Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that was previously known as manic depression. Its defining characteristics are mood swings that go far beyond what a mentally healthy person experiences. These shifts in mood can happen without warning and pose significant challenges in the daily life of the bipolar individual and their family. Without medical treatment, periods of high energy and low energy can lead to manic and depressive episodes. If you suspect you or a loved one suffers from undiagnosed bipolar disorder, contact Molina Psychiatric Associates at your earliest convenience. With proper treatment, bipolar individuals can lead healthy, productive lives.
Bipolar disorder is a serious, but treatable, mental illness. Dr. Molina has more than 25 of experience treating bipolar disorder and other mood disorders in an inpatient, outpatient, and day hospital setting. He is excellent at producing accurate diagnoses and helping his patients improve their quality of life.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
The first step in treating bipolar disorder is learning how to recognize it. Do you often have periods of time where your thoughts flow fast and you’re brimming with plans and ideas? Are these periods accompanied by unusually high energy, rapid speech, and difficulty controlling your impulses? If so, you might have experienced a hypomanic episode.
The hypomanic state in bipolar disorder is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Increased Energy
- Elevated Mood
- Fast Speech
- Racing Thoughts
- Feeling Invincible
- Engaging in Risky Behaviors
- Hyper sexuality
- Taking on Projects You Cannot Realistically Finish
- Decreased Need for Sleep
You might experience some or all of these symptoms while hypomanic. Sometimes hypomanic episodes lead to full-on manic phases.
These are more severe mood states during which you might experience:
- Extreme Hyperactivity
- Inability to Sleep
- Disregard for Consequences
- Delusional Thinking
- Obsessive or Compulsive Behaviors
- A Disconnect from Reality
Individuals in a manic state find it impossible to control their impulses. They do things that could seriously harm themselves like spending huge amounts of money, drinking or doing drugs to excess, and engaging in other risky acts they normally wouldn’t undertake. They might feel that their actions will have no consequences. Substance abuse and lack of sleep can exacerbate a manic state, so professional intervention is often required.
At the other end of bipolar mood swings is the depressive state. It is exactly what it sounds like, though some people experience depression differently from others. Some feel sad, while others feel numb or empty. Still others experience physical aches and pains during a depressive episode. Some symptoms to watch out for include:
- Low Energy
- Sadness or Numbness
- Feelings of Hopelessness
- Lack of Purpose and Direction
- Loss of Interest in Hobbies and Goals
- Thoughts of Death or Suicide
- Thoughts of Self-Harm
- Forgetfulness and Trouble Finding Words
- Mental Haze and Difficulty Focusing
- Sleeping Excessively
- Sleep Disturbances
- Flu-Like Body Aches
People in a depressive state might have trouble keeping up their personal hygiene, attending school or work, or finding pleasure in activities they used to enjoy. Sometimes they feel so defeated that they might have trouble asking for help. If you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please get help immediately by dialing 911.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
• Bipolar Type I. This type suffers mostly from mania with some depressive episodes.
• Bipolar Type II. Mostly depressive with some hypomanic states.
• Cyclothymic Disorder. Less severe manic and depressive episodes.
• Unspecified Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar symptoms exist, but do not match the above diagnostic criteria.
Treating for Bipolar Disorder
While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, it can be successfully managed through a combination of medication and psychotherapy. The desired end result is the minimization of mood swings to a tolerable level that does not interfere with the person’s quality of life. At Molina Psychiatric Associates, we treat bipolar disorder with a variety of medications. We start with a thorough evaluation and monitor your progress, adjusting doses and changing medicines as needed.
Molina Psychiatric Associates: Experienced, Compassionate Service
If bipolar disorder is affecting you or someone you care about, please call us or schedule an appointment online. We have 25 years of experience treating bipolar disorder and other mood disorders, and we will help you find your way back to a fulfilling life.
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Molina Psychiatric Associates, P.A.
2485 E. Southlake Blvd.,
Southlake, Texas 76092
Monday-Thursday from 7am - 4pm and closed on Fridays.