Behavioral Health Conditions

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is an illness involving one or more episodes of serious mania and depression. The illness causes a person to have severe mood swings—from excessively “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, with periods of a normal mood in between. In addition, major depressive disorder is often misdiagnosed in those with bipolar disorder, as patients only tend to seek help when they’re experiencing a period of depression. A thorough understanding of the patient’s mood tendencies is key to an accurate diagnosis—and referral to an appropriate mental health professional.

The symptoms of mania can include:

  • Excessive energy, activity, restlessness, rapid talking
  • Denial that anything is wrong
  • Extreme “high” or euphoric feelings
  • Easily irritated or distracted
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Unrealistic beliefs in one’s ability and powers

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious mood
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Change in appetite and weight
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Persistent physical symptoms
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless