Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes changes in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. People with bipolar disorder experience intense emotional states that typically occur during distinct periods of days to weeks, called mood episodes.
Bipolar disorder, known initially as manic-depressive illness or manic depression, is a condition that causes sudden and drastic fluctuations in an individual’s mood, energy levels, activity levels, and ability to concentrate and complete daily tasks.
Bipolar disorder is not simply feeling happy one day and sad the next. People with bipolar disorder can experience various symptoms and a mix of emotions that can make it difficult for them to decipher what they are feeling and why.
These mood episodes are categorized as manic/hypomanic (abnormally happy or irritable mood) or depressive (sad mood). People with bipolar disorder generally have periods of neutral mood as well. When treated, people with bipolar disorder can lead full and productive lives
Symptoms of a manic or hypomanic (less intense mania) episode include:
Major depressive episodes tend to interfere with aspects of daily life, including work, school, and relationships. Symptoms of a major depressive episode include:
Bipolar disorder manifests differently in each individual. Some patients may experience mood shifts very rarely, while some may experience them several times a year. In addition to the above symptoms, some individuals with bipolar disorder may experience anxious distress, melancholy, and psychosis.
Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, treatments, including medication and psychotherapy, can help mitigate symptoms. Our goal is to understand your situation as fully as possible so we can offer a personalized approach to bettering your mental health.
In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary. This typically occurs when a patient experiences suicidal thoughts, behaves dangerously, or experiences psychosis.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, do one or more of the following:
Go to the emergency room of your choice
Call your local crisis team or text START to 741-741
Call (800)799-SAFE (7233) (National Domestic Violence Hotline)
Call Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 (National Crisis Line)