Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of elevated mood/energy (i.e., mania or hypomania, depending on the duration, severity and number of symptoms), which are often accompanied by periods of low mood/energy (e.g., depression). Hence, someone suffering with bipolar disorder often vacillates between the two poles, struggling to find his/her medium, healthy state. Bipolar disorder not only affects mood and energy, it also affects sleep, thoughts, behaviors, etc., and when untreated, can become dangerous to the person and/or others. Bipolar Disorder can also be difficult to diagnose and manage, often requiring a balance of psychological and pharmacological treatment. It usually manifests in early adulthood and can be a very frightening, confusing, humiliating and traumatic experience. In manic episodes, people typically lose control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors and when severe, can result in hospitalization. Not only do people struggle to accept this disruption to their health and change to their identity, but they oftentimes struggle with processing the events that led up to their diagnosis and even the treatment they received.
Fortunately, effective interventions for Bipolar Disorder do exist. With regard to therapy, interpersonal and social rhythms therapy (IPSRT) is an evidence-based treatment that has been found to be effective in managing bipolar disorder. Using, IPSRT and cognitive behavioral interventions, I can help you to process this change in your life, understand what factors can trigger, exacerbate or alleviate manic and depressive episodes and implement strategies toward health and wellness.