Bipolar Disorder - Assessment & Diagnosis Services

Background and Symptoms

Bipolar disorder is characterised by extreme mood swings. Mood swings range from mania (highs) to depression (lows) and are severe enough to effect day-to-day life.

Bipolar is the fourth most-common mental health problem worldwide after depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. 1% to 2% of the population experience a lifetime prevalence of bipolar.

Mania
The DSM-5 defines mania as a "distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood." The episode must last at least a week. Common symptoms of mania include;
  • Inflated self-esteem or feelings of grandiosity
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased goal-directed activity (e.g. excessive planning, increased interest in social or sexual activities)
  • Improved performance
  • Acting 'out of character'
  • Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high-risk consequence
Hypomania
Hypomania is a milder form of mania that lasts for a few days. Common symptoms include:
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased confidence
  • Rapid speech
  • Increased activity levels (e.g. more social, increased sexual energy)
  • Racing thoughts / difficulty concentrating

Other symptoms of Bipolar include depression and mixed episodes (feeling high and low at the same time). Symptoms of bipolar disorder may be triggered by many factors. For example, abuse (physical, sexual, emotional), bereavement, breakdown of a relationship, sleep disturbances, physical illness etc.

There are several different types of Bipolar disorder. All types involve some sort of depressive and manic/hypomanic episodes. The diagnosis of bipolar is dependent on the degree and severity to which these symptoms are experienced.

Benefit of Getting an Assessment

Obtaining a diagnosis, for any condition, is often the step towards an improved life. A diagnosis will enable the person diagnosed to access information relevant to them, to obtain specific and tailored treatments and where relevant – medication.

With the right support and / or outlook a diagnosis can be extremely comforting, especially if a condition has been present for some time.

Whether you share your diagnosis with others or keep it private it can benefit interpersonal relationships including family, friends and work - making life easier.

If your assessment provides a negative diagnosis, that is that you don’t meet the criteria for this specific diagnosis, that can be equally as rewarding. Plus, our trained clinicians will advise if they recognise any potential, further, avenues for consideration.

How to Get an Assessment With Us at MHW?

Privately

Private healthcare refers to health services which you purchase yourself directly with the provider (MHW) or via medical insurance.

Although here at MHW we do provide some services to the NHS for certain conditions we also provide our full range of services privately too.

What are the benefits of Private Healthcare?

  1. In many instances choosing to go private means shorter waiting times and therefore quicker diagnosis and treatment.
  2. For some conditions a private practice may have access to a wider range of treatments, therapies and medications than the NHS

To find out more about seeing MHW as a private patient please contact us.

The Assessment

During the first appointment a consultant psychiatrist will initiate a detailed assessment looking at client history and diagnostic rating scales. Dr Mohamad has a particular interest in bipolar and the comorbidities attached with the condition. Based on a diagnosis, a treatment plan will be devised collaboratively.

Treatments

Treatments options may consider the use of medications, which could include mood stabilisers and other licenced medications used for bipolar. Psychological approaches can also be looked at, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Such approaches can be useful in the prevention of relapse, noticing warning signs and reducing precipitating risks for triggering the episodes.

Next Steps

For more information or to find out how to book an appointment then please contact us.

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