Bipolar Disorder also called Manic Depressive Disorder is a brain disease that causes unexpected and dramatics shifts in mood. Moods can be intense and euphoric-“Manic” and at other times they may be sad and despairing –“Depressive”. Bipolar mood swings are not the frequent ups and downs of daily life that people often confuse with bipolar.
Bipolar moods swings called mood episodes are dramatic and people cycle from high to low and last days, weeks or months. In between periods can normal that can from weeks to years. Everyone has mood changes, but these are different than bipolar mood episodes.
Some non-bipolar people have a serious mood pattern of ultra-short fuse, excessive irritability and anger that is associated with extreme “mood lability”. Their mood changes go from happy to sad and back again very quickly and multiple times a day.
People often confuse daily non- polar mood swings with bipolar mood episodes. It is often hard for trained psychiatrists to distinguish the two. Bipolar Disorder is one of the most misdiagnosed psychiatric illnesses.
How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed and Treated?
Bipolar Disorder is difficult to diagnose because most of the time people are in a depressive phase. Usually people with bipolar disorder seek help when they are in the depressive phase of bipolar. The diagnosis is often missed because episodes of hypomania or mania are infrequent and last only days. The depressive episodes are more common and last much longer up to 90% of the time of the illness. People rarely seek help during the feel good hypomanic or manic phase. They get misdiagnoses as regular depression. Many people suffer for years because they are not are correctly diagnosed.
Mood stabilizing medications are usually the first choice to treat bipolar disorder. In general, people with bipolar disorder continue treatment with mood stabilizers for years. Bipolar medications are best prescribed by a psychiatrist.
Not everyone responds to medications in the same way. Several different medications may need to be tried before the best course of treatment is found.
Keeping a chart of daily mood symptoms, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events can help your psychiatrist track and treat the illness most effectively. Sometimes this is called a daily life chart. If a person’s symptoms change or if side effects become serious, the doctor may switch or add medications.
Like diabetes or heart disease, Bipolar Disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life. An effective maintenance treatment plan includes medication and psychotherapy for preventing relapse and reducing symptom severity. Proper treatment helps most people with bipolar disorder gain better control of their mood.
A Harvard trained Psychiatrist, Dr. Kittay sees patients who need Psychiatric care for Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorders, PTSD and ADHD.
Dr. Michael J. Kittay, MD, Harvard Trained Psychiatrist
- Harvard Trained Psychiatrist providing Comprehensive Psychiatric Care for Adults
- Experienced and Skilled Diagnostician and Psycho-pharmacologist
- Psychiatric management of Depression, Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress, ADHD, Bipolar, Eating and other Mental Health Disorders
Our Approach to Psychiatric Treatment
- The initial psychiatric evaluation is a comprehensive consultation that includes taking a thorough medical and psychiatric history. You will complete testing for psychiatric disorders including mood, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD and ADHD.
- This in-depth evaluation guides diagnosis which guides treatment. Because it may take several weeks before psychiatric medications work, a correct diagnosis and choosing the right medication is especially important. Otherwise it will be difficult to know if a medication will be effective or if it is being dosed properly. Getting it right the first time means you feel better sooner.
- We are as concerned as you are about which medications and how much medication you are taking. We are careful to prescribe the least number of medications at the lowest doses that will be effective. You are always part of the team who makes medication decisions.
- We recommend evidence based non medication strategies to compliment medications. This helps speed up the recovery process and minimizes the use of medications.
- Our goal is to make you the best version of yourself possible.