Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder, is a serious, double-edged mental illness. In contrast to the sustained bleakness of major depression (technically called unipolar disorder when episodes only involve major depression and no manic or hypomanic periods), bipolar disorder is characterized by cyclical periods of high energy and elation and then low energy and despair. The pattern of the mood alternations varies widely among those with the disorder. In some people, years...
You have been treated for depression for more than 3 weeks, but you aren't getting better.
Who to see
Bipolar disorder is complex and hard to diagnose,
because it has many phases and symptoms. Sometimes it is misdiagnosed as only
depression, because people are more likely to seek
treatment during a period of depression.
After you are diagnosed
with bipolar disorder, you'll need to keep a long-term relationship with
your doctor or therapist. It can help you make sure that your treatment is consistent and
that your medicines can be adjusted as needed.
health professionals can diagnose bipolar disorder, you will probably be
referred to a
psychiatrist who specializes in treating such
disorders. He or she can prescribe medicines and provide counseling. Other health
professionals who can diagnose bipolar disorder include: