Diagnosing & Treating Bipolar Disorder Online

Bipolar disorder can bring severe highs and lows, and these mood shifts also affect one’s thinking, functioning and behavior. People with bipolar disorder will typically go through periods of time where they are overly active and happy, followed by periods of time in which they are sluggish and sad. Think of mania and depression as the two “poles” of mood – like the North (high) and South (low) pole - which leads to the name bipolar.

Some individuals can experience symptoms of both mania and depression during the same single episode. Over the course of the illness, depressive symptoms typically occur more frequently than manic symptoms. However, once an individual has experienced a single hypomanic or manic episode, they are considered to have bipolar disorder rather than a depressive disorder.

People that suffer from bipolar disorder are not always in a manic or depressive state, but when these episodes do occur they often significantly impair one’s functionality. If an episode is severe, one can even experience hallucinations. Hallucinations are defined as experiencing sensations that are not there in reality, and this can be through hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, or feeling things. Someone experiencing hallucinations should see a doctor right away.

Treatment for bipolar disorder is usually lifelong and can include a combination of medications and psychotherapy. You and your online psychiatrist and therapist can help determine the severity of your bipolar disorder and what type of treatment is needed. There are many forms of therapy available to those suffering from bipolar disorder:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Support groups
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Family therapy

Typically, the medications used for treatment will be from these three classes of medication:

  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants

During a video consult on TelaCare, one of our psychiatrists or therapists will ask you a series of targeted questions to make an accurate diagnosis and create a treatment plan customized for you. Your diagnosis will be based on their observations of your functioning during the exam, as well as the duration, severity and history of your symptoms.

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Got Questions? We've got answers.

See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-317-0280 to speak to a medical professional about your symptoms or conditions.

 What is major depressive disorder?

Major depression is the most common form of depression. It is sometimes called major depression, clinical depression, unipolar depression or simply 'depression.' Major depressive disorder is typically when one has a low mood and/or loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities. Other symptoms can be a factor in depression and most of these symptoms will last for at least two weeks. Depression can be described as mild, moderate or severe. Severe cases of depression are either melancholia or psychotic.

 Depression vs Anxiety: what are the key differences?

Depression is when one is constantly in a low mood with loss of interests and enjoyment, accompanied by other changes such as low energy, disturbed sleep, changes in appetite and poor concentration. Anxiety does not always include this feeling of a low mood – typically, it is excessive or inappropriate worry.

 What is Telepsychiatry?

Through the TelaCare website or mobile app, you can speak to a therapist from the privacy and comfort of your own home to address common behavioral health challenges. TelaCare's therapists do not have the ability to prescribe medications for the treatment of diagnosed mental disorders. They will refer to you psychiatrist in your area who can prescribe medication if is necessary.

 Is my online doctor visit private and secure?

Yes, we feel it is of utmost importance to maintain patient privacy and keep information secure. TelaCare is designed to be a private, secure, HIPAA-compliant tool that allows you to safely and confidentially consult with a doctor online.

 Can I get a prescription online?

Yes, in general you can get a prescription online. There is support for this nationwide, however there are several exceptions. 

 What is online therapy?

With the TelaCare web or mobile app, you can speak to a therapist, anytime, anywhere to address common behavioral health challenges, from the privacy and comfort of your own home. TelaCare's online therapy services are available nationwide and include a network of more than 650 therapists, social workers and other mental health disciplines with a wide variety of specialties.

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