Bipolar Disorder.

 Whether you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or you suspect that you might have bipolar disorder, our Austin, TX, psychologist Dr. David Flume and the Flume Psychiatry team can provide you with a diagnosis, treatment plan and ongoing support to help you manage your symptoms. Here’s what you should know about bipolar disorder,

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by a shift from extreme highs to extreme lows in mood. People with bipolar disorder experience a mix of manic and depressive episodes. This condition impacts millions of men and women in the US. There are three main types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I: This type can be diagnosed when someone experiences a manic episode that is followed by hypomania or major depression (psychosis may also occur)
  • Bipolar II: This type can be diagnosed when someone has experienced at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, which is much shorter and less intense than a manic episode
  • Cyclothymic disorder: This type of bipolar disorder results in faster fluctuations between manic and depressive episodes but depression symptoms are usually less severe than other types

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Signs and symptoms associated with bipolar disorder include symptoms that relate to depressive episodes and hypomania (or manic episodes). Signs of mania or hypomania include,

  • Being overly wired
  • Excessively talkative and rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Not needing as much sleep
  • Delusional thinking
  • Intense and sudden overconfidence
  • Paranoia
  • A burst of abnormal energy or activity
  • Increased agitation and easily distracted
  • Buying sprees and risking behaviors

Signs of a depressive episode with bipolar depression include,

  • Insomnia or sleeping more than usual
  • Increased appetite or loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Trouble concentrating and slow to react
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Feeling sad and hopeless
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in activities or things that they once loved
  • Restlessness
  • Thoughts of suicide

At What Age Can Someone Develop Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder can be diagnosed at any age, but the average age is about 25 years old; however, children or teens can also develop bipolar disorder. If you see warning signs in your child, call our team for an evaluation. The average onset of bipolar disorder is between the ages of 20 and 40.

How is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

If you suspect that you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, it’s important that you seek help immediately. Dr. Flume and his team have helped many patients manage bipolar disorder and ease this mental disorder's extreme ups and downs. A psychological evaluation and reviewing your medical history can help us determine if you are dealing with bipolar disorder while ruling out other health problems that could be causing similar symptoms. Bipolar treatment typically involves,

  • Lifestyle modifications such as consistent sleep schedules, managing stress avoiding alcohol and eating a healthy diet
  • Psychotherapy, where we can provide you with coping mechanisms and strategies to handle stressful situations, emotions and feelings when they arise
  • Medication that can reduce the intensity of the highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder
  • Support groups that can provide comfort and understanding to individuals going through the same thing

To learn more about bipolar disorder treatment options or schedule an intake session with our Austin-based psychologist Dr. Flume. Call Flume Psychiatry today at (512) 329-5575.

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