Bipolar Disorder | Symptoms & Treatment Options | Zencare — Zencare

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by extreme moods. These moods include both deep depression and feelings of euphoria that are often known as mania.

Sometimes a person with bipolar disorder will experience quick changes from one extreme to the other. Different kinds of bipolar disorder involve different levels of mania, but all bipolar disorders involve periods of clinical depression. Bipolar disorder can also involve extreme changes in a person’s energy level or thought processes.

Feelings of great happiness and sadness are a normal part of life, and it’s also normal to experience mood swings sometimes. However, if your mood changes are frequent and extreme enough to interfere with your day-to-day life on a regular basis, you may be dealing with a form of bipolar disorder.


Prevalence of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is relatively common in the United States.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder can involve a broad range of symptoms, and not everyone experiences every symptom. Some of the most common ones include:

Types of bipolar disorder

There are two different specific disorders classified as bipolar disorders:

In both cases, some people switch between the different extremes more quickly than others.

Additionally, there is a condition called Cyclothymic Disorder that is not technically bipolar disorder but that shares some of its features. In Cyclothymic Disorder, a person experiences frequent and drastic mood changes, but the moods are not extreme enough to qualify as major depression or full-blown mania.

Treatments for bipolar disorder

There are a number of options that may be helpful if you think you have bipolar disorder:

What to look for in a therapist for bipolar disorder treatment

Look for a therapist who has a specialty in treating bipolar disorder

Several different kinds of therapy have been shown to be effective for treating bipolar disorder [1]. Most often, psychotherapy is used in combination with medication managed by a psychiatrist.

A few of the most common psychotherapy options for bipolar disorder are:

Prioritize personal fit

While personality fit is a nuanced factor, it is critical to your success in therapy. Multiple studies have revealed the importance of this factor, often referred to as “therapeutic alliance.”

On your initial phone call with the therapist, ask yourself:

Additionally, consider these factors:

Consider cost, location, and scheduling

Therapy will only work if it works for you. Before making an appointment, ask yourself honestly: