Bipolar Disorder

By Your Side Through Life’s Ups and Downs

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes people to have both high and low moods. Most individuals spend 3x the amount of time in depressed phases as they do in their manic phases, but no two bipolar disorders are exactly the same.

The Adult Mental Health providers at Rochester Regional Health are experienced in identifying, diagnosing, and treating bipolar disorder, and will work closely with you to find a treatment to fit your individual needs.

Schedule an Appointment 

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Characterized by low and high moods, people with bipolar disorder have times where they feel overly happy and joyful, or times when they are feeling very sad or normal. The two poles of mood–or the highs and lows–are what led to the name “bipolar disorder.”

The hallmark of bipolar disorder is the occurrence of the manic episode; in order to meet the criteria for bipolar disorder, you must have had at least one manic episode in your lifetime, with or without ever having a depressive episode.


Manic, or hypomania, is used to describe the times when you feel overly excited and confident. These feelings can turn into anger, confusion, irritability, and rage quickly.  


Depressive is the term used to describe times when you are feeling very sad or depressed.

Research continues to help us determine what roles genetics, changes in the brain, and environmental factors like stress have on bipolar disorder. Eventually, this research may give us the ability to prevent the onset of bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder 

The severity of manic and depressive phases differs person-to-person, and within the same person at different times. It is important to remember that bipolar disorder mood changes are a departure from your regular self and that the mood change is sustained for a long period of time.

Your changing moods will not always follow a set pattern, and depression will not always follow a manic phase. Mood changes can happen over weeks, months, or even years, and will not be the same every time or for every person.

Symptoms of mania (these are your highs) include:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Excessive excitement, happiness, and hopefulness
  • High sex drive
  • Increased energy
  • Increased impulsivity
  • Less need for sleep
  • Poor Concentration
  • Rapid speech
  • Restlessness
  • Sudden mood changes (joy to irritability, anger, or hostility)
  • Tendency to make unattainable, unrealistic plans
  • Tendency to show poor judgment

Some people with bipolar disorder may experience psychosis, hallucinating, and have false beliefs from which they cannot be swayed. 

Symptoms of bipolar depression (these are your lows) include:

  • A change in appetite
  • Attempting suicide
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Excessive sleep
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Sadness
  • Thoughts of death

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it may be time to speak with a Mental Health provider.

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder

Your symptoms, their frequency, length, and severity are incredibly important for an accurate diagnosis. With the help of friends and family, your provider can ensure we have an accurate background and grasp of your symptoms.

Your mental health provider will compile your complete medical history and may ask you questions about any family history of mental illness.

Treating Bipolar Disorder

There is no quick cure for bipolar disorder. It is a long-term illness that will require management throughout your life. Both psychotherapy and medication are treatment options and are often used simultaneously to ensure you’re receiving well-rounded care. 

Medication options do exist, and treatment options at Rochester Regional Health are personalized to your needs. Talk to your provider about your options for more information.

Your Rochester Regional Health Mental Health provider will work with you to ensure we find the right treatment for you.


female doctor illustration

Don’t Struggle on Your Own

If you are searching for a mental health ally and advocate, look no further than the compassionate experts at Rochester Regional Health. By your side throughout your journey, your mental health provider will use evidence-based practices to give you the most thorough care in the region.
Call Adult Mental Health