Ask Dr. Tonya: Can My Bipolar Disorder Get Worse?

A woman shouting at a man while he looks at her( — Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe — and are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide.

While bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives, it often takes vigilance and partnering with your doctor to ensure that your bipolar management plan continues to be effective.

Q: Dear Dr. Tonya:

I’ve been battling with bipolar disorder for a number of years, and while, at first, everything seemed to be fine (with ongoing treatment), now I find that I’m not sure if things are still okay with me – even my friends and family have noticed slight changes in my behavior. Could something more serious be going on?