Bipolar Disorder

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a condition that can affect your mood, making it swing from one extreme to another. If you are suffering from bipolar disorder you will have episodes of depression during which you feel low and lethargic, alternating with episodes of mania during which you feel high and overactive.


Symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on which mood you are experiencing at the time. Unlike mood swings, in bipolar disorder, each mood can last for several weeks with some people rarely experiencing a ‘normal’ or ordinary mood.

Bipolar disorder symptoms

Symptoms of a depressed phase:

  • Sadness
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in activities
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Excessive guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts and urges

Symptoms of a manic phase:

  • Increased energy
  • Unusual talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Little need for sleep
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Spending sprees

There are two different types of bipolar disorder, bipolar I and bipolar II. The main difference between them is that a person with bipolar I has manic episodes, while someone with bipolar II has hypomanic episodes. The main difference between mania and hypomania is the severity.

consultation taking notes

Treatment for bipolar disorder

Medication is an important aspect of the treatment of bipolar disorder. This is prescribed to prevent episodes of mania, hypomania and depression and also to treat the symptoms of depression when they occur.

 

If you need to be assessed for bipolar disorder, the first step would be to see a Consultant Psychiatrist for an assessment.

 

Therapy can also play an important part in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help you better cope with your symptoms and learn how to recognise when mood shifts are about to happen.

Frequently asked questions

If you are not taking medication to manage your disorder in a long term way and you have begun to identify the early warning signs of an episode, it’s important to seek support as soon as you can. When struggling with a manic episode, you may engage in dangerous behaviours.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder, alongside having an ongoing relationship with a psychiatrist to monitor your medication. CBT can help you develop strategies for managing your early warning signs and triggers.
Bipolar disorder is predominantly a biological disorder. Because of this, medication often makes up an important part of treatment and so we will generally suggest that you have an initial consultation with a psychiatrist.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.


Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr. Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.


Dr. Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.


She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.