Bipolar Disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, is a brain disorder characterized by unusual shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. It affects around 5.7 million adult Americans every year. Research suggested that bipolar disease in genetic and can also be linked to traumatic childhood experiences and other environmental factors.
Bipolar disorder is distinguished by periods of mania and depression. Manic episodes may include feelings of productivity, elation, jumpiness, insomnia, and/or irritability. Depressive episodes may consist of feeling hopeless, sad, empty, slow, having little energy, trouble concentrating, and/or thoughts about death and suicide. Sometimes a mood episode includes characteristics of both a manic and depressive episode, called a mixed episode, where someone may feel sad or empty but energized at the same time.
The degree of manic episodes can range from hypomania, in which the individual doesn't notice any symptoms but family and friends recognize mood swings and changes in behavior, to severe mania and depression. The complexity of this disease and range of symptoms means that sometimes patients are diagnosed incorrectly. It's important that a detailed health history is reviewed to the individual is treated correctly.
There are several ways to treat bipolar disorder, but the most effective treatments include a combination of medications and therapy. Medications used to treat bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and atypical antipsychotics. Different kinds of therapy used to treat bipolar disorder include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and family-focused therapy. While bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, with the proper guidance it is treatable and manageable.
Dr. Walston works with individuals to gain a full picture of their experience with bipolar disease and will develop a treatment plan that is suitable for patient's.