Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a common but widely misunderstood mental health condition characterized by intense mood swings. If you live with mood swings between deep depression and euphoria, Dr. Yana Bekker, DO, a board-certified Psychiatrist, diagnoses and treats bipolar disorder.

What is bipolar disorder?

Each year, almost 6 million Americans experience bipolar disorder symptoms. Bipolar disorder is a mental health illness that causes extreme mood swings between depression and mania. Contrary to common misconceptions, bipolar disorder doesn’t cause multiple personalities or any of the hallucinations common in schizophrenia.

There are three primary types of bipolar disorder:

Bipolar I
Bipolar I causes extreme shifts in mood between depression and mania. In most cases, a patient seeks treatment for bipolar I after a manic episode. Manic episodes tend to last for a week or more, and depressed episodes continue for at least two weeks. If you have Bipolar I, you may also have periods of normal moods between the extremes of mania and depression.

Bipolar II
Bipolar II also causes mood swings, although your “high” episodes aren’t as extreme as the manic episodes that characterize Bipolar I and are referred to as hypomanic episodes. In addition to being less severe, hypomanic episodes typically last for four days or more.

Cyclothymic disorder
Cyclothymic disorder is the mildest form of bipolar disorder. Your mood swings are frequent but less extreme than Bipolar I or II. In most cases, cyclothymic disorder is diagnosed after two years of mood irregularities.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder symptoms are classified as depressive, manic, or hypomanic.

Depressive symptoms include:

  • Feelings of depression and sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Changes in appetite
  • Poor concentration and indecisiveness
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Manic episodes cause symptoms such as:

  • Feelings of euphoria, grandiosity, and invincibility
  • Less need for sleep
  • Distractibility
  • Overscheduling or trying to do too many things at once
  • Impulsive or reckless behaviors
  • Talking more than usual
  • Racing thoughts

Hypomanic symptoms are similar to manic symptoms but less severe. If you feel suicidal, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room for immediate treatment.

How is bipolar disorder treated?

Dr. Bekker begins your treatment with a comprehensive assessment of your mental and physical health, including lab work to identify or rule out other medical conditions that could contribute to your symptoms.

Once she understands your condition, she uses a holistic approach to improving your health. While she creates personalized treatment plans for each patient, she often combines medicine, therapy, and lifestyle modifications both to regulate your bipolar symptoms and improve your overall health.

If you’re concerned about bipolar disorder, call My Best Self, LLC or schedule a consultation online today.

Insurance Accepted

Dr. Yana Bekker is an in-network psychiatrist with the following commercial insurance plans: