Bipolar Mood Disorder

What is bipolar mood disorder?

Bipolar mood disorder (also called manic-depression) has two phases: depression and mania (or hypomania). Mania is characterized by elevated mood symptoms, including:

  • Euphoria or agitation
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased productivity
  • Noticed by others
  • Pressured speech
  • Increased energy

The low phase, depression, may look a lot like postpartum depression. In fact, over 20% of women who screen positive for postpartum depression also had a bipolar disorder. It is often misdiagnosed as unipolar depression and over a third of those experiencing bipolar disorders suffered for 10 years or more with an incorrect diagnosis.

What are the risk factors for bipolar mood disorder?

The risk factors for Bipolar Mood Disorder are family or personal history of bipolar mood disorder.

What are the symptoms of Bipolar Mood Disorder?
  • Irritability or nervousness
  • Delusions or strange beliefs
  • Periods of severe depression
  • Periods when mood much better than normal
  • Rapid Speech
  • Little need for sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Continuous high energy
  • Overconfidence
  • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, distractibility
  • Grandiose thoughts, inflated sense of self-importance

What is the treatment for Bipolar Mood Disorder?

Treatment for bipolar mood disorder generally includes mood stabilizers such as lithium, quetiapine, or lamotrigine. Psychotherapy (talk therapy) may be effective as well.

Who can help diagnose/treat Bipolar Mood Disorder?
  • Mental Health Practitioner