When bipolar disorder first appears, it often begins with an episode of depression before cycling to a manic episode. Then bipolar depression continues to affect your life, and it may not respond well to traditional treatment. Sandhya Prashad, MD, at Houston Deep TMS Therapy specializes in helping patients with bipolar depression, which includes offering safe, effective, and cutting-edge treatments such as ketamine infusion and transcranial magnetic stimulation. If you need help with bipolar depression, call the office in Bellaire, Texas, or book an appointment online.
When you have bipolar disorder, you experience recurring mood swings, with changes in your energy level, thinking, and behavior.
These characteristic mood swings cycle between episodes of high energy, called mania, and low energy or depression. When depression is part of bipolar mood swings, it’s called bipolar depression.
Bipolar depression has the same symptoms as unipolar types of depression, such as major depressive disorder. The difference between the two is that people with unipolar depression do not experience the mood swings to mania.
Bipolar depression varies in its severity and frequency, which is reflected in the three primary types of bipolar disorder:
When you have bipolar I disorder, you’ll have at least one full-blown manic episode that’s preceded or followed by an episode of major depression.
Patients with bipolar II disorder have one or more episodes of major depression and at least one hypomanic episode. Hypomania has the same symptoms as mania, but they’re less severe and don’t affect your daily functioning.
In bipolar I and bipolar II, you may also have mixed features, which means you have depression and mania or hypomania at the same time.
In this type of bipolar disorder, you have many periods of depressive symptoms and hypomanic symptoms. However, your symptoms do not meet the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode.
Antidepressants aren’t the first choice of treatment for bipolar depression because they can trigger mania or cause rapid cycling between manic and depressive episodes.
The first line of treatment for bipolar disorder includes mood stabilizers such as lithium, antipsychotic medications, and psychotherapy.
Although all three treatments can improve bipolar depression, symptoms may persist in some patients. As a specialist in bipolar depression, Dr. Prashad provides other effective and innovative treatment options, such as:
Ketamine has a long and safe history of being used as an anesthetic and pain reliever. When Dr. Prashad administers ketamine in low doses, it quickly improves the symptoms of bipolar depression. Most patients need six infusions over two weeks, followed by maintenance treatments, depending on their response to ketamine.
Dr. Prashad provides deep TMS (dTMS) using the cutting-edge BrainsWay® system. During dTMS, you wear a helmet over your head that directs magnetic pulses to targeted areas of your brain known to regulate bipolar depression. The magnetic impulses increase nerve activity, which in turn relieves your symptoms.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and need help with depression, or you want an assessment to determine the cause of your symptoms, call Houston Deep TMS Therapy or book an appointment online.