Bipolar Disorder Specialist

Pacifica Care of Suncoast

Psychiatrists located in Punta Gorda, FL

If you feel like you moods swing from extraordinary highs where you feel like you can do anything to the lowest, darkest depths of depression, you may be living with bipolar disorder. These extreme emotional states can disrupt your life, so getting help from Dr. Laura Tait and the experts at Pacifica Care of Suncoast in Punta Gorda, Florida, can even your emotional peaks and troughs, enabling a healthier lifestyle. Call or book an appointment online today for help.

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

Pacifica Care of Suncoast

What is bipolar disorder?

Formerly known as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is an umbrella term for three different conditions — bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder — that have extreme emotional states. These states are classified as manic, hypomanic, and major depressive episodes.

Bipolar I causes extreme and dramatic mood swings that range from manic episodes characterized by feeling energetic and excited or by being uncomfortably revved up or irritable to depressive episodes where you experience deep depression that includes feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Bipolar I is often diagnosed when a manic episode leads to dangerously disruptive or impulsive behavior.

Bipolar II also causes swings between highs and lows, but you may also have periods of normal function between your manic or depressive episodes. Bipolar II is typically diagnosed following a severe depressive episode.

Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by more frequent, but milder mood swings compared to the extremes of bipolar I and II. Cyclothymic disorder is often diagnosed after a two-year period of constantly changing moods.

What are symptoms of bipolar disorder?

The dramatic moods wings of bipolar disorders are the defining symptoms. During a manic episode you may have symptoms like:

  • Excessive energy, activity, and agitation
  • Euphoria
  • Racing thoughts
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes to sleep habits
  • Feeling easily distracted
  • Impulsivity

However, during depressive episodes you may experience symptoms including:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes to sleep habits
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration

How is bipolar disorder treated?

At Pacifica Care of Suncoast, you’ll receive customized care. The team combines medication and therapy to gain better control over your mood swings and your thoughts and behaviors during your manic and depressive episodes.

Your doctor may prescribe medications to control your symptoms. Some commonly prescribed medications include mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and antidepressants.

Dr. Tait and the team closely monitor how the medications affect you and may need to adjust your prescription or change the medication. Don’t stop taking your medication if you have a manic episode and feel amazing.

You may also benefit from psychotherapy, which often provides support and education to help you manage your symptoms and behaviors.

If you have extreme mood swings or if you’re concerned that a loved one is showing signs of bipolar disorder, call or make an appointment online today.