Bipolar Disorder

Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

Psychiatry & Psychotherapy located in Chapel Hill, NC

Approximately 2.6% of the U.S. population is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and of those who are diagnosed, 83% have severe cases. Get treatment and support from the expert team at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill so you can enjoy your life with less stress and better everyday functioning. Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the team offers comprehensive, personalized care to help you live with the extreme highs and lows of bipolar disorder. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking tool now.

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder — formerly known as manic-depressive illness — is a mental health condition that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to complete daily tasks. Common signs of bipolar disorder include:

  • Shifts between excessively “high” and “low” moods
  • Shifts between high energy and excessive fatigue
  • Significant increases and decreases in activity levels
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Appetite changes
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Thoughts of death or suicide


Bipolar disorder is divided into four categories that exhibit these symptoms on a spectrum of intensity. The four categories include:

  • Bipolar I disorder: a mix of manic and depressive episodes
  • Bipolar II disorder: a mix of less intense manic episodes — known as hypomania — and depressive episodes
  • Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia: a mix of mild depression and hypomania for at least two years
  • Other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders: bipolar symptoms that do not match the other categories


Depending on the intensity and duration of your symptoms, the team can make a proper diagnosis and provide treatment options to help you.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Currently, no single cause of bipolar disorder has been identified. Researchers have found links between genetics, stress, and brain structure and function. If you have a family member with bipolar disorder, it increases your risk of developing the condition.

Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally and the average age of onset is 25, though it can occur earlier in the teenage years and childhood. With an effective treatment plan from Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill, you can live a normal, productive life.

How is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

Treatment for bipolar disorder involves a combination of psychotherapy, medications, a healthy lifestyle, a regular schedule, and early identification of symptoms. The team helps you develop lifestyle habits and strategies for symptom identification before you experience a major manic or depressive episode.

Ongoing psychotherapy and appropriate medication use can also decrease the frequency and intensity of manic and depressive episodes. In some cases, psychotherapy and a healthy lifestyle alone reduces your need for medications. The team can also help you come off of medications safely when it’s appropriate.

If you suspect you have bipolar disorder, get the support you need to live your best life. Call or book an appointment online at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill today.