Bipolar Disorder


: What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that requires ongoing professional treatment. Because bipolar disorder can be complex to diagnose and treat, it is critical to find an experienced and caring team of mental health professionals who can provide proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.


Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness characterized by severe mood fluctuations. A patient with bipolar disorder experiences periods of mania or hypomania and can also experience periods of depression. These episodes can severely impact one’s ability to function if not properly treated. Those who have bipolar disorder are at a greater risk for attempting or completing suicide.

The goal of treatment is to stabilize these mood cycles so that affected individuals can live productive and fulfilling life.


Mania is characterized by a euphoric or highly irritable state and can include these symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity/increased energy
  • Decreased ability or need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid speech
  • Grandiosity
  • Hypersexuality
  • Impulsivity


Hypomania is a less severe form of mania, often characterized by:

  • Elevated mood
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Grandiosity
  • Reckless behavior


Depression is the opposite cycle, with a patient experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Sadness
  • Decreased energy
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Hopelessness and helplessness
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Trouble focusing or making decisions
  • Suicidal Thoughts

There is currently no cure for bipolar disorder. However, patients can achieve lasting stability and enjoy normal, healthy, joyful, and productive lives with appropriate treatment. Treatment can alleviate the disabling emotional ‘roller-coaster ride of cycling between the highs of mania and the depths of depression.


BIPOLAR I – To be diagnosed with Bipolar you must experience several symptoms of mania lasting at least a week, which interfere with your normal functioning. You do not have to cycle into depression. Some individuals experience mixed episodes, where they note symptoms of both mania and depression.

BIPOLAR II – Bipolar II is a less severe form of bipolar disorder. Manic episodes can be less intense and of shorter duration and are usually not disabling. Those with Bipolar II disorder also experience periods of depression.


Bipolar disorder affects millions of people – around 2.6% of the population in the U.S. It’s a leading cause of disability worldwide. The median age of onset is age 25; however, bipolar disorder can appear anytime from childhood to late middle age. Bipolar disorder occurs equally in people of either gender and affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Over two-thirds of sufferers have a blood relative with some mood disorder, indicating a genetic component. A child’s likelihood of developing bipolar disorder is higher with one bipolar parent, and climbs drastically when both parents have bipolar disorder.


Bipolar disorder is complex to diagnose. Individuals may also have multiple co-occurring diagnoses that also need to be appropriately diagnosed and treated. As a result, it is critical to find a team of professionals who can provide a comprehensive evaluation. It is beneficial to have a couple of mental health professionals on your side that will stay with you throughout your health journey.


At ASANTE, treatment for bipolar disorder begins with a careful diagnosis. You will receive a comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment by a board-licensed clinician. You can then start an individualized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment. A combination of therapy and medication usually obtains the best results. We will stay with you throughout your journey to stability and continue with long-term treatment, adjusting your treatment as necessary to maintain peace and optimum health.

Our clinicians can refer and support you in finding the medication combination that will result in a stable mood; our entire team of professionals can help you integrate appropriate therapy and lifestyle changes to support your recovery.

To get more information about how we can help you, call ASANTE at 909-886-3322