The National Institute of Mental Health has estimated that almost 6 million American adults, or a little over 2.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and over, are affected by bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic depression, is a mood disorder that causes unusual changes in mood and energy.
“People with bipolar disorder can have either depressed, manic, or mixed symptoms,” said Amanda Johnson, PhD, Clinical Director of Capstone Behavioral Health Care in Newton. “Depressed symptoms include low energy, low mood, depressed thoughts, trouble sleeping (either too much or too little), forgetting things, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and sometimes having suicidal thoughts.” By contrast, manic symptoms can include feeling very “up”, having high energy, feeling restless, talking fast or jumping around a lot, having fast thoughts, feeling irritable, and engaging in risky or impulsive behaviors.
If you suspect you may have bipolar disorder, it’s important to talk to your doctor, therapist, or psychiatric provider about your symptoms. “If someone doesn’t have a therapist or psychiatric provider, they can ask their primary care physician for a referral,” added Johnson. “It’s important that they’re honest and open about their symptoms so they can be diagnosed correctly. It can be helpful to track your moods and symptoms on a calendar to have more information to share with the doctor.”
According to Johnson, there are multiple mental health issues that are often confused with bipolar disorder. “Depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder are some of the mental health issues that are more frequently confused with bipolar disorder, as they share some common symptoms,” she explained. “Substance abuse issues can also be confused with bipolar disorder because the effect of some drugs are similar to some of bipolar’s symptoms.”
It’s important to understand that bipolar disorder can be treated. For more information, or to arrange for a consultation, please contact:
1123 1st Avenue E, Suite 200
Newton, Iowa. 50208