approach to treatment.

Influences on Bipolar Disorder

The precise cause of bipolar disorder remains uncertain, but it is thought to result from a mix of genetic and environmental factors. These include:

  • Genetic factors: There is an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder if there is a family history of the condition.
  • Neurobiological elements: Imbalances in specific neurotransmitters and structural differences in the brain might influence the occurrence of bipolar disorder.
  • Environmental triggers: Experiencing significant stressors, such as the loss of a loved one or significant life changes, can initiate the onset of bipolar disorder.

This insight emphasizes the complex nature of bipolar disorder and the need to address both genetic and environmental influences in its treatment and management.

Treating Bipolar Disorder

The management of bipolar disorder typically involves an approach that combines medication, talk therapy, and lifestyle adjustments.

We advocate a tailored treatment strategy for this condition. Our team develops individualized and distinctive treatment plans, considering your condition's particular characteristics, severity, and overall health.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is a common approach for addressing bipolar disorder. Among its different types, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) stands out for its effectiveness in identifying and modifying negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with mood swings.

Moreover, therapy that includes family participation is crucial in the management of bipolar disorder. This method extends past individual therapy, emphasizing the education of family members about the disorder to improve communication and support within the family unit.


Medications aimed at mental health can significantly help in managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder by stabilizing mood swings and minimizing the likelihood of recurrent episodes. These medications include mood stabilizers, antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, and anxiety medications.

Our team is dedicated to collaborating with you to find the most suitable medication and dosage that meets your needs.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Besides seeking expert assistance, implementing changes in your daily routine can aid in managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. These changes include:

  • Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
  • Participating in constant physical activity
  • Consuming a healthy, balanced diet
  • Using techniques to lessen stress, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises
  • Steering clear of alcohol and narcotics
  • Creating a network of support with friends, relatives, and mental health professionals

Collectively, these lifestyle changes can play a crucial role in enhancing the management of bipolar disorder and boosting general health.

Bipolar Disorder Management with Elevate Psychiatry

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 2.8% of adults in the U.S.  were diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the past year.

If you or a loved one are dealing with bipolar disorder, it’s essential to know that you aren’t alone – and there are options for effective treatment. 

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