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Bipolar Disorder Treated with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) at New York Behavioral Health

Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Bipolar Disorders (often referred to as Manic-Depression) consist of various types depending on the presence or absence of manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes.  These include Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II, Bipolar Not Otherwise Specified, and variants depending on characteristics of the most recent episode.

Manic Episodes

Manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes need to be assessed in order for a mental health professional to properly diagnose these disorders.

Manic episodes require a minimum of a week of symptoms, which may include inflated sense of self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, increases in pleasurable or goal-directed behaviors to the extent that there is a likelihood of disastrous consequences to personal safety and health, financial security, and familial, personal, and work relationships. 

Hypomanic episodes involve symptoms similar to a manic episode, but only need to be present for four days and does not cause significant impairment.

Depressive episodes involve depressed mood or anhedonia, along with other symptoms including changes in weight, sleep, motor behavior, energy, worthlessness, guilt, concentration, hopelessness, or thoughts of death or suicide.

Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar I Disorder could be diagnosed when a manic (or mixed) episode has occurred.  A depressive episode could be part of the course but is not necessary for a diagnosis of Bipolar I.

Bipolar II Disorder could be diagnosed if there has never been a manic (or mixed) episode and a hypomanic episode and depressive episode have occurred.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Bipolar disorders are often treated with psychotropic medications, e.g., lithium and Depakote.  There is scientific evidence that adding cognitive behavioral therapy as an adjunct can be helpful.  Bipolar symptoms may decrease further and increases in coping skills are found when therapy is added.