About Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a psychological condition affecting up to 2% of the world’s population. It affects people consistently across sex, race, ethnicity, geography, culture and socioeconomic class. It is the 6th leading cause of disability worldwide, and the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Bipolar disorder has the highest rate of suicide of any psychiatric illness, especially in the first 10 years of the illness. It is often misdiagnosed or diagnosed years after its first presentation, and highly debilitating if not well controlled. Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, it can be managed with a treatment plan that incorporates medications and psychotherapy.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
Mood swings, or episodes that characterize bipolar disorder, may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any. While there are two main types of bipolar disorder, the presentation of one’s mood can be rather mixed.
Types of bipolar disorder include:
- Bipolar disorder Type 1: Defined by the appearance of at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes, and may be associated with psychosis (i.e. break from reality)
- Bipolar disorder Type 2: Defined by one episode of hypomania (a less severe form of mania) and one episode of depression. Hypomanic episodes never require hospitalization nor are associated with psychosis
Treating Bipolar Disorder at UT Health Austin
The Bipolar Disorder Center in the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences at UT Health Austin provides counseling, psychiatric consultation and prevention services that facilitate a patients’ life goals and enhance their personal growth and well-being.
The Bipolar Disorder Center operates on a referral basis only and treats patients from 16-35 years old diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Patients undergo a six-week program focused on treating depressive and manic symptoms and aims to enhance function. The patient will work together with the clinical team to define a personalized treatment plan.
The clinical team uses an integrative pharmaco/psychotherapeutic approach with elements of the following modalities:
- Medication Management
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Mindfulness/Acceptance Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)
- Relapse Prevention
- Mood Journal/Diaries
- Motivational Interviewing
- Family Therapy
Care Team Approach
At UT Health Austin, we take a multidisciplinary approach to your care. This means you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines caring for you in one place to avoid having to schedule multiple appointments with providers at locations all over the city. The Bipolar Disorder Center care team includes bipolar disorder specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, pharmacists, social workers, peer support specialists, and more who work together to help you get back to the things in your life that matter most to you.
We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to use innovative scientific evidence for the diagnosis and treatment of your condition. Patients undergo a six-week program focused on treating depressive and manic symptoms with the goal of enhancing function. Advanced imaging and lab testing are also available on-site if needed.