Biopolar Disorder

Biopolar Disorder services offered in Fairfax, VA

Bipolar disorder is one of the most challenging psychiatric conditions, but with ongoing treatment from the team at Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group, you can stabilize your moods and lead a fulfilling life. The team provides comprehensive care and personalized attention, ensuring you gain the skills and support you need to thrive. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Fairfax, Virginia, or book online today.

Biopolar Disorder Q&A

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition that causes swings (severe variations) in your mood, energy, and activity levels. The severity of your symptoms depends on which type you have:

Bipolar I disorder

Bipolar I disorder causes mood variations between elevated mood (mania) and major depression. The manic highs interfere with daily life and often may result in hospitalization to stabilize your mood.

Bipolar II disorder

This type is defined by episodes of hypomania and major depression. Hypomania causes the same symptoms as mania, but they're less severe and their duration is shorter as well.

Cyclothymic disorder

Cyclothymic disorder causes numerous episodes of hypomanic and depressive symptoms, but they're not severe enough to qualify as hypomania or major depression. For at least two months, you spend half your time (or more) in hypomanic and depressive periods.

What symptoms does bipolar disorder cause?

During manic episodes, you may:

  • Have excessive energy
  • Need little sleep
  • Talk rapidly
  • Experience racing thoughts
  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Engage in risky behaviors like drinking while driving

If you have bipolar I disorder, you can also experience delusions (believing something is real when it isn't) and hallucinations (seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling something that isn't real).

During periods of major depression, you may:

  • Lose interest in favorite activities
  • Feel sad and hopeless
  • Withdraw from family and friends
  • Sleep more or less than usual
  • Eat more or less than usual
  • Have a hard time concentrating or making decisions
  • Think about, plan, or attempt suicide

In many cases, depression causes physical symptoms like nausea, headaches, and muscle aches.

How is bipolar disorder treated?

Bipolar disorder lasts throughout your lifetime. You need mood-stabilizing medication to prevent mania and depression. In addition to medication, psychotherapy helps you manage the disorder and teaches new skills for building a successful life.

Your therapist may help you identify the early signs of an impending mood swing and teach you actions you can take to prevent it. Therapy can give you new perspectives and coping mechanisms so you can acheive normal mood stability.

Many people with bipolar disorder have a disrupted sleep-wake cycle. Establishing a balanced routine is proven to help prevent mood swings, psychotherapy and medications can help in this regard.

You can build a better life despite bipolar disorder with help from the team at Northern Virginia Psychiatric Group. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.