Frequently asked questions about diagnosing bipolar disorder are answered by Dr. Candida Fink
An estimated 5.7 million American adults have bipolar disorder, which is a mental illness characterized by dramatic changes or shifts in mood, energy and intensity. There are five types of bipolar disorder (See Fast Facts about Bipolar Disorder), but the two primary categories of the illness are Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder. Bipolar I is marked by an episode of mania with high energy, exuberance, grandiose notions, sleeplessness, recklessness, irritability, volatility and sometimes psychosis, hallucinations and delusions. Bipolar II Disorder features depression along with hypomania, a form of mania that is not as acute. A number of famous people, including Ludwig von Beethoven and Vincent van Gogh, were believed to have bipolar disorder, which is sometimes glorified because of the high productivity levels demonstrated by some people who suffer from the illness. Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a serious, chronic illness — one without a cure and that consequently requires lifelong treatment and monitoring.
Psychiatrist Candida Fink, MD (pictured), one of the leading experts in Bipolar Disorder, is the co-author of The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child (with Judith Lederman, Simon and Schuster, 2003) and Bipolar Disorder for Dummies (with Joe Kraynak, John Wiley & Sons, 2015). Based in New Rochelle, NY, Dr. Fink specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry, with expertise in developmental disabilities, ADHD, pediatric anxiety and mental health issues in school settings. You can read her blogs on bipolar disorder at www.finkshrink.com.
Q&A: Dr. Candida Fink on Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder is Part 1 of a two-part Q&A conducted by writer Suelain Moy for MedShadow Foundation.