Bipolar Disorder Specialist

Jacobi Care

Matthew A. Jacobs, DO

Psychiatry & Virtual Reality Psychiatry located in Palo Alto, CA

Feeling happy one day and down the next isn't that unusual, but people with bipolar disorder suffer from mood swings so severe that it's impossible to function normally. If you have symptoms of bipolar disorder, board-certified psychiatrist Matthew Jacobs, DO, of Jacobi Care in Palo Alto, California, offers online telepsychiatry consultations to help you manage your condition. Find out how you can get expert treatment and support for your bipolar disorder by calling Jacobi Care today or booking an appointment online.

Bipolar Disorder Q&A

What is bipolar disorder?

When you have bipolar disorder, you experience changes in mood from manic (excitable) and hypomanic (mildly excitable) to depressive (low mood).

The transitions can happen with little or no warning, so you might be in a manic state where you feel on top of the world and buzzing with energy then plunge into a depression so profound you can't get out of bed.

These switches between moods are exhausting and cause severe disruption to your home life, relationships, and ability to work or study.

What symptoms does bipolar disorder cause?

When you’re in the manic phase of bipolar disorder, you might experience symptoms such as:

  • Overconfidence
  • Racing thoughts
  • Inability to switch off
  • Not needing to sleep
  • Excitability
  • Becoming loud and aggressive
  • Overexerting yourself
  • Not being able to focus
  • Irritability and anger
  • Taking part in high-risk activities

Mania can make you believe you're invincible, and you become oblivious to the consequences of your actions. For example, you might overspend on your credit card, drive recklessly, or experiment with illegal substances.

The depressive phase is the opposite of mania, so you have no energy, feel endlessly sad and despairing, and might consider self-harm or suicide. You're also likely to be overcome with shame at things you did when you were in the manic phase.

Are there different types of bipolar disorder?

There are three types of bipolar disorder:

Bipolar 1 disorder

The mood changes in bipolar 1 disorder are the most extreme.

Bipolar 2 disorder

Manic episodes are less extreme with bipolar 2 disorder, and you might experience periods of relative normality between mood changes.

Cyclothymic disorder

People with cyclothymic disorder experience fairly regular changes between mania and depression, but the symptoms are less severe than those of bipolar 1 or 2.

How is bipolar disorder treated?

Dr. Jacobs customizes treatment for each patient with bipolar disorder, adjusting the therapies to suit the severity of your condition and your unique needs. There are two primary approaches to managing bipolar disorder:

Medication

Mood stabilizers like lithium and anticonvulsant medications can help to level out your mood swings, and antidepressants are useful for managing the depressive phases of your illness.

Talk therapies

Psychotherapy is vital in treating bipolar disorder. Dr. Jacobs uses it to help you understand your condition and address any issues making your mood swings worse. He can also use techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to show you ways to manage your bipolar disorder more effectively.

Most patients benefit from a combination of these treatments. Dr. Jacobs provides secure telepsychiatry services for your therapy sessions and can prescribe your medication electronically as well.

If you're tired of bouncing from mania to depression in an endless loop, call Jacobi Care or book your telehealth appointment online today.