Is Bipolar Behavior Always Bad
Absolutely not!We are all aware of the link between bipolar disorder and creativity.
Also, many of the most energetic and resourceful business-people and other leaders have had bipolar disorder.
Just please understand that treatment does not destroy these more positive faces of bipolar. In fact, proper treatment can boost productivity.2
Most of all, here is a key take-away for you. PLEASE remember that bipolar behavior differs from the individuals usual behavior. Someone with consistently, rather than episodic, bad behavior very likely does NOT have bipolar disorder.
Understand the difference between who you or your loved one REALLY is and the transient, treatable behaviors of bipolar.
How Do Medications Factor In
Treating bipolar disorder with medication can be something of a delicate balance. Antidepressants that help ease depressive episodes can sometimes trigger manic episodes.
If your healthcare provider recommends medication, they might prescribe an antimanic medication such as lithium along with an antidepressant. These medications can help prevent a manic episode.
As you work to develop a treatment plan with your care provider, let them know about any medications you take. Some medications can make both depressive and manic episodes more severe.
Also tell your care provider about any substance use, including alcohol and caffeine, since they can sometimes lead to mood episodes.
Some substances, including cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines, can produce a high that resembles a manic episode. Medications that might have a similar effect include:
- high doses of appetite suppressants and cold medications
- prednisone and other steroids
- thyroid medication
If you believe youre experiencing a mood episode or other symptoms of bipolar disorder, its always a good idea to connect with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Vitamins May Also Help
Dr. Patric Darby states that vitamin B6 and zinc are natural treatment alternatives for bipolar disorder. He also abdicates the use of essential fatty acids in the treatment bipolar. As Dr. Darby points out, these treatments have been shown to relieve symptoms, allowing patients to wean off their medications.
Remember that treatments vary in effectiveness and should be examined case by case.
MRI scan shows differences in brain function across various mental disorders.
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Icipating In Clinical Research
Clinical research is medical research that involves people like you. People volunteer to participate in carefully conducted investigations that ultimately uncover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose, and understand human disease. Clinical research includes trials that test new treatments and therapies as well as long-term natural history studies, which provide valuable information about how disease and health progress.
Please Note: Decisions about participating in a clinical trial and determining which ones are best suited for you are best made in collaboration with your licensed health professional.
Treatment Works Samhsa Can Help You Find It
Effective treatments for bipolar disorder are available in your area. The earlier that you begin treatment, the greater likelihood of a better outcome. For confidential and anonymous help finding a specialty program near you, visit SAMHSAs Early Serious Mental Illness Treatment Locator.
If you have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment for a serious mental illness, but moved to a new location, help is available. Use SAMHSAs Behavioral Treatment Services Locator to locate a new program or call SAMHSAs National Helpline at or TTY for 24 hour, free, and confidential information and treatment referral.
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What Can I Expect After Treatment
For most people, a good treatment program can stabilize severe moods and provide effective symptom relief. Treatment that is continual has proven more effective in preventing relapses. Those who also have a substance abuse problem may need more specialized treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/27/2018.
What If Im Not Happy With My Treatment
If you arent happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
How can I speak to my doctor about my treatment options?
You can speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you arent given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it isnt suitable for you.
Whats a second opinion?
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
What is advocacy?
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. NHS complaints advocates can help you if you want to complain about the NHS.
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What Are The Treatments For Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that requires management throughout a person’s life. People who have numerous episodes of mood changes in a year can be much more difficult to treat. Medication is the primary form of treatment, but the additional use of psychotherapy or “talk” therapy is sometimes recommended to help prevent future episodes.
There are many drugs available to treat bipolar disorder. Proposed guidelines for treatment options are based on the three main phases of bipolar disorder, which include the acutemanic/mixed mood states, acute major depressive episodes, and finally the continuation/maintenance phase. As a general rule, avoiding antidepressants and taking two mood stabilizers has proven to be an effective strategy for most patients.
Lithium is a mood-stabilizing drug. It has proven helpful in controlling mania and depression and preventing depression and manic episodes. Lithium will reduce symptoms of mania within two weeks of starting therapy, but it may take weeks to months before the condition is completely controlled. Thus other drugs like antipsychotic drugs or antidepressant drugs may also be used to help control symptoms.
Common side effects of lithium include:
- Frequent need to urinate
The following are signs of a lithium overdose. Call your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience:
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- Slight trembling of hands
Heres The Good Newsyes There Is Good News
Bipolar disorder is an episodic illness. We have all of our symptoms while in a mood swing. This means we are STABLE when we are not in a mood swing. The symptoms I list above usually go away when the illness is successfully managed. It can take regular monitoring for those of us who have daily symptoms. Others who have long breaks between mood swings may even forget the symptoms even existed. This is why we must have a management plan that can recognize the dangerous, aggressive, and violent behavior psychosis and cognitive impairment as soon as they begin.
I know we want to protect our reputation around this illness. We dont want to be seen as different or freaks. But I ask that within our community, we get brutally honest about what really happens to those of us with the illness. Its the ONLY way to stop the symptoms and make them stay away forever!
Originally posted January 29, 2015.
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Triggers In Bipolar Disease
Certain conditions are known to trigger symptoms in people with bipolar disease. Understanding these triggersand avoiding themcan minimize symptoms and limit the number of cycles a person experiences. These include:
- Insufficient sleep
- Pregnancy and other hormonal conditions
- Grief over the death of a friend or family member
- Events such as starting a creative project, falling in love, going on vacation, listening to loud music, menstruation, and decreased physical exercise
Types Of Bipolar Episodes
The main difference between bipolar disorder and conditions such as depression is the possibility of experiencing the overly excited state called mania, says Amit Anand, MD, a professor of medicine at the Lerner College of Medicine, vice-chair for research for the Center for Behavioral Health, and the director of the Mood and Emotional Disorders Across the Life Span program, all at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. People who are manic are unusually outgoing or happy. In some cases, mania also causes intense irritability and restlessness. During depressive episodes, intense sadness or hopelessness may lead to fatigue, trouble concentrating, and thoughts of suicide.
But bipolar mood swings are not always extreme, Dr. Anand notes. For instance, some people experience a less severe form of mania, known as hypomania. Those who are hypomanic may not feel anything is wrong, making diagnosis more difficult, he adds.
Complicating matters is that its possible to experience both mania and depression at the same time, known as mixed features. When this happens, you may feel overly energized yet be extremely irritated, sad, hopeless, or empty.
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Medications For Bipolar Disorder
Certain medications help with managing symptoms of bipolar disorder. Psychopharmaceuticals, for example, are used to help balance mood and can be used immediately after diagnosis. Some treatment plans may target sleep and anxiety, while others may seek to treat depressive episodes. This process may take some time, and a person might need to try several different medications before finding the ones that work best. Before starting a medication, it is important to:
- Understand the risks and benefits of the medication
- Report side effects to your doctor right away
- Tell the doctor about any other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or supplements being taken
Once prescribed, the medication shouldnt be stopped without first consulting a health care provider first. Medications for bipolar disorder are meant to be taken consistently, as prescribed, even once a person starts feeling better. If an individual stops taking a prescribed medication, it may actually lead to a worsening of bipolar symptoms.
Depending on a persons situation and unique needs, in addition to medications, symptoms of bipolar disorder can be managed with the following treatment options:
Let Us Help You Manage & Treat Bipolar Disorder
As debilitating as bipolar disorder can be, it doesnt have to control your life. Here at StoneRidge Centers, we have programs that can help you manage the mood disorder and any other co-occurring disorders you may be living with. Were passionate and focused on restoring the brain to its optimal state of health. Thats why we have designed our programs to include the best of what brain science has to offer.
At the same time, we know that living with and managing a mood disorder can be challenging and overwhelming, so our approach to care is compassionate and comprehensive. Call us today at 928-583-7799 if you or a loved one are living with bipolar disorder and are ready to manage it in a healthy, wholesome way.
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How To Become A Mental Health Advocate
I get asked this question quite a bit, How do I become a mental health advocate.
Mostly I think people fall into mental health advocacy. I did. In fact, I never really considered myself a mental health advocate*, I always just considered myself a writer, but people started calling me a mental health advocate, so, I guess I became one.
How To Diagnose Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because an individuals mood swings can vary. And yet, the longer it goes untreated, the worse the disorder can get as episodes may happen more frequently or become more extreme.
As mentioned, a diagnosis of bipolar I requires a person to have either one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes. Bipolar II, on the other hand, involves one or more depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania.
If a person is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is important to see a licensed healthcare professional. Seeking professional help ensures that the person will get an accurate diagnosis and receive correct, individualized treatment. The right treatment for bipolar disorder can make it possible for a person to lead a healthy and productive life.
The evaluation for bipolar disorder is examined through several tests and exams and may include:
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Conditions That Can Co
Many people with bipolar disorder also may have other mental health disorders or conditions such as:
- Psychosis. Sometimes people who have severe episodes of mania or depression also have psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the persons extreme mood. For example:
- Someone having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may falsely believe that he or she is famous, has a lot of money, or has special powers.
- Someone having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may believe he or she is financially ruined and penniless or has committed a crime.
Some bipolar disorder symptoms are like those of other illnesses, which can lead to misdiagnosis. For example, some people with bipolar disorder who also have psychotic symptoms can be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid disease, can mimic the moods and other symptoms of bipolar disorder. Street drugs sometimes can mimic, provoke, or worsen mood symptoms.
Types And Causes Of Bipolar Disorder
There are two different types of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder I have severe manic episodes, whereas those with bipolar disorder II experience milder episodes.
Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, and research suggests that certain genes may increase the risk. The condition is usually diagnosed before age 25, although some people experience symptoms for the first time later in life.
Some people with bipolar disorder also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which usually develops before bipolar disorder. Other psychological conditions, including anxiety disorders, may accompany bipolar disorder.
It can be difficult to distinguish between depressive episodes that occur due to regular, or unipolar, depression, and those that occur due to bipolar disorder. NYU Langone is home to nationally renowned psychiatrists who specialize in identifying bipolar disorder. A correct diagnosis is essential to the appropriate management of bipolar disorder. Medications to ease symptoms of unipolar depression can actually trigger manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder.
To diagnose bipolar disorder, a doctor performs a physical exam, asks about your symptoms, and recommends blood testing to determine if another condition, such as hypothyroidism, is causing your symptoms.
If the doctor does not find an underlying cause of your symptoms, he or she performs a psychological evaluation.
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What Are The Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are different types of bipolar disorder.
What is bipolar disorder I disorder?
A diagnosis of bipolar I disorder means you will have had at least 1 episode of mania that lasts longer than 1 week. You may also have periods of depression. Manic episodes will generally last 3-6 months if left untreated. Depressive episodes will generally last 6-12 months without treatment.
What is bipolar II disorder?
A diagnosis of bipolar II disorder means it is common to have symptoms of depression. You will have had at least 1 period of major depression. And at least 1 period of hypomania instead of mania.
What is bipolar I or II disorder with mixed features?
You will experience symptoms of mania or hypomania and depression at the same time. You may hear this being called mixed bipolar state. You may feel very sad and hopeless at the same time as feeling restlessness and being overactive.
What is bipolar I or II disorder with rapid cycling?
Rapid cycling means you have had 4 or more depressive, manic or hypomanic episodes in a 12-month period.
What is bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern?
Seasonal pattern means that either your depression, mania or hypomania is regularly affected in the same way by the seasons. For example, you may find that each winter you have a depressive episode, but your mania doesnt regularly follow a pattern.
There can be some similarities between bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern and another conditional called seasonal affective disorder.
Bipolar Disorder May Become Easier To Manage In Later Life But Its Important To Stay Alert To Changes In Physical Health And How Well Your Medication Works
One day you notice your smile lines have turned into wrinkles. Or maybe your back and knees creak after a flag football game. Its inevitable: The passage of time brings changes in the body, in relationships, in outlook.
The mantle of maturity often fosters a stronger sense of self, even as midlife marks the creeping arrival of senior moments and medical issues. Parents have to adapt to an empty nest, which can be an emotional challenge even as it leaves more time and freedom to focus on personal pursuits. Ditto for those who step back from the workplace.
How does bipolar play into all of this? Mood shifts may change or intensify. Medications that worked for decades may lose their potency or start contributing to other health conditions. Yet years of accumulated knowledge can yield a better grasp of how to maintain balance.
Of course, everyones journey with bipolar is different. At 69, Dennis hasnt noticed any differences in his bipolar I symptoms.
They always say that as we get older, we change, he says. Ive been doing well on the same dose of medication for 25 years. Maybe these things happen a little later than people think.
Or maybe some credit goes to Denniss daily walks around Boston and longtime involvement with a local Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance chapter.
One of the cornerstones of aging well is nurturing social connections, Forester says: People who maintain relationships with other people tend to do better. Thats really, really important.
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