Correct Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type Directs Treatment

Bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million adults. People with bipolar disorder suffer through periods of intermittent elevated manic or hypomanic behaviors, often experienced along with periods of depressed states that directly interfere with normal daily activities. With bipolar disorder, symptoms may vary from one person to the next, and a proper and correct diagnosis is often difficult to make — even for trained mental health professionals.

Statistics Show Bipolar Disorder Often Incorrectly Diagnosed

Some alarming statistics surround misdiagnosis. Around 70% of those who have bipolar disorder have received at least one misdiagnosis. For another 25% it took up to 3 years before correct diagnosis. Finding the right mental health professional who can pinpoint the disorder and start treatment immediately can be essential to moving toward a healthy life.

Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Falls into Four Basic Types

The primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder is not only difficult to establish, but four basic types of this disorder also need to be considered when developing a successful treatment strategy and plan. An experienced and thorough mental health professional will typically use the DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a guideline for proper diagnosis.

The four basic types of bipolar disorder are:

  • Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic or mixed episodes that continue for at least a 7-day period, or by manic symptoms and behavior that are so severe that immediate medical and psychiatric care is needed. Depressive episodes are also seen, lasting for at least 2 weeks.
  • Bipolar II Disorder where a pattern of depressive episodes with hypomanic episodes are exhibited. There are no severe episodes noted.
  • BP-NOS, Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is a diagnosis given when symptoms of the disorder do exist but they do not meet the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I or II. Symptoms and behaviors demonstrated are outside of a person’s normal range of behaviors.
  • Cyclothymia is a mild form of bipolar disorder where episodes of hypomania and mild depression occur over a 2 year period. The symptoms and behaviors displayed do not meet the criteria for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can also include seasonal changes in mood, rapid cycling mood shifts, and even psychosis.

Atlanta Bipolar Disorder Psychiatrist with Long History of Successful Treatment

Bipolar disorder can be effectively treated and managed, affording you a functional life of work, family, social relationships and personal achievement. Find the right psychiatrist capable of making the correct diagnosis. Dr. Hege has a long history of successfully developing a comprehensive treatment plan that works.

Your life is too important to sort through a series of doctors hoping for the best. Make your first call to Dr. Darvin Hege, Atlanta’s renowned bipolar disorder psychiatrist, and start moving forward toward the healthy functional life that you deserve.

Bipolar Disorder Needs Close Monitoring of Medications for Success

The National Institute of Mental Health reports bipolar disorder, also commonly known as manic depression, is a serious mental health issue affecting approximately 5.7 million adults in America — with 89% of those diagnosed as severe.

Bipolar Disorder’s Four Types of Mood Swings

A comprehensive diagnosis of bipolar disorder involves more than the assessment of mood shifts and behaviors. A qualified expert in psychiatry looks beyond clinical observation, interview and professional evaluation. The four types of mood episodes are mania, hypomania, depression and mixed state; an experienced bipolar disorder psychiatrist will pinpoint the type of bipolar disorder cycle and degree of intensity that is causing the most life disruptions.

Bipolar Disorder Cycles Have Unique Symptoms

Each type of bipolar disorder mood shift presents with their own unique set of symptoms. An experienced bipolar disorder psychiatrist works with you to develop a treatment plan that works around you own unique mood shift cycles. While some cycles last for days, other cycles may last for months at a time. Each episode can intensify to where it interferes with the ability to function at home, work and in the community.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms by Mood Disorder Type

The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder vary from one person to the next along with cycle length and intensity.

  • Mania Phase: Symptoms include euphoria, heightened energy and well-being, creativity, sleeplessness, hyperactivity, grandiose ideas and beliefs. The mania cycle may lead to feelings of anger, irritability, aggressive or reckless behaviors, sexual promiscuity, wild gambling, instigating fights, or making foolish choices in life.
  • Hypomanic Episode: The bipolar disorder symptoms displayed here are typically a less severe form of mania. You feel good and accomplish many tasks, yet your family and friends still recognize definite mood swings. Without proper psychiatric evaluation and treatment, hypomania can progress into severe mania or depression.
  • Bipolar Depression: Antidepressants do not help bipolar depression and typically make it worse. Antidepressants can trigger rapid cycling between mood states, interfere with other medications, push you into a psychotic depression, or an intense manic state. Assessment by an expert in bipolar disorder psychiatry like Dr. Darvin Hege will ensure you receive the right diagnosis followed by the most therapeutic medication regime.
  • Mixed State: This type of bipolar disorder gives feelings of both mania and depression at the same time. In this equally tormented state are feelings of agitation, sadness, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts, while feeling highly energized at the same time. Hallucinations and delusions can also occur. A missed or incorrect diagnosis could label you with schizophrenia instead of having bipolar disorder.

Atlanta Bipolar Disorder Psychiatrist

Bipolar disorder is a complex chronic life-long condition that requires long-term treatment and development of a successful medication regime to prevent new episodes or reduce interfering symptoms. Stop the suffering and anguish – effective treatment exists.

Diagnosis of Atlanta bipolar disorder is often difficult and requires the skill of a seasoned expert such as Dr. Darvin Hege. Call the office to get the right help you need.