Bipolar Disorder Q & A
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder — also called manic-depressive illness — is a brain disorder that causes unusual and sometimes erratic shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. Bipolar disorder often involves moods and energy levels that are extreme — either depressed and lethargic or manic and energetic.
There are four categories of bipolar disorder that are diagnosed based on symptoms and intensity of manic or depressive episodes. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Excess or depleted energy levels
- Feeling elated or very depressed
- Moving more quickly or slowly
- Racing thoughts or forgetfulness
- Eating too much or too little
- Risky behaviors or thoughts of suicide
Both men and women can experience bipolar disorder, and symptoms and severity are unique to each person.
How is bipolar disorder treated?
The most common treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and therapy. Typical medications prescribed for bipolar disorder are:
- Mood stabilizers
Some people experience resistant bipolar disorder that doesn’t respond to traditional treatment methods. If your symptoms aren’t resolved with normal treatment approaches, Boston MindCare, PC, offers ketamine infusions to reduce the severity of bipolar disorder.
How does ketamine treat bipolar disorder?
Research has shown that depressive episodes related to bipolar disorder respond well to glutamate inhibition. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter responsible for activating cellular functions, but excessive glutamate activity in the brain can cause cell death and disruption.
Ketamine reduces the effects of glutamate in the brain, which can stabilize mood. For people with resistant bipolar disorder, depressive symptoms can be alleviated temporarily with a single ketamine infusion. Multiple infusions are recommended to provide longer-lasting results.
Is ketamine an option for me?
The doctors at Boston MindCare, PC, perform thorough psychiatric and physical evaluations before recommending ketamine therapy. Ketamine can be helpful in relieving depressive episodes of bipolar disorder that don’t respond to other medications, but it’s not recommended if you have a history of substance abuse or schizophrenia.
If you’re interested in ketamine therapy for bipolar disorder, discuss your symptoms and medical history with the team during your consultation. They work with you to determine if ketamine infusions would be beneficial and what the best dosage would be based on your medication history and response to treatment.
To set up a consultation to discuss ketamine therapy for bipolar disorder, call Boston MindCare, PC, or use the online booking tool to schedule now.