Key Points About Bipolar Disorder
The Child Bipolar Questionnaire Instructions
According to the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation, the following are the instructions for the Child Bipolar Questionnaire Version 2:
My child has and/or had the following symptoms and/or behaviors. You may have noticed a behavior from as far back as early childhood or you may have observed it more recently. In either case, estimate how frequently the behavior has occurred since you first noticed it. In other words, please rate the symptoms and/or behaviors as they were at their most severe and/or prior to your child starting medication.
Then select a number in the Frequency column using the following key:
- Never or hardly ever 1
- Sometimes 2
Coping With Bipolar Disorder
Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but there are ways to help make it easier for yourself, a friend, or a loved one.
- Get treatment and stick with itrecovery takes time and its not easy. But treatment is the best way to start feeling better.
- Keep medical and therapy appointments and talk with the provider about treatment options.
- Take all medicines as directed.
- Structure activities: keep a routine for eating and sleeping, and make sure to get enough sleep and exercise.
- Learn to recognize your mood swings and warning signs, such as decreased sleep.
- Ask for help when trying to stick with your treatment.
- Be patient improvement takes time. Social support helps.
- Avoid misuse of alcohol and drugs.
Remember: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but long-term, ongoing treatment can help control symptoms and enable you to live a healthy life.
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Bipolar Disorder And Relationships
When it comes to managing a relationship while you live with bipolar disorder, honesty is the best policy. Bipolar disorder can have an impact on any relationship in your life, perhaps especially on a romantic relationship. So, its important to be open about your condition.
Theres no right or wrong time to tell someone you have bipolar disorder. Be open and honest as soon as youre ready. Consider sharing these facts to help your partner better understand the condition:
- when you were diagnosed
- what to expect during your depressive phases
- what to expect during your manic phases
- how you typically treat your moods
- how they can be helpful to you
One of the best ways to support and make a relationship successful is to stick with your treatment. Treatment helps you reduce symptoms and scale back the severity of your changes in mood. With these aspects of the disorder under control, you can focus more on your relationship.
Indiana University Of Medicine Researchers Spent Four Years Developing A Blood Test To Identify Depression And Bipolar Disorder They Say This Work Will Bring Psychiatry From The 19th Century Into The 21st
Over four years, a team in Indianapolis looked at how precision medicine could change the ambiguous and often lengthy process of getting a mental health diagnosis.
They worked with over 300 participants, logging their blood biomarkers. Professor Alexander B Niculescu, Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine, led the research team. In the past, he figured out how blood biomarkers could signal suicidality, pain, PTSD and Alzheimers disease.
Despite progress in addressing mental health stigma, people continue dismiss mental health disorders as a figment of imagination or as an indulgent experience that is created by the patient to be overcome individually, without appropriate treatment.
The creation of an objective test to assess relatively subjective cognitive patterns could change how depression is understood and treated.
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What Causes Bipolar Disorder
The cause of bipolar disorder isnt clear. Research suggests that a combination of different things can make it more likely that you will develop bipolar disorder.
There is a 13% chance you will develop bipolar disorder if someone in your immediate family, like a parent, brother or sister has bipolar disorder.
This risk is higher if both of your parents have the condition or if your twin has the condition.
Researchers havent found the exact genes that cause bipolar disorder. But different genes have been linked to the development of bipolar disorder.
Brain chemical imbalance
Different chemicals in your brain affect your mood and behaviour. Too much or too little of these chemicals could lead to you developing mania or depression.
Stressful life events can trigger symptoms of bipolar disorder. Such as childhood abuse or the loss of a loved one. They can increase your chances of developing depressive episodes.
You can find more information about Does mental illness run in families? by clicking here.
Ruling Out Other Conditions
If you experience extreme shifts in your mood that disrupt your daily routine, you should see your doctor. There are no specific blood tests or brain scans to diagnose bipolar disorder. Even so, your doctor may perform a physical exam and order lab tests, including a thyroid function test and urine analyses. These tests can help determine if other conditions or factors could be causing your symptoms.
A thyroid function test is a blood test that measures how well your thyroid gland functions. The thyroid produces and secretes hormones that help regulate many bodily functions. If your body doesnt receive enough of the thyroid hormone, known as hypothyroidism, your brain may not function properly. As a result, you may have problems with depressive symptoms or develop a mood disorder.
Sometimes, certain thyroid issues cause symptoms that are similar to those of bipolar disorder. Symptoms may also be a side effect of medications. After other possible causes are ruled out, your doctor will likely refer you to a mental health specialist.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms
A person with bipolar disorder will go through episodes of mania and at other times experience episodes of depression . These aren’t the normal periods of happiness and sadness that everyone experiences from time to time. Instead, the episodes are intense or severe mood swings, like a pendulum that keeps arcing higher and higher.
Symptoms of mania include:
- anger, worry, and anxiety
- thoughts of death or suicide
In adults, episodes of mania or depression usually last for weeks or months, although they can be shorter in length. In children and adolescents, though, these episodes can be much shorter, and a kid or teen can even go back and forth between mania and depression throughout the day.
Episodes of mania or depression may happen irregularly and follow an unpredictable pattern or they may be linked, with a manic episode always following a period of depression, or vice versa. Sometimes episodes have a seasonal pattern. Mania in the spring, for example, may be followed by depression in the winter.
Between episodes, someone with bipolar disorder usually returns to normal functioning. For some people, though, there is little or no “break period” between their cycles. These mood swing cycles can change slowly or rapidly, with rapid cycling between mania and depression being much more common in women, children, and adolescents.
How Accurate Is It
This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional or doctor.
Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.
This test is based on the bipolar screening questionnaire created by Dr. Ivan Goldberg. If you think you may be suffering from Bipolar Disorder or any other mental health condition, PsyCom strongly recommends that you seek help from a doctor in order to receive a proper diagnosis and support.
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How Long Does It Take To Diagnose Bipolar Disorder
Diagnosing the disorder can be done in one or two assessment sessions, says Simon A. Rego, PsyD, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. However, because bipolar disorder can be confused with other disorders such as depression and borderline personality disorder, getting the correct diagnosis can take some time.
For example, some research suggests that it takes an average of three and a half years to confirm a diagnosis of bipolar disorder after the first major mood episode, with other research suggesting it can take even longer, Rego says.
Testing For Bipolar Mania
Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of mania and in some cases, periods of depression along with periods of a normal, stable mood. So the first step is to test for any episodes of mania.
Here are two quick tests for mania:
Mood Disorder Questionnaire
Has there ever been a period of time when you were not your usual self and:
You can also screen for bipolar mania with the Hypomania Checklist .
HCL-10 Test for Bipolar Mania
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Summary Of Symptom Severity Measures
At least two interview measures , as well as some self-report measures , have received psychometric support. Self-report measures can be completed quickly, but brevity and ease of use may also result in reduced precision. Self-monitoring may also be useful to help increase awareness about symptoms and to track progress over time, but further research is required in this domain.
Can Bipolar Disorder Get Worse With Age
Bipolar disorder may get worse with agebut this is generally the case over time if it is left untreated, explains Simon A. Rego, PsyD, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. If treated with a combination of medication and therapy, people have a much better chance of managing their bipolar disorder, Rego says. Even then, its important for people to monitor their symptoms and seek help right away if they start to feel a change in their mood, he says.
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What Should I Do Before I See The Doctor About Bipolar Disorder
Before meeting with your doctor to clarify a diagnosis, itâs helpful to write down the symptoms you notice that may reflect depression, hypomania, or mania. Particular attention should focus not just on mood but also changes in sleep, energy, thinking, speech, and behavior. It is also useful to get an in-depth family history from relatives before meeting with your doctor. A family history can be very helpful in supporting a suspected diagnosis and prescribing appropriate treatments.
In addition, consider bringing your spouse or a close friend with you to the doctorâs visit. Oftentimes, a family member or friend may be more aware of a personâs unusual behaviors and be able to describe these in detail to the doctor. Before your visit, think about and record the following:
- Your mental and physical health concerns
- Symptoms youâve noticed
- Causes of stress in your life
- Questions you may have about bipolar disorder
Differences In Similar Illnesses
Mental health professionals may need to sift out bipolar disorder from other look-alike symptoms of illnesses. For example, if a child with ADD has insomnia, they will be tired the next day a child with bipolar wont feel a need for sleep, explains Benjamin Goldstein, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto. Hypersexuality is another bipolar marker, as it is a symptom of mania but not characteristic of ADD.
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Is Bipolar Under Or Over
Many people believe that bipolar II is under-diagnosed and that more people have the condition than we realize. On the other end of the spectrum, some researchers believe that bipolar disorder is over-diagnosed because of the pressures put on doctors not to miss symptoms. Aggressive marketing of mood-stabilizing medications by pharmaceutical companies could also be to blame, according to a 20-year research review that was published in 2016.
Misdiagnosis can be dangerous, not simply because of unmanaged symptoms of mania or depression. If you are misdiagnosed with depression and prescribed antidepressants when you actually have bipolar disorder, for example, your medication may trigger symptoms of mania. What’s more, someone who believes that they have treatment-resistant depression may never receive appropriate treatment for what is actually bipolar disorder.
How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed And How Long Does It Take
For bipolar disorder to be diagnosed, your symptoms must meet the diagnostic criteria set out by the DSM-5 , published by the American Psychiatric Association. In addition to comparing your symptoms to this criteria, your doctor may also perform other tests .
A bipolar disorder diagnosis consists of a thorough evaluation, usually taking place over several appointments. No one test can detect bipolar disorder, but an assessment of your symptoms may include:
- Physical exam: Your doctor may perform a physical exam and run blood tests to rule out any medical issues that could be causing or contributing to your symptoms.
- Mood charting: You may be asked to record your moods over a period of weeks or months so that your doctor can chart your symptoms of mania/hypomania and depression.
- Psychiatric assessment: You will most likely be referred to a psychiatrist who will assess your behavioral patterns, ask questions about your and your familys history of mental illness and examine any other contributing factors.
If a child or teenager is suspected of having bipolar disorder, the diagnostic process may be different. In this case, a referral to a child psychiatrist and specialist treatment is usually recommended.
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Can Bipolar Disorder Go Away
Bipolar disorder tends to be seen as an ongoing condition that waxes and wanes throughout ones life, says Simon A. Rego, PsyD, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Fortunately, the symptoms can often be controlled and stabilized in most cases when proper treatment is in place, Rego says.
How Does The Blood Test For Depression Work
The team have created a blood test that is composed of RNA biomarkers, to understand how severe a patients depression is. They can also read the blood test to see if the patient could develop severe depression in the future, while looking at the risk of bipolar disorder too.
While this blood test looks at biomarkers to understand a persons mental health, it can also give highly specific advice about what kind of pharmaceutical treatment would work best for that individual.
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What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms
You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.
What lifestyle changes can I make?
Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.
Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.
Your healthcare professionals should offer you a combined healthy eating, exercise and sleep programme.
You can find more information about wellbeing any physical health at:www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/wellbeing-physical-health/.
What are support groups?
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. The charity Bipolar UK have an online support group. They also have face to face support groups in some areas of the country. Their contact details are in the Useful contacts at the bottom of this page.
What are recovery colleges?
Unfortunately, recovery colleges arent available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google.
Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder In Adults
Bipolar disorder, also known as manicdepressive illness, is a medical condition that causes a person to experience intense mood swings that alternate between depression and mania. These mood swings can last for hours, days, or even weeks.
Mental health specialists at NYU Langone Psychiatry Associates, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers, can help determine if a person has bipolar disorder and, if so, how best to manage symptoms.
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