Do you experience episodes of having more energy than usual, need little sleep and often make poor decisions that you later regret?
You may experience a condition also often called “Manic-Depressive Disorder,” the symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary quite widely from one individual to the next.
According to the LA Times (April 13, 2011) “Catherine Zeta-Jones made the decision to check into a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her Bipolar II Disorder . . . Those who suffer from the medical illness . . . grapple with extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning. They can alternate between states of mania and depression.
The disorder affects 3% of the population and is the sixth most common cause of disability in the United States.”
Bipolar depression is a depression in someone who has experienced a distinct period of abnormally elevated, expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least a few days (known as mania or hypomania).
“I have seen patients, like Catherine Zeta-Jones, experience a very positive outcome, with treatments which are well established and usually very successful, allowing the individual to lead a successful and normal life, while the disease is properly managed,” says Dr. Daniel Binus, a psychiatrist in private practice. His organization Beautiful Minds Medical, approaches healthcare and mental care in a comprehensive and holistic manner.
How is one helped if you are having an experience of “extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning?”
According to Dr. Binus, “Providing a thorough evaluation to differentiate between bipolar depression and other depressive disorders is critical because the treatment is different. I want to make sure bipolar disorder has not been misdiagnosed as depression, which is frequently the case. That way we can be sure to start the correct treatment.”
In the past, the mainstay of treatment for individuals with bipolar has been mood stabilizers like Lithium or Depakote. However, more recent research is finding that there are other things that can be helpful in addition to mood stabilizer medication. Scientific studies are showing some supplements optimize the energy production plants of cells (the mitochondria) and may help in bipolar depression. Other evidence supports the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids in treating the depressed phase of bipolar illness. Lifestyle factors such as keeping a regular schedule, especially when it comes to sleep, also help.
For an answer to a specific question, please contact us in confidence at Beautiful Minds Medical.