This weekend we invited psychiatrist Dr. Michael Lyles to answer our questions on bipolar disorder. Make sure you listen and share this show with a friend.

When academy award winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones announced that she suffered from Bipolar 2 Disorder and checked into a mental health facility for a brief stay in 2011, it made celebrity news. She wasn’t alone. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 5.7 million people struggle with Bipolar Disorder, a disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood.

Bipolar 2 is similar to Bipolar 1 in that it involves mood cycling, but the ups usually don’t reach a manic phase. The elevation of mood is less intense but the person suffers more from depressive episodes. With Bipolar 1, mania is the main mood state that is concerning. Here is what to look for when someone is manic?

1) Fast and racing thoughts and speech

2) Grandiose beliefs and inappropriate social behavior

3) Elation, euphoria

4) Poor judgement and impulsivity including increased sexual desire

5) Irritability and lots of energy

6) Decreased need for sleep

With Bipolar 1 or 2, people can stabilize their moods with proper treatment, medication and support. If you or someone you know may be bipolar, get a physical exam from your doctor and report your symptoms. There is no physical test for bipolar disorder, but you may need a mood stabilizing medication and psychotherapy. Treatment can be very effective and focuses on stabilizing mood so a person can function well.

Understanding Bipolar Disorder