Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Gazda MD’

What Are the Different Categories of Bipolar Disorder?

August 9, 2014 Leave a comment

A diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Thomas Gazda has more than 30 years of experience in treating psychiatric patients. Since 1998, Thomas Gazda, MD, has led dozens of investigational studies on various psychiatric conditions and their treatments. One of Dr. Thomas Gazda’s main research interests is bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme shifts in mood that can last for extended periods and interfere with a person’s ability to function normally. Moods can range from intense depression that renders the patient unable to get out of bed to manic episodes that cause the patient to have delusions of grandeur or engage in risky behavior. This condition falls into several categories.

Bipolar I involves severe episodes of mania and, usually, episodes of depression as well. Patients diagnosed with bipolar I disorder may also experience mixed episodes, in which they have symptoms of both mania and depression simultaneously.

Patients with bipolar II disorder have longer and more intense periods of depression that alternate with hypomania, which is a milder form of mania. Hypomania causes heightened energy, irritability, and other mild symptoms, but it generally does not interfere significantly with daily functioning.

The mildest form of bipolar disorder is cyclothymic disorder. Marked by brief episodes of mild depression and hypomania, the condition can be disruptive to a patient’s life, but the highs and lows are not as extreme as with bipolar I or II.



Thomas Gazda, MD, trained full-time in medicine for 10 years after he earned his bachelor’s degree. He earned his MD from the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, followed by three years of residency in family practice and three years in psychiatry. Board-certified in psychiatry and family practice, Dr. Thomas Gazda today practices as a psychopharmacologist.

The study of the effect of drugs on thinking, sensation, behavior, and mood, psychopharmacology concentrates primarily on the chemical reactions that take place in the brain. Its practitioners frequently use various drugs to treat mental disorders. Because the body of knowledge in the field is constantly expanding, practitioners must continually stay abreast of current developments.

Psychopharmacologists work with many substances that have psychoactive properties. These include anesthetics, analgesics, and anticonvulsant drugs. Psychotropic medications are grouped into several categories according to the disorder for which they were developed; these categories include mood stabilizers, stimulants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antianxiety and antipanic agents, and antiobsessive medications.

Psychopharmacologists must be thoroughly trained medical doctors, as they diagnose disorders and rule out physical causes for disorders. In addition, they must be knowledgeable of all the body’s systems and functions to be able to interpret and treat anticipated as well as unexpected side effects.

Chemical Dependency: The Warning Signs of a Relapse

Scottsdale-based psychiatric professional Thomas Gazda, MD, is a psychopharmacologist and qualified psychoanalyst. Dr. Thomas Gazda has 10 years of experience treating patients in chemical dependency and adult and adolescent psychiatry units.

Patients who have completed a treatment program for alcohol or drug dependency may show signs of a relapse following an emotional trigger, social interaction, or life event. Warning signs could be caused by a change in health, relationships, the loss of a family member or loved one, a change in finances or work activities, or other forms of pressure and conflict.

Recognizing and/or preparing for warning signs that may lead to a relapse can be very valuable in developing an actionable treatment plan. Changes in personality may include demonstrating excessive anger or anxiety, or showing signs of perfectionism or obsessive behavior. A person may suddenly change their routine, avoid responsibilities, or miss important appointments, such as support group meetings. Additionally, the person may resume socializing with people from past times of chemical dependency. They may begin to recall times of chemical dependency with euphoria and associate sobriety with negative experiences.

Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Named a “Super Doc” by Arizona Magazine in 2011, Thomas Gazda, MD, has served as a member of the clinical teaching staff at Phoenix’s Good Samaritan Hospital. Before assuming this and other positions in Arizona, Dr. Thomas Gazda worked as a staff psychiatrist for the Holly Hill/Charter Behavioral Health System in North Carolina. More recently, Thomas Gazda, MD, carried out an investigational study that compared paliperidone palmitate and the oral antipsychotic treatment of adults with type one bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Various approaches are adopted in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Some of them are outlined below:

1. Medication – In conjunction with psychotherapy, a doctor may prescribe a combination of medications to treat a patient with bipolar disorder. Designed to address symptoms such as the mania and depression often associated with the condition, medications include antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety drugs.

2. Psychotherapy – Different forms of psychotherapy are recommended for treating bipolar disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and group therapy.

3. Electroconvulsive therapy – For individuals who do not respond to medications or to traditional therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered. ECT is often recommended for individuals who are severely depressed or who have suicidal tendencies.