Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes abnormal changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. We go over the truths and myths about Bipolar Disorder.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, comprises abnormal fluctuations in mood, energy, activity, and concentration. People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of extreme emotion, and changes in sleep patterns. This negatively impacts the ability to carry out everyday tasks.

Statistics about Bipolar Disorder?

The National Institute for Mental Health estimates that 2.8% of all U.S. adults in the past year had bipolar disorder. The prevalence is mostly similar between males and females. It is also estimated that 4.4% of all adults in the U.S. will experience bipolar at some point in their lives.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Manic Phase:

A manic episode is a distinct period of an abnormally and persistently elevated or irritable mood lasting for at least a week. These episodes are usually severe enough to interfere with your life. Symptoms of a manic episode include:

Patients can also experience a sudden depressive mood episode which consists of:

What causes Bipolar Disorder?

Researchers have found many risk factors and potential causes of bipolar disorder. There is no single entity that is responsible for the condition.

However, there are several studied causes of bipolar disorder.

Many doctors have observed that people can have mood disturbances during stressful life events. These can include death of a loved one, job loss, or financial hardship. 

Various imaging studies have suggested that those living with bipolar disorder may have changes in the deep structures of the brain. However, getting a brain image is not diagnostic rather based on the patient’s symptoms and clinical history.

Bipolar disorder is heritable. Research shows that a person with a sibling or parent with bipolar disorder has an increased chance of having the disorder themselves. Studies are ongoing to identify specific genes. 

How to treat Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a chronic and lifelong illness. While mania and depression may come in episodes, some may have some residual symptoms. Treatment can help many people with this condition. Treatment may be a combination of medication management and psychotherapy.
PsychiaTreat’s mental health professional will strategize with you on what treatment works best for you.

Certain classes of medication can help manage the symptoms. Some patients may need to try several types of medications before finding the one that works for them. 

These may include:

  • Mood stabilizers (like lithium or valproate)
  • Antipsychotics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressants

Therapy can be a vital part of your recovery and living with bipolar disorder. It can help you cope with your condition and find healthy ways of managing stress. Certain therapies include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Supportive Therapy, or Family Therapy. 

PsychiaTreat’s therapists are here to help you develop the essential coping tools. PsychiaTreat also offers virtual psychotherapy to make it easier for patients to access their mental health care. 


The article provides an overview of bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterized by abnormal mood swings and changes in energy and concentration levels. The prevalence of the disorder is estimated to be around 2.8% among US adults, and 4.4% are likely to experience it at some point in their lives. The article lists the signs and symptoms of the disorder, including manic and depressive episodes, and discusses some of the potential causes, such as life events, brain structure, and genes. Finally, the article explores treatment options for managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, which can include medication and psychotherapy.
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