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Bipolar Disorder

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Everyone experiences joy and sadness. However, experiencing the highest highs and lowest lows over a short period of time could be a sign of bipolar disorder.

Help for Bipolar Disorder at MultiCare Behavioral Health

We treat patients with bipolar disorder on a regular basis. Our team of state-certified mental health specialists offer quick and accurate diagnoses, helping you or your loved one receive the right treatment when it’s needed the most.

We offer a range of services for people with bipolar disorder, including:

  • Services for children: Although bipolar disorder is not common in children, some children start experiencing symptoms in their late teens. Our Child & Family Services program offers counseling services at our main Behavioral Health Center, as well as at select schools, pediatric practices and at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.
  • Treatment for adults: With state-certified mental health professionals in 11 primary care locations, our integrated services help you get the care you need. Adults with private health insurance or who are interested in fee-based services receive expert treatment through our General Counseling Services. Adults with serious mental illness receive treatment and support through our Adult Community Support Services.
  • Care for older adults: Our outpatient Older Adult Services program is the only program in the U.S. specializing in outpatient mental health services for adults over 55 years old. We offer age-appropriate therapies with an emphasis on supporting the best possible quality of life.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes unusual changes in mood, energy and activity. People with this condition may experience overly joyful “manic” states, followed by periods of deep depression. This is different from the normal ups and downs everyone goes through from time to time.

Bipolar disorder damages relationships, causes poor job or school performance and can make people want to hurt themselves or others. People with bipolar disorder are at risk for other conditions, including chemical dependency and anxiety disorders.

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder include different symptoms for manic and depressive episodes.

Manic episodes include an intense “high,” an overly happy or outgoing mood accompanied by behavioral changes. These changes may include:

  • Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another and having racing thoughts
  • Sleeping little or not being tired
  • Behaving impulsively and engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as driving aggressively

Depressive episodes include periods of sadness or hopelessness. These changes are also accompanied by behavioral changes, such as:

  • Feeling tired or "slowed down"
  • Having problems concentrating, remembering and making decisions
  • Changing eating, sleeping or other habits

How Do We Diagnose Bipolar Disorder?

Some people first receive a physical exam from their doctor and then talk with a mental health professional.

In our evaluations, state-certified mental health professionals learn about your or your loved one’s mental health history and moods. We may also need to talk to close relatives to learn more about how those moods are affecting others.

How Do We Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar is a lifelong disorder, and there is no cure. However, it is possible for you to gain better control of your mood swings with treatment. Your treatment may include a combination of:

  • Counseling: We provide support, education and guidance for people with bipolar disorder and their families. Counseling teaches participants how to:
    • Change harmful or negative thought patterns and behaviors
    • Enhance family coping strategies, such as how to recognize new episodes early and how to help their loved one
    • Improve communication among family members through creative problem-solving
    • Manage daily routines to help protect against manic and depressive episodes when possible
  • Medications: Medication will not cure your disorder, but it can provide symptom relief. At MultiCare, our doctors work closely with you and your therapist to determine what medication may be right for you.

Note: The condition description on this page is intended to be informational only, and should not be considered a diagnosis or medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional if you believe you have any of the symptoms described here.

Contact Us

Our services are available in convenient locations throughout Pierce and South King counties. 

Outpatient and Specialty Services

Call 888-445-8120 to make an appointment 

Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Care

Monday-Friday, 8am to 6pm

After hours and weekends

Geriatric Psychiatric Care

Monday-Friday, 8am to 4:30pm

After hours and weekends