Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes unusual changes in mood that affects energy and function. At A1 Medical & Behavioral Health in St. Petersburg, Florida, Angela Harvey, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, AGPCNP-BC, creates comprehensive care plans for her patients with bipolar disorder. Angela takes a holistic approach, combining modern medical treatments with alternative therapies to support overall health and healing. Call or schedule your in-office or telemedicine appointment online today.request an appointment
What is bipolar disorder?
People with bipolar disorder have unusual shifts in mood that affect how they think, feel, and act. Their moods fluctuate between periods where they feel very up (mania) and periods where they feel very down (depression), also known as manic and depressive episodes.
During a manic episode, a person with bipolar disorder feels abnormally happy, energetic, and euphoric, as well as irritable and restless. They may also have very little need for sleeping or eating and may engage in risky behaviors.
During a depressive episode, someone with bipolar disorder feels very sad and has little energy to do anything. They feel hopeless and guilty and have negative thoughts.
Manic episodes may last several days, while depressive episodes may go on for several weeks.
What are the types of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder symptoms vary and health care providers classify the disorder into types based on symptoms. These types include:
Bipolar I disorder
Bipolar I disorder is the most severe, causing manic episodes that last more than seven days or require hospitalization. People with bipolar I disorder may also experience depressive episodes.
Bipolar II disorder
People with bipolar II disorder shift between depressive and hypomanic episodes, which are less severe than the manic episodes seen in people with bipolar I disorder. Hypomanic episodes usually last about four days.
People with cyclothymia have a mood that fluctuates between periods of hypomania and mild depression for two or more years.
People with bipolar disorder may also struggle with other mental health problems like substance use disorder, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
What are the treatments for bipolar disorder?
Mrs. Harvey conducts a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation during your initial consultation before making any recommendations.
Treatment for bipolar disorder includes:
Medication management refers to the use of psychiatric medications that ease your bipolar disorder symptoms. Mrs. Harvey uses GeneSight® DNA testing for medication management, helping her get you on a medication that fits your genetic profile.
Mrs. Harvey customizes your psychotherapy, teaching you about your disorder and helping you develop strategies that reduce the frequency and severity of your mood changes.
She also takes a holistic approach to mental well-being, treating your body, mind, and spirit. She may include alternative therapies like meditation or mindfulness in your bipolar disorder treatment plan.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition that requires ongoing care. For compassionate care, call A1 Medical & Behavioral Health or schedule your consultation online today.