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Bipolar Disorder Specialist

Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC

Board Certified Psychiatrists located in Fairbanks, AK

If unusual changes in your mood are concerning you or your family and friends, you may have a condition known as bipolar disorder. At Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, in Fairbanks, Alaska, board-certified psychiatrist Mikki Barker, DO, offers comprehensive screening services for bipolar disorder and creates a custom treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms and maintain a high quality of life. Mood changes can be the result of other conditions and an accurate diagnosis is vital to effective treatment. Learn more about available treatment options for bipolar disorder by calling the office or scheduling an appointment online.

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that causes unusual changes in mood and energy levels. Mood changes can range from periods of extremely euphoric, energized feelings, known as manic episodes, to very sad and hopeless periods, known as depressive episodes.

These changes interfere with your ability to perform tasks at home and on the job.

What causes bipolar disorder?

Factors that may increase your risk for developing bipolar disorder include:

Brain functionality 

People with bipolar and other mental disorders may have chemical differences or imbalances.

Family history 

If you have a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder, you may be at increased risk for developing the condition.


Having certain genes may increase your risk for bipolar disorder.

The team at Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, can determine your risk factors for bipolar disorder during your initial consultation. They review your medical and family history, as well as your history of mood changes and other related symptoms.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

In addition to the extreme shifts in moods, bipolar disorder can also produce symptoms like:

  • Disruption of sleep
  • Changes in activity levels
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Changes in diet
  • Trouble concentrating

Suicidal thoughts can also be a symptom of bipolar disorder.

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?

The Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, team is experienced in diagnosing bipolar disorder using a variety of specialized screening tests.

Based on the results of your test, your provider at Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, can confirm a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and rule out underlying medical issues that can cause changes in your behavior.

What treatments are available for bipolar disorder?

Effective treatments are available to help control extreme mood shifts and other symptoms of bipolar disorder.

In many cases, a combination of medications and psychotherapy is highly effective in reducing manic and depressive episodes. With consistent treatment, long-term success in managing symptoms is possible.

Your provider at Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, creates a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. You may need to try several types of medication to find one that works best for your symptoms. Medications may include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antipsychotics

Once you start medication therapy, it’s very important to continue taking your prescribed dosages as recommended by your provider. Stopping medication can often result in a worsening of your symptoms or serious withdrawal symptoms.

Learn more about effective treatment options for managing your bipolar symptoms by calling Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, directly or booking an appointment online.