Many with a Bipolar type depression spend years of frustration receiving the wrong advice and the wrong medicines for this very treatable type of depression. It also can be surprisingly common it is in milder forms. In addition to depression symptoms, those with bipolar depression additionally experience either “highs” in energy or mood, or recurrent irritability/agitation, disturbed sleep and/or uncharacteristic behavior.
Bipolar Depression is one of my specialties, and I carefully stay informed with the most recent research available in addition to regularly consulting with my colleagues. I gained extensive experience working with Bipolar Depression in community mental health centers both in Illinois and at Terry Reilly Health Services in Nampa, ID. At Terry Reilly, I felt privileged to direct a major reorganization of the Behavioral Health Center in addition to providing direct client services.
Bipolar Depression can be very difficult to evaluate, and difficult to distinguish from ADHD, depression mixed with some anxiety, reactions to traumatic events, or even a medical condition. Traditional tests and even the official DSM list of Bipolar symptoms is typically just one piece of the puzzle in arriving at an accurate diagnosis. Equally important as self-observed symptoms are:
the family’s mental health history
friends’ and family perception of symptoms
past response to medication
age at the first major depression
long-term patterns in symptoms
As this long list suggests, working with a provider who truly specializes in Bipolar can be critical to getting the right diagnosis and the right help in a timely way. In one study, those with a Bipolar depression went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for an average of 12 years. So, if you have concerns after doing some reading or taking a self-test, please seek out appropriate professional consultation.
If you have questions about Bipolar, are seeking a second opinion, or are looking to re-establish counseling to improve your current coping, I would be happy to meet with you. My style is to first get to know you and your situation, then hear what symptoms of Bipolar Depression especially need relief. Together we will brainstorm concrete new suggestions that are well-proven in both research and through my experience helping many clients like you.