How Can One Mental Illness Generate the Opposite Mood Experiences?

Despite recent advances in research on bipolar disorder, it remains a complex and even mysterious condition.


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many patients were already waiting months to see a psychiatrist. In this edition of PsychPearls, we speak to James Phelps, MD, about the roots of the crisis and what psychiatrists can do to meet the nation’s mental health needs, especially through new models of collaborate care.

Phelps also looks back on a long career of treating bipolar and other mood disorders. He discusses some of the most exciting recent research on inflammation, circadian rhythm disturbance, and mood bias. He also reviews recent developments in digital therapeutics, which may offer powerful new options for treatment.

Dr Phelps is research editor at the Psychopharmacology Institute, medical director at, and adjunct faculty at Samaritan Mental Health in Corvallis, Oregon. He is the bipolar disorder section editor for Psychiatric TimesTM and the author of A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders for clinicians and Bipolar, Not So Much for patients and their families.

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