About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder 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.

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.

  • 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.

Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, it can be managed with a treatment plan that incorporates medications and psychotherapy.



Bipolar and Treatment Specialists 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)
  • Psychoeducation
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Mood Journal/Diaries
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Family Therapy

About the Bipolar Disorder Center

The UT Health Austin Bipolar Disorder Center offers a tightly coordinated outpatient management using the strongest available scientific evidence for the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. Our goal is to reduce the burden in people’s lives of both the illness and its treatment’s side effects while using resources efficiently, aiming to implement high value mental health care.