Bipolar disorder is a complex condition that can cause major disruption in one’s life. It is characterized by distinct episodes of elevated mood (mania or hypomania- a less severe form of mania) and depressed mood (depression) which can undermine work, self-care, and relationships. Often the depressive phase causes more suffering and disability, and it is also possible to experience both mood extremes simultaneously during an episode with mixed features.
typical symptoms of mania or hypomania include:
Feeling “up” or elated
Having excessive energy
Having trouble sleeping
Feeling like thoughts are running very fast
Engaging in risky behaviors related to sex, drugs, or excessive spending
Typical Symptoms of depression include:
Feeling sad, down, or hopeless
Having very little energy
Sleeping too little or too much
Eating too little or too much
Difficulty enjoying activities
Thinking about death or suicide**
Treatments for bipolar disorder include psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, as well as mind body techniques such as lifestyle and nutritional changes, mindfulness, and light therapy. Life with unstable bipolar disorder can be stressful and pursuing treatment is an important step in learning how to take care of yourself so that the risk of having any episodes of either elevated or low mood is minimized. Discussing lifestyle and habits is an essential part of bipolar disorder treatment. With the right lifestyle one may be able to completely eliminate mood episodes and maintain long term stability and wellness.
Dr. Beata Lewis MD works with many individuals with bipolar I and bipolar II, finding integrative treatments that are least disruptive and have the fewest side effects.
** If you are having thoughts of committing suicide, call 911, go to your nearest emergency room, or call 1-800-LIFENET (1-800-543-3638) for immediate assistance.