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Treatment of Bipolar Disorder | TMS Therapy in Fresno, CA
NeuroStar TMS Therapy® Provider | (559) 493-5544 | 1312 W. Herndon Ave. Suite 102 Fresno, CA 93711

What Does "Bipolar" mean?

Unfortunately the term "Bipolar" has become synonymous with the phrase "mood swings".  While people with "Bipolar" illness (also known as "Manic-Depression") have mood swings, not all mood swings are "Bipolar".  No doubt this is one reason why the diagnosis of "Bipolar" is so popular today.  It is a frequently used term from Hollywood to self-help books and magazines- a term used to describe almost any mental health condition.  By learning about what “Bipolar” actually IS, we can more easily see those situations when it is NOT.  Actual Bipolar illness can occur in both children and adults while affecting males and females equally.

There are different types of Bipolar illness but a description of classic "Manic-Depression" gives one a good idea of just what Bipolar illness is.  It is just as the name implies- cycling between episodes of mania and depression.  "Mania" is an overly happy, outgoing, and at times irritable mood lasting at least 1 week.  Several behaviors accompany mania including: talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts, being easily distracted, taking on several new projects, requiring very little sleep, having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities, and behaving impulsively by taking part in a lot of pleasurable and/or high-risk behaviors (such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive business investments).  Depressive episodes are episodes of Major Depression lasting at least 2 weeks (a description of major depression is a separate topic unto itself but a simple explanation is a sadness that causes a loss of interest in daily activities, affects appetite, lowers energy, affects sleep, and impairs concentration).

The severity and frequency of these symptoms are classified into different types of bipolar disorder. The cause of bipolar disorder is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, biological and environmental factors.  If mood swings are a problem, don't assume its "Bipolar".  Medical illnesses, substance abuse, personality disorders, and acute stress are just a few of the reasons for someone to exhibit mood swings.  Seek the expertise of a professional to diagnosis and treat the problem.

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Options for Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Once the diagnosis has been verified, here are a number of options that someone with Bipolar Disorder can take when it comes to treatment. The most common is medication, which can be very effective. Typically these mood stabilizers are still taken with the antidepressants to prevent manic episodes. While this method may work to control some patient’s symptoms, it does not have a beneficial effect for every patient. Additionally, there may be side effects such as headache, stomach upset, weight gain, tremor, thyroid and kidney problems, or sexual issues.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an FDA-approved treatment for Major Depressive Disorder that uses a MRI-strength magnetic field to stimulate very specific parts of the brain. One of its main benefits is its low tendency to produce negative side effects. Current studies have shown TMS may also have a role in the depressed phase of Bipolar Disorder.

It is important to seek help and see your doctor if you experience symptoms, especially suicidal thoughts. Treatment usually includes mood stabilizing, antidepressant or anti-seizure medications and psychotherapy. Since the disorder is recurring, long-term treatment is usually recommended to maintain a balanced mood. Long-term treatment can help make this potentially life-threatening disease manageable. Talk to your doctor at the first sign of symptoms to help treat bipolar disorder.

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Bradley T. Wajda, D.O. PC
1312 W Herndon Ave, Suite 102
Fresno, CA 93711
Phone: (559) 493-5544
Fax: (559) 493-5166

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