Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood conditions in Psychiatry. It is often thought of as rapid mood swings throughout the day. In reality, many conditions in Psychiatry can produce rapid mood swings and Bipolar disorder is a much more complicated illness. Patients with Bipolar Disorder do have periods of being ‘too high’ or ‘too low’, but these episodes last for days to weeks. Furthermore, the ‘high’ and ‘low’ episodes can occur at the same time or can be separated by months or years.
Because the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder change so much over time, it can be very difficult to diagnose at a given moment making it very important to obtain a detailed history from the patient. Missing a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder can lead to incorrect treatments that actually make symptoms worse, while an incorrect diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder can result in a patient being placed on many potentially harmful medications that they do not need. Dr. Lutter spent several years conducting very rigorous diagnostic interviews for clinical research studies in Universities and is well versed in recognizing and treating difficult cases of Bipolar Disorder.