Community Psychiatry’s Pavan Madan, MD was featured in Business Insider discussing the topic of Bipolar Disorder.
Am I bipolar? The major signs of bipolar disorder and how to tell if you have it
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by bouts of mania and depression. Mania is characterized by feelings of euphoria, irritability, or energy while symptoms of depression include feeling sad, low, or worthless.
Previously known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is estimated to affect 4.4% of the US population. Here’s how you can tell if you or someone you love might have bipolar disorder, and what you can do to treat it.
What is bipolar disorder?
“Bipolar disorder is a chronic and debilitating illness,” says Pavan Madan, MD, a psychiatrist with Community Psychiatry in California. “While there is no cure for it, like for many other physical and psychiatric problems, it can be well-managed with the help of medications and support.”
“Manic symptoms are not always as clear-cut or severe, so people are often misdiagnosed for years before they reach an accurate assessment and treatment,” Madan says.
Someone in your family also has bipolar disorder
It is believed there is a genetic component to developing bipolar disorder.
“While scientists have not figured out the exact genes responsible for passing bipolar disorder to children, genetics are considered to be a significant factor in the risk of developing it,” Madan explains.
How to get a bipolar diagnosis
If you suspect that you have bipolar disorder, or you’re displaying common symptoms, Madan recommends making an appointment with your primary care physician or a psychiatrist as soon as possible.
How to treat bipolar disorder
The ideal course of treatment for bipolar disorder will vary for each individual. One common option is medication.
“Bipolar disorder is often treated with the help of medications called mood stabilizers,” Madan says.
Depending on the severity of the bipolar disorder in question, people can be treated as outpatients or in a residential psychotherapy program. Madan also recommends that people with bipolar disorder try to avoid extreme stress and sleep deprivation, as these can trigger episodes.
“Regular monitoring by a mental health provider is essential to ensure ongoing stability and appropriate care,” Madan says.
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