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Bipolar Disorder

Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist & Board Certified Psychiatrist located in Raleigh, NC and Richmond, VA

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a form of mental illness that involves episodes of severe depression alternating with episodes of mania. Both episodes cause significant mood disturbances and behavior changes that impact the patient’s life in many ways. At Zingher Psychiatric, Zev Zingher, MD, diagnoses bipolar disorder and offers a range of treatment options. Contact the Raleigh or Richmond, Virginia, office by phone or request an appointment online. Dr. Zingher also offers telehealth appointments. 

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar is a common but serious mental disorder that causes severe mood swings. If you have bipolar disorder, you’ll experience “highs” where you feel particularly full of energy and/or happy. You may even be able to go without much sleep. 

You’ll also experience “lows,” where you feel depressed, hopeless, or empty. Episodes of extreme mood swings can happen only rarely or occur several times each year.

What causes bipolar disorder?

If you have bipolar disorder, you may have physical changes or differences in your brain that contribute to symptoms. Bipolar disorder may also have genetic causes. For example, if you have a relative with this disorder, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.

Other risk factors for bipolar disorder include drug or alcohol abuse and periods of high stress.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

The symptoms of bipolar disorder vary based on whether you’re experiencing a low or a high. 

During periods of low mood, you may struggle with:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • During periods of high mood, you may experience:
  • Exaggerated self-confidence
  • Extreme euphoria
  • Increased activity
  • Unusual amounts of energy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Talkativeness
  • Poor judgment

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed? 

Dr. Zingher diagnoses bipolar disorder based on the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. He performs a physical exam and conducts a psychiatric evaluation to make this diagnosis. He may also ask you to keep a chart of your moods over a specific period.

What treatments are available?

Most patients with bipolar disorder need at least one type of medication to control their symptoms and prevent severe mood swings. 

Depending on your individual needs, Dr. Zingher may prescribe mood stabilizers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and/or anti-anxiety medications. Counseling and/or psychotherapy may also be beneficial.

If you have bipolar disorder, you’ll likely need lifelong treatment. Although you may feel better on your medication, you shouldn’t stop taking it, as your symptoms usually return.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Zingher, call the office or request an appointment online today.