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Bipolar Disorder

Steven R. Kafrissen M.D. DLFAPA -  - Psychiatrist

Steven R. Kafrissen M.D. DLFAPA

Psychiatrist located in Kingston, PA

Bipolar disorder is a common mental health issue, affecting over 5 million Americans whose moods swing from manic highs to depressive lows. Steven R. Kafrissen, MD, helps patients from in and around Kingston, Pennsylvania manage their symptoms and lead normal lives with customized psychiatric care. If you’re concerned about bipolar disorder, call or schedule a consultation online today for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health issue characterized by dramatic shifts in mood, ranging from high manic episodes to periods of depression. Your mood may change quickly or your swings can last for weeks or even months.

Bipolar disorder is broken into two classifications. Bipolar I disorder is characterized by dramatic swings between mania and depression. Longer episodes of mania and depression characterize bipolar II disorder. Most people seek treatment following the depressive periods although the manic disorders can become just as dangerous.  

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

The symptoms of bipolar disorder vary between manic symptoms and depressive symptoms.

Manic symptoms include:

  • Feelings of elation and high energy
  • Increased levels of activity
  • Insomnia
  • Racing thoughts
  • Talking very quickly
  • Trying to do too many things at once
  • Risky behaviors like excessive spending or sexual behavior

Depressive symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Low energy levels and decreased interest in activity
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory issues
  • Suicidal thoughts or preoccupation with death

What causes bipolar disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), there is no single cause or trigger for bipolar disorder. Some of the contributing factors include brain structure, genetics, and family history.

Recent studies show that people with bipolar disorders have different brain structures and functionality than people who don't have a bipolar disorder. Similarly, if you have certain genes, you are a higher risk of developing the condition. However, carrying a gene doesn't guarantee that you'll develop the disorder.

Bipolar disorder appears to be hereditary. If you have a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder, your chances of developing the condition are increased.

How is bipolar disorder treated?

Dr. Kafrissen offers customized treatment to address your specific symptoms and concerns with bipolar disorder. Treatment often combines medication and talk therapies.

Dr. Kafrissen may prescribe mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and/ or antidepressants, depending on your needs. These medications help to control your mood swings and feelings so you can focus on learning more healthy behavioral responses in talk therapy sessions.

It is important to continue treatment, even if you feel ‘normal’. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disorder that requires long-term treatment. It’s common to experience periods of normalcy between manic and depressive episodes, or for the manic episodes to begin to feel like a preferred version of normal.

If you have questions or concerns about bipolar disorder, call or schedule an appointment online.