Bipolar Disorder Specialist

South Texas Mental Health Associates

Psychiatrists located in Corpus Christi, TX

Everyone’s moods swing between highs and lows. However, when those highs and lows are extreme, changing from manic elation to deep depression, you may have bipolar disorder. At South Texas Mental Health Associates in Corpus Christi, Texas, the team of psychiatrists and nurse practitioners offers care and treatment to help control and limit your mood swings and improve your overall health and well-being. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one have bipolar disorder, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

What is bipolar disorder?

Formerly known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by severe mood swings from extreme emotional highs and lows. In general, if you have bipolar disorder, you’ll experience periods of normal moods, too. Both the manic and depressed periods cause disruption to your life.

There are three classifications of bipolar disorder.

  • Bipolar I: Bipolar I causes dramatic mood swings with periods of normal mood between manic and depressed episodes. In most cases, bipolar I is diagnosed during a manic episode when your behavior becomes extreme or dangerous. Manic episodes typically last a week or more while your emotions are aroused and you feel highly energized or irritable.
  • Bipolar II: Bipolar II also involves extreme mood swings but is typically diagnosed during a depressive episode. Bipolar II’s high episodes are typically classified as hypomanic. They’re less extreme and only last for a few days. Most people who have bipolar II also have periods of normal mood between swings.
  • Cyclothymic disorder: Cyclothymic disorder is a less extreme form of bipolar disorder. The mood swings are more frequent, but much less extreme in their highs and lows. Typically for diagnosis, you’ll have experienced mood swings for two years, but your symptoms aren’t severe enough to meet the criteria for manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes.

What are symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder symptoms are classified as either manic/hypomanic or depressive.

Manic/hypomanic symptoms include:

  • High energy
  • Less need for sleep
  • Exaggerated self-esteem
  • Poor concentration
  • Racing thoughts
  • Impulsive behaviors

Depressive symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Weight changes
  • Changes to sleep habits — either oversleeping and insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Indecisiveness
  • Suicidal thoughts

How is bipolar disorder treated?

In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. At South Texas Mental Health Associates, the team of doctors and nurse practitioners offers customized treatments to address your specific needs.

Bipolar disorder is often treated medicinally with mood stabilizers to even out your mood swings. By keeping your emotions on an even keel, you can focus your energies on therapy to better understand your illness and work on addressing any other issues that contribute to or trigger your swings.

Call or schedule a consultation online today if you’re concerned about bipolar disorder.