Bipolar and Related Disorders

Assessment and Treatment of Bipolar and Related Disorders

People with bipolar disorders may experience a range of symptoms that can often lead to confusion and problems coping with everyday life. One reason mood disorders are difficult to understand is due to the variety of emotions and how they fluctuate from one day to the next. In the past, until around 1980, bipolar spectrum symptoms were often referred to as “manic depressive episodes”.
Bipolar spectrum disorders may vary in intensity and signs/symptoms ranging from depression to mania. These may include: periods of unusual, excessive goal-directed activity, decreased need for sleep, being more talkative than usual, irritability, racing thoughts, grandiose plans, and sometimes disorganized thinking, delusions or hallucinations. The mood experienced may persist for hours, days or weeks, and then suddenly change. Manic behaviors may have preceded or been followed by a depressive episode, or there may be depressive symptoms throughout the manic episode. These constant changes may cause a person to have difficulty sustaining healthy relationships, employment, or financial stability.


Is there help available that can provide a long term solution?

The simple answer is YES! People who experience this set of challenges can get better if they manage their health with a trained mental health practitioner. Part of the solution lies with understanding this is a psychiatric problem that needs psychiatric attention. Dr. Defilippo is experienced with these and other disorders and can help someone experiencing these difficulties return to a normal life pattern.

What causes a bipolar disorder? Though currently a clear, definitive cause(s) still eludes us, it is a group of disorders recognized by its signs and symptoms, with a strong genetic predisposition. There are 3 general diagnoses with in the bipolar spectrum:

  • Bipolar I,
  • Bipolar II,
  • Cyclothymic Disorder.

The features that delineate these are based on the duration of the problems, and what type of symptoms a person is experiencing. Men and women are equally susceptible to this illness, though it appears to develop differently in males and females.

How Can Vanguard Psychiatry Help?

Ken’s situation.

Ken has been experiencing mood swings that have begun to interfere with his job and relationships. He is 23 years old and works in a warehouse on the swing shift, from 3:00 pm until 11:30. He lives with his mom and has some friends whom he games with online. Ken has been feeling more and more depressed lately and talked to his mom about it. They both decided to give Dr. Defilippo at Vanguard Psychiatry a call.

Ken spoke with Dr. Defilippo and described what has been happening. His mom was also there to provide valuable objective information. Ken said he was typically easy going, although he did experience times when he felt worthless and discouraged, and had some thoughts of wishing he was dead. Ken said he typically gets home from work around midnight, and gets online to play his favorite role playing game (RPG).

Recently he joined various groups so he could continue playing with people who live in other times zones because he wasn’t tired, felt that he was probably one of the greatest players of all time and that he could eventually make money entering tournaments. Ken sometimes fantasized about going to Japan and playing in a world-wide competition. Ken’s mom became concerned about him when he spent several days playing the game, missing his work shift, and getting irritable with her when she suggested he was “out of balance”.

At first Ken resisted getting help, but when his girlfriend told him that his behaviors were a “turn-off” he realized he better do something, or risk losing everything. He asked his mom for help and they scheduled an appointment with Vanguard Psychiatry.


How can Vanguard Psychiatry help Ken?

First, Dr. Defilippo was able to get a full history of Ken’s symptoms, and learned by speaking with both Ken and his mother that his uncle also suffered from similar symptoms. Dr. Defilippo was able to work with Ken to establish goals that they would work on together over the next several months that included medication, sleep schedule, and activities that would contribute to a lifestyle that was more balanced. Ken realized that he had good support from his family and friends which would also help him to obtain his goals.

Working with a trained psychiatric professional can help clarify the symptoms you are experiencing and help you find solutions. At Vanguard Psychiatry we understand that mental health treatmentrequires a personalized approach and each person’s experience is unique. Dr Defilippo will explore solutions that will provide relief and help you enjoy life again.

Request an appointment and a Vanguard team member will get back to you shortly!

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