“Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me.”
― Vincent van Gogh
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Did you experience a manic episode or have to be hospitalized for your health and wellbeing? Are you looking for a treatment team that can offer personalized therapy and medication you need?
Let us help.
Taconic Psychiatry provides effective, holistic and conventional pharmacologic treatment for people with bipolar disorder, and we would love to work with you. We serve clients here in Manchester and all across Vermont, both online as well as in-person. If you are interested and ready to get started on your wellness journey, contact us today.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder (sometimes referred to as manic depressive) is a relatively common health condition that affects your ability to regulate your mood and manage your behavior. It is marked by phases of depressive and manic symptoms that can last for days or even weeks at a time. As one of the more serious and chronic mental health issues, bipolar disorder often requires professional support and intervention in order to reach a place of wellness.
There are three main types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.
Bipolar I disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences at least one period of mania, also called a manic episode. Manic symptoms can include multiple days and nights without a need to sleep, hyperactivity, racing thoughts, impulsivity (e.g., spending all the money in your bank account in one night), hypersexuality, and rapid speech. People with bipolar I disorder may also experience bouts of depression, which can include depressed mood, difficulties with sleep, suicidal thoughts*, loss of energy or drive, and hopelessness.
Bipolar II disorder is similar to bipolar I, although the manic symptoms are much less severe, which is why they are called hypomanic episodes. Depression is also very common in bipolar II, and the depressive episodes tend to be more frequent.
Cyclothymia is the least severe form of bipolar disorder, as the symptoms of depression and mania are mild. However, as the name suggests, people with cyclothymia will experience more frequent cycles of mania and depression over time.
* Suicidal thoughts are very common in people with bipolar disorder and depression and should be taken seriously. If you or a loved one feel unsafe, please call 911 and or contact the VT Suicide Prevention Center and seek professional help immediately.
What causes bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder alters the functioning of the mind and body because it is so neurologically bound. In other words, the symptoms can be directly traced back to the way your nervous system is firing.
As you might expect, bipolar is highly heritable. If bipolar disorder runs in your family, then you have an increased risk of having it compared to the average population. People who have a genetic propensity for bipolar disorder will typically experience their first manic episodes in adolescence and early adulthood.
Additionally, bipolar disorder can be rooted in an underlying medical condition. For example, thyroid issues can sometimes cause manic and depressive symptoms. This is why we encourage all of our clients to get regular checkups from their medical providers to help rule out those kinds of issues. Additionally, Dr. Pruett will order lab work to rule out other medical conditions that could mimic mania. Similarly, bipolar disorder can sometimes be caused by drug use, as certain recreational drugs can induce mania and depression.
No matter what type of bipolar you have, no matter how much it has affected you, you can have a normal and happy life with proper treatment and care.
How does treatment for bipolar disorder work?
Treatment for bipolar is designed to address the neurological underpinnings of the disorder while also helping you build a life worth living, which is why the gold-standard involves a combination of psychiatric and psychological intervention.
Medication for bipolar disorder typically involves a mood-stabilizing medication that helps decrease the likelihood and severity of manic episodes. While any psychiatrist can prescribe mood stabilizers, Integrative Psychiatrists like Dr. Adam Pruett can also offer suggestions for herbs, supplements, and dietary changes based on your medical history and symptoms. These interventions can help your body regulate and perform better as you make progress towards your goals.
Psychotherapy for bipolar disorder is about equipping you with the skills and insights you need to live well and overcome adversity. Bipolar disorder can be confusing and sometimes difficult to endure without support. Therapists, such as our own Dr. Ben Stillman, can provide a safe, confidential space for you to feel understood and respected as you learn to navigate life with bipolar. Taconic Psychiatry also practices using psychodynamic psychotherapy techniques designed to help you understand yourself and others on a deeper level.
We provide specialized treatment for people with bipolar disorder – people just like you – because no one should have to deal with this alone. You deserve a treatment team that can give you the care you deserve, and we want to help make that happen.
We are here for you.
All of our services are entirely confidential and offered both online as well as in person. We work with teens (16+) and adults from all over Vermont: Manchester, Dorset, Bennington, Rutland, Londonderry, Winhall, Arlington, Shaftsbury, West Dover, and beyond. We work collaboratively to help you reach your goals as efficiently and effectively as possible. We strive to help you feel supported, understood, and cared for as you make your wellness journey.
No matter how long you’ve struggled, no matter how hopeless things might seem, we can help.
With the help of Drs. Stillman and Pruett, you can begin to:
- Find immediate relief with effective medication
- Reduce the frequency and intensity of depression and mania
- Be active and productive again
- Reconnect with yourself and others
- Find new purpose and meaning in life
- Set new, healthier habits
- Make tangible progress towards your goals