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You don't have to live on a roller coaster.

It is possible to have medication that is safe, effective, and toleratble.

The majority of patients with bipolar disorder remain undiagnosed and misdiagnosed for years. I'm determined to fix this.

The symptoms of bipolar disorder often first manifest during early adulthood. Unfortunately, traditional healthcare leaves clients with rushed appointments and limited screening so that they do not receive the treatment they need. If you are experiencing mood symptoms, I will take the time to complete a thorough assessment and make sure that you have a full understanding of why your symptoms occur, what you can do to prevent exacerbations, and all things bipolar-not just the medication aspect. Together, we will create a plan to lets you get off the energy and emotional roller coaster so you can be your best.

Perinatal Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can occur prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, or in the postpartum period.  Unfortunately, because bipolar disorder often presents during a depressed phase, it is often misdiagnosed, leading to moms being prescribed the wrong medications which can worsen symptoms.  What is bipolar disorder and why is it so difficult to diagnose and treat during the perinatal period?  Thanks for asking!  I like to describe healthy mood as this chunky middle ground on the emotion and energy spectrum where we feel and function at our best-meaning we are able to eat, sleep, work, play, maintain our relationships AND enjoy doing these things in whatever way we, as individuals, find meaningful.  When someone experiences bipolar spectrum, their moods and energy tend to dip below this feel-and-function-well middle ground AND their moods and energy tend to rise above this feel-and-function well middle ground.  Basically, in spite of their circumstances (good or bad), they tend to feel like they live on an energy and emotion roller-coaster that they do not control.  Bipolar disorder can be challenging to recognize in the perinatal period because the hormonal changes and sleep disruptions that occur with pregnancy and the postpartum period can cause symptoms that can mimic bipolar disorder.  If bipolar disorder is not recognized during the prenatal period, symptoms can continue for years with devastating consequences.  

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Treatment for Perinatal Bipolar Disorder in NC and VA

At least half of the women diagnosed with bipolar disorder will receive this diagnosis in the postpartum period.  For women who have bipolar disorder who are not treated correctly with medication during pregnancy, 85% will experience a relapse.  Moms with bipolar disorder who are not appropriately treated with medication during pregnancy and the postpartum period are at increased risk of developing psychosis.  In addition to managing the stress that comes with bipolar disorder and needing to take medication, the added stress of transitioning to motherhood (whether it is your 1st pregnancy or 5th) can be incredibly overwhelming.  Moms with bipolar disorder need both medication and psychotherapy (just like knee injuries need orthopedic care and physical therapy)!  Fortunately, clients of Joy Spring Maternal Mental Health in NC and VA are able to partner with a trained perinatal mental health specialist to receive the holistic care they need!

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Medication Management for perinatal bipolar disorder in NC and VA

Medication management is an important component of bipolar treatment during the perinatal period.  Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, treatment with mood stabilizing medication is essential.  Partnering with a trained perinatal mental health specialist can ensure that the medication you receive is safe for you and your baby, tolerable (we don't want to trade mood swings for side effects), and effective (the goal is to feel fully well so you can get off the emotional and energy roller coaster and get back on the smooth path of your motherhood journey)!

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