Conditions & Treatments
Bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression, causes the brain to direct extreme shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function.
A person with this disorder often experiences severe mood swings, from extremely depressed and irritable to overly excited, “high” or manic.
At least two million Americans suffer from manic depression. Typically, it develops in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. People may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. At Einstein, our team diagnoses and creates personalized treatment programs and options for patients throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area.
People who suffer from bipolar disorder often exhibit behaviors both of mania and depression. Many also exhibit normal mood periods between the extreme episodes. Bipolar disorder can run in families.
Symptoms of a manic episode include:
- Increased energy, activity, and restlessness
- Unrealistic beliefs in abilities and powers
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid talking
- Excessive “high” or euphoric feelings
- Irritable and aggressive behavior
- Distractibility and poor work performance
- Less need for sleep
- Poor judgment and impulsive behavior
- Undertaking risky drug or alcohol use
Symptoms of a depressive episode include:
- Severe sadness and hopelessness
- Frequent pain without knowing the source
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Sleep problems or fatigue
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor work performance or absence from work
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Our team utilizes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose patients. A physician suspecting this disorder will also use the following methods to rule out complications:
- Physical exam
- Blood or urine tests
- Keeping a record of the patient’s daily moods or sleep patterns
A patient's treatment plan may include:
This technique teaches patients about their triggers and how to use their thinking to control and manage their feelings and behaviors.
Patients who are also exhibiting a substance abuse problem will be encouraged to participate in a 12-step recovery group.
Patients and their families can also participate in a depression and bipolar support alliance support group.
Family members are encouraged to join in the therapy options to support their loved ones.
Mood stabilizers and anti-depressants may be used to treat bipolar disorder. In cases where a patient is very resistant to treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be recommended.
Like other health issues such as heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed and treated throughout a person’s life.