Unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels — those are the signs of bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression. This is a brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to handle everyday life.
The pattern typically involves extreme swings between emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). In the depression phase, you may feel very sad and hopeless. In the manic phase, there is euphoria and high energy. These mood swings may occur a few times a year. In some cases, they are very frequent — several times a week.
Children, teens, and adults may have these extreme mood swings. However, the pattern may be more difficult to identify in younger people — but typically involves mood swings that are more severe than the usual ups and downs.
Although bipolar disorder is a disruptive, long-term condition, you can keep your moods in check by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder can be controlled with medications and psychotherapy.
Mood swings of bipolar disorder are extreme and severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty in everyday activities such as work, school, social activities or relationships.
People having a manic episode have 3 or more of these symptoms for at least 1 week:
When symptoms last more than 2 weeks, and affect every day functioning, they are a concern.
When the mood swings are less extreme, there may be a milder form of bipolar disorder. The manic phase is often highly productive, with the person feeling very good and functioning well. However, a sudden mood swing into depression may indicate bipolar disorder.
Unless there is treatment, this milder disorder can develop into severe mania or depression. Very often, family and friends are most likely to notice the pattern first.
An experienced psychotherapist can determine whether the condition is major depression (which does not include mania) or if the pattern is bipolar disorder. With treatment, a person with bipolar disorder can lead a productive and healthy life.
Research shows the most effective treatment includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy (talk therapy). While episodes of mania and depression may return occasionally, the extreme mood changes will mostly be under control.
To find out more about Bipolar Disorders Services, contact Leslie Terner’s office located at 5480 Wisconsin Avenue Suite LL8 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815. Leslie Terner provides Bipolar Disorder counseling in Chevy Chase, MD, and its surrounding areas.
Book an appointment by calling 301-718-1758.
5480 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Fri and Sun: Closed
I am a Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist in Chevy Chase, Maryland. I have been in private practice since 1999. I help clients to heal and gain insight into why they have developed their behaviors.