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Bipolar Disorder: When to See a Psychiatrist
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that can affect your mood and behavior. It affects more than two million people in the United States alone. Although it is typically a life-long disorder, it can be managed through treatment from a psychiatrist.
A review of the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder can lead to mood swings, behavioral concerns, cognitive issues, and various other symptoms, all of which are discussed in this review. If symptoms exist, then it is important to visit a psychiatrist for an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause and to receive long-term treatment.
Mood swings are perhaps the most notable symptom of bipolar disorder. There are two primary episodes that are associated with bipolar disorder, which are mania and depression. Mania refers to more positive feelings and a more hyper state. Individuals in a manic state may experience increased energy, a sense of self-confidence, and have lots of passing thoughts and ideas. As the patient shifts into a state of depression, their mood shifts to one that is more negative and apathetic. They may feel sad, lonely, and experience a lack of energy and interest.
Many individuals with bipolar disorder make decisions based on the mood they are in at the time. For example, a patient in a manic state may make risky investments, make dangerous decisions, and experience an increase in their desire for sex. On the other hand, patients who are in a state of depression are at an increased risk of attempting to harm themselves or commit suicide. However, most in a depressed state are typically less impulsive and have more apathetic behavior patterns.
There are also cognitive concerns with many patients with bipolar disorder. The severity varies for each patient, and some patients may experience any of these cognitive symptoms when they are not in a manic or depressed state. The more commonly reported cognitive symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
- Delusional thoughts
- Inability to concentrate
- Feelings of superiority
- Racing thoughts
As discussed, the symptoms vary based on the type of bipolar disorder and the mood of the patient.
Other notable symptoms
There is not a set list of symptoms directly associated with bipolar disorder. When diagnosing and treating patients, a psychiatrist will examine all symptoms of the patient and determine if the behavior and mood patterns, along with hereditary factors, lifestyle factors, and other important information, indicate bipolar disorder.
In many cases, other symptoms such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, paranoia, depression, weight fluctuation, and rapid speaking when in a manic state exist with bipolar disorder. The goal of treatment is to minimize all symptoms and help the patient stay in a stable mood.
Bipolar disorder questions and answers from a psychiatrist
Bipolar disorder does not have to hold you back from living the life you desire each and every day. Here is more information about bipolar disorder.
What are the different types of bipolar disorder?
There are four primary types of bipolar disorder, which are bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, and unspecified bipolar disorder. The differences should be discussed with a psychiatrist, focusing on the type of bipolar disorder you are diagnosed with (if any).
What treatments do psychiatrists recommend?
There is a range of treatment options available to individuals who receive a bipolar disorder diagnosis. The two most common ways in which the condition is treated are with medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (and other types of psychotherapy). Many psychiatrists recommend a combination of both psychotherapies as well as medications such as SSRIs and other antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications. Lifestyle and dietary changes also play a role in treatment as well.
What can I expect on my first visit with a psychiatrist for bipolar disorder treatment?
The first visit with a psychiatrist is simply a way for you to get to know the psychiatrist and their staff. During the session, you can discuss your symptoms and treatment goals; the psychiatrist may have specific exercises to do and a series of questions they may ask. They can provide a plan for a follow-up visit and overall treatment plan as well.
Schedule a visit with a psychiatrist to discuss bipolar disorder
You can schedule a visit with our experienced psychiatrist and psychiatric team today. We understand the symptoms and diagnostic process for bipolar disorder, and we help our patients with bipolar find a successful treatment plan to live a happy life and control their symptoms.
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