Q:  My doctor told my daughter that he thinks she is bipolar.  What does that mean?

A:  Bipolar is an illness than causes extreme mood changes, from times of very high energy to times of depression.  Many people with bipolar show only symptoms of one or the other- usually, depression.  These moods can cause problems with work and at home and your ability to function, in general.  There is no cure, but it can be helped with medication.  Sometimes, it requires lifelong treatment.  Follow-up is a key part of your treatment.  When you feel good, you may think you can quit your medications- but it is important to take them consistently.  Counseling is an important back bone of treatment.  Weekly exercise is also important.  A healthy diet should be helpful, as well.  Lower your stress, if possible, and build a strong emotional support system.  Make sure your family is aware of the problem, and how they can help when symptoms are bad.

Questions can be submitted directly to the providers, called in to Mercy Clinic at 417/876-5851 or submitted through their new App

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