New York Psychiatrist

Bipolar DisorderNew York, NY

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes a person to have periods of emotional highs (mania) and episodes of depression. It is for this reason that the condition is also known as manic depression.

Like many mental health conditions, bipolar disorder can be hard to detect, especially for people who have never had prior experience with the illness. Which is why we should learn more about it right now.

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About bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder will not manifest itself in the exact same way in each person.

A person that suffers from bipolar disorder may have spells of normalcy in between manic or depressive episodes. Others may have a depressive episode immediately after a manic one, or a manic episode after a depressive one, followed by a period of normalcy.

Types of bipolar disorder

Also worth noting is that some people have extremely severe episodes while others have moderate to mild episodes. There are a few main types of bipolar disorder, and they are categorized based on their severity:

Bipolar 1: A person with this type has experienced mania at least once, preceded or followed by a bout of depression. The mania in bipolar one can become severe enough to trigger a psychotic break (a break from reality)

Bipolar 2: A person with this type has never experienced mania, but they have experienced depression and a much less severe version of mania known as hypomania.

Cyclothymic disorder: A person with this kind of manic depression has experienced multiple episodes of hypomania and depression over the course of two years (one year in children)

Bipolar disorder can also be induced by substance abuse or underlying illnesses.


Bipolar disorder does not have a cut and dried cause. However, the consensus among mental health specialists is that:

  • People with a family history of mental illness are at a higher risk of developing the condition
  • Hormonal imbalances can also trigger bipolar disorder
  • People with chemical imbalances in the brain can develop psychological disorders, like manic depression
  • Traumatic situations and events can trigger the condition, especially in people who are already predisposed to the illness
  • Symptoms of mania

    Mania usually presents itself with one or more of the following signs, which are also observed in hypomania, but to a lesser extent:

  • Increased energy levels that take away the need for sleep
  • The person may become jumpy
  • Racing, disorganized thoughts that lead to speech that sometimes makes no sense
  • The person may talk too much and too fast
  • They may become irritable and distracted
  • The person may display uninhibited, inappropriate behavior. They may take risks that put themselves and those around them in danger
  • The person may experience a break from reality and will need to be hospitalized

  • Note that hypomania rarely ever leads to psychotic breaks.

    Symptoms of depression

    The depression may come immediately before or after the mania. It may also come after or before a period of calmness. Its symptoms are:

  • Feelings of sadness and despair
  • A change in eating and sleeping patterns
  • A change in weight
  • Constant fatigue
  • Apathy to anything that would otherwise be pleasurable
  • Social withdrawal
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Treatment

    Bipolar disorder is treated with a multi-pronged approach that involves medication, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or social therapy.

    A mental health specialist creates a treatment plan that takes into account the person's medical history and the frequency or severity of their symptoms.

    Take control of bipolar disorder and live your best life

    With proper treatment, there is nothing stopping you from leading a full and happy life with bipolar disorder. At Eileen Wachter, MD, can help you regain control from the condition and put bipolar disorder in its place. Visit us at our New York office today.