Bipolar Disorder

We provide the tools you need to help in all areas of living

Bipolar disorder causes extreme changes in mood, thoughts, energy and behavior. You may feel lethargic, pessimistic and sad, or talkative, invincible and uncharacteristically energetic.

Abnormalities in your brain chemistry cause this lifelong mood disorder. In its most severe forms, bipolar disorder can lead to feeling suicidal or an inflated self-esteem that involves unsafe, risk-taking behaviors so you need a high level of expertise.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder affects more than 2.5 million American adults every year. The median age of onset is 25.

Symptoms

Physicians can have difficulty diagnosing bipolar disorder because the symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include major depressive and manic episodes.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Periods of sadness and crying for no apparent reason
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Lack of energy
  • Withdrawing from others, isolating yourself
  • Changes in appetite
  • Periods of lifelessness or agitation
  • Suicidal feelings

Symptoms of mania include:

  • Reduced need for sleep
  • Increased physical and mental activity
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Grandiose delusions
  • Talking fast
  • Impulsiveness
  • Being easily distracted
  • Reckless behavior, including spending sprees, drug taking, erratic driving, sexual indiscretions
  • Hearing voices

You may not always notice your symptoms or consider them problematic. By learning to manage them, you can function at home, on the job and in your relationships with others. At IU Health, Behavioral Health physicians and counselors have the expertise to help you in all areas of living.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder affects more than 2.5 million American adults every year. The median age of onset is 25.

Symptoms

Physicians can have difficulty diagnosing bipolar disorder because the symptoms overlap with other conditions, such as depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include major depressive and manic episodes.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Periods of sadness and crying for no apparent reason
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Lack of energy
  • Withdrawing from others, isolating yourself
  • Changes in appetite
  • Periods of lifelessness or agitation
  • Suicidal feelings

Symptoms of mania include:

  • Reduced need for sleep
  • Increased physical and mental activity
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Grandiose delusions
  • Talking fast
  • Impulsiveness
  • Being easily distracted
  • Reckless behavior, including spending sprees, drug taking, erratic driving, sexual indiscretions
  • Hearing voices

You may not always notice your symptoms or consider them problematic. By learning to manage them, you can function at home, on the job and in your relationships with others. At IU Health, Behavioral Health physicians and counselors have the expertise to help you in all areas of living.

IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors gather your (and your family’s) history in order to diagnose bipolar disorder. Your mental health specialists will know how to fine-tune and map your symptoms over time to determine their cause.

This is very important because if you seek treatment for depression but actually have bipolar disorder, anti-depressant medications could push you into a manic episode.

Diagnosis

IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors gather your (and your family’s) history in order to diagnose bipolar disorder. Your mental health specialists will know how to fine-tune and map your symptoms over time to determine their cause.

This is very important because if you seek treatment for depression but actually have bipolar disorder, anti-depressant medications could push you into a manic episode.

IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors constantly pursue leading research and thinking related to managing symptoms of bipolar disorder. Through our affiliation with the Institute of Psychiatric Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine we have the largest sample of bipolar families for genetic studies. Whether you currently have symptoms or not, IU Health physicians will give you the tools to identify symptoms and triggers so you can minimize and manage a relapse.

IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors provide individual and group counseling, medicine and a wide array of therapies to assist you in managing your symptoms.

For severe symptoms that put you or others in danger, IU Health has inpatient hospital treatment. IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors use a multidisciplinary approach that combines therapies, medicine and coping skills to help you live with bipolar disorder.

  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers. These medicines help you reduce mood swings between mania and depression by balancing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Treatment

IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors constantly pursue leading research and thinking related to managing symptoms of bipolar disorder. Through our affiliation with the Institute of Psychiatric Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine we have the largest sample of bipolar families for genetic studies. Whether you currently have symptoms or not, IU Health physicians will give you the tools to identify symptoms and triggers so you can minimize and manage a relapse.

IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors provide individual and group counseling, medicine and a wide array of therapies to assist you in managing your symptoms.

For severe symptoms that put you or others in danger, IU Health has inpatient hospital treatment. IU Health Behavioral Health physicians and counselors use a multidisciplinary approach that combines therapies, medicine and coping skills to help you live with bipolar disorder.

  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers. These medicines help you reduce mood swings between mania and depression by balancing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Patient Stories for Bipolar Disorder

National Alliance on Mental Illness

This large, national, grassroots mental health organization offers extensive information about treatments, support and research for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

Psycheducation.org

An internationally-known website about mood and anxiety conditions written by Oregon board-certified psychiatrist and bipolar expert Dr. James Phelps.

Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness

This large, national, grassroots mental health organization offers extensive information about treatments, support and research for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

Psycheducation.org

An internationally-known website about mood and anxiety conditions written by Oregon board-certified psychiatrist and bipolar expert Dr. James Phelps.