About Bipolar 1 Disorder

A clinical psychiatrist with more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Susan Turner operates a private practice in New York where she implements a holistic approach to patient care that synergizes external factors such as sleep management and physical activity with traditional mental health treatment. In her practice, Dr. Susan Turner treats patients suffering from a number of conditions, including bipolar 1 disorder.

Formerly known as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar 1 disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by a cycling between periods of mania — where the person has an unusually high energy level that can lead to risky behavior and an over-inflated self image — and depressive states that are characterized by low energy levels, an extremely negative self-image, and even suicidal thoughts. The disorder typically manifests in the teenage years, but virtually everyone who develops bipolar 1 disorder is under 50. Those with immediate family members who suffer from bipolar 1 disorder are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.

It’s possible to go long periods of time between episodes of mania and/or depression, although a small subset of those diagnosed can go through periods of “rapid cycling” where they swing back and forth between the two states four or more times within a one-year period. The disorder is treated via mood stabilizing, antipsychotic, or benzodiazepine-based drugs, often in conjunction with psychotherapy.