Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Saint Sophie's Psychiatric Center

Fargo, North Dakota

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Formerly known as manic depression or manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a condition that affects roughly 5.7 million Americans. While this condition most often begins in adolescence, it can also develop as late as age 50.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a neurobiological condition that results in unusual changes to mood, energy, activity levels, the ability to focus, and much more. Regardless of which phase of the condition you are currently experiencing, carrying out daily tasks can be difficult, if not impossible.

What Are the Types of Bipolar Disorder?

According to DSM-5, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, there are currently three recognized types of bipolar disorder. These are Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymic Disorder, also known as Cyclothymia.

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I Disorder is characterized by manic episodes that last at least seven days or are so severe that they require immediate hospitalization. Depressive episodes last at least two weeks, and manic episodes may also occur.

Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of hypomanic and depressive episodes. At least one depressive episode must last at least two weeks, and at least one hypomanic episode must last at least four days.


Cyclothymia is a rare condition characterized by moderate changes in mood from your baseline. People with this condition can usually hold down a job and function reasonably well but functioning consistently is a significant struggle when their mood trends downward from their baseline.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

The symptoms of bipolar disorder vary from individual to individual and can even change from month to month. Some of the most common symptoms associated with bipolar disorder are:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Aggression
  • Inability to focus
  • High or low appetite
  • Unusual risk-taking, such as extra spending or interest in sexuality
  • Racing thoughts
  • Over-excitement

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is idiopathic. In other words, the cause of the condition is not known. Risk factors for developing the condition include trauma, alcohol abuse, and having a first-degree relative, such as your mom or sister, with the disorder.

How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you must experience at least one episode of mania or hypomania. We will review your symptoms and take a blood test to ensure there is no other medical condition, like hypothyroidism, causing your symptoms.

How is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

There is no lab test for bipolar disorder. The diagnosis is based on a person's life history and how they may appear when a specialist interacts with them (Mental Status Examination). Your provider may order lab tests to rule out other medical causes of symptoms.

Bipolar disorder is treated with a combination of medication management, counseling, and psychotherapy. However, each treatment is tailored to the individual and his or her needs at the time.

What is the Outlook After a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis?

While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, the outlook is excellent. According to the National Advisory Mental Health Council, treatment for the condition has a phenomenal 80% success rate.

Schedule A Consultation Today!

If you believe you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, don't lose hope. Our compassionate psychiatrist and therapists can treat your condition and help you enjoy the life that you deserve. To learn more about your treatment options, please contact us now at Saint Sophie's Psychiatric Center in Fargo, ND, to schedule your initial consultation. We are licensed for telehealth in both North Dakota and Minnesota.