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How Do You Know If You Are Bipolar Disorder

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How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated In A Teen

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Treatment will depend on your teens symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Treatment can often help a teen with bipolar disorder get better. But it will take time. Treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Mood-stabilizing medicines or antidepressants

  • Suicidal thinking

Key Points About Bipolar Disorder In Teens

  • Bipolar disorder is a type of depression. A teen with this disorder often has abnormal mood swings that shift between depression and mania.

  • The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. But it tends to run in families.

  • A teen must have both depressive and manic symptoms to a varying degree to be diagnosed with the disorder.

  • A mental health provider makes a diagnosis after a mental health evaluation.

  • Treatment may include medicine and talk therapy.

Bipolar Relationships: What To Expect

Ups and downs are natural in any romantic relationship, but when your partner has bipolar disorder it can feel like youre on an emotional rollercoaster. Not knowing what to expect each day is stressful and tiring. Over time, it wears on the relationship.

Understanding why your partner acts out sometimes or becomes withdrawn is the first supportive step you can take in strengthening your relationship. Learn exactly what a bipolar diagnosis means, how it could affect your partners behavior and what you can do to foster a healthy, stable relationship.

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How Do I Get Help If I Think I Have Bipolar Disorder

The usual first step to getting help is to speak to your GP.

It can help to keep a record of your moods. This can help you and your GP to understand your mood swings. Bipolar UK have a mood diary and a mood scale on their website. You can find their details in the Useful contacts section at the bottom of this page.

Your GP cant diagnose bipolar disorder. Only a psychiatrist can make a formal diagnosis. Your GP may arrange an appointment with a psychiatrist if you have:

  • depression, and
  • ever felt very excited or not in control of your mood or behaviour for at least 4 days in a row.

They might refer you to a psychiatrist at your local NHS community mental health team .

Your GP should make an urgent referral to the CMHT if they think that you might have mania or severe depression. Or there is a chance that you are a danger to yourself or someone else.

Your GP should refer you to your local NHS early intervention team if you have an episode of psychosis and its your first one.

Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it affects everyone differently. Also, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be experienced by people who have other mental illness diagnoses. It can take a long time to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

You can find more information about:

  • NHS mental health teams by clicking here.

Conditions That Can Co

Bipolar Disorder  Madison

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.
  • Anxiety Disorders Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder . Anxiety disorders and ADHD often are diagnosed in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Misuse of Drugs or Alcohol. People with bipolar disorder are more prone to misusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Eating Disorders. People with bipolar disorder occasionally may have an eating disorder, such as binge eating or bulimia.
  • 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.

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    What Medications Are Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder

    Certain medications can help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder. You may need to try several different medications, with guidance from your healthcare provider, before finding what works best.

    Medications healthcare providers generally prescribe to treat bipolar disorder include:

    • Mood stabilizers.
    • Second-generation neuroleptics .
    • Antidepressants.

    If youre taking medication for bipolar disorder, you should:

    • Talk with your healthcare provider to understand the risks, side effects and benefits of the medication.
    • Tell your healthcare provider about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or supplements youre already taking.
    • Tell your healthcare provider right away if youre experiencing concerning side effects. They may need to change your dose or try a different medication.
    • Remember that medication for bipolar disorder must be taken consistently, as prescribed.

    Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder

    People with bipolar disorder typically need mood-stabilizing medication to manage manic or hypomanic episodes.

    Types of mood stabilizers and their brand names include:

    Thyroid gland and kidney problems can sometimes develop when taking lithium, so your healthcare provider will monitor the function of your thyroid and kidneys, as well as monitor the levels of lithium in your blood, as levels can easily become too high.

    However, other medications, such as olanzapine , risperidone and aripiprazole , are commonly prescribed as well.

    The Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder And Sex Drive

    During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder may engage in certain impulsive behaviors. For some people, this kind of behavior can involve a preoccupation with sex and a heightened sex drive, leading to unprotected sex or risky sexual situations with potentially damaging consequences, both physical and emotional. Hypersexuality, or an increased interest in sex, is known to be a symptom of bipolar disorder, though the research on the subject is limited.

    Learn More About Bipolar Disorder and Sex Drive

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    What Types Of Therapy Are Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder

    Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, can be an effective part of the treatment plan for people with bipolar disorder.

    Psychotherapy is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help you identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Working with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, can provide support, education and guidance to you and your family.

    Different types of therapy for bipolar disorder include:

    Bipolar 1 Disorder Vs Bipolar 2 Disorder

    Bipolar Disorder vs Depression – 5 Signs You’re Likely Bipolar

    There are three types of bipolar depression. Bipolar 1 Disorder is characterized by manic episodes lasting seven days or more and depressive episodes lasting two weeks or more. Manic episodes may be severe enough to require hospitalization. For people who have Bipolar 1, its also possible for them to experience a mix of depressive and manic symptoms in rapid succession.

    With Bipolar 2 Disorder, depressive episodes are broken up by episodes of hypomania. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. Symptoms are milder and last for several days instead of a week or more.

    Cyclothymic disorder is a rare mood disorder that causes emotional highs and lows that may go on for months at a time, but are not as severe as what happens with Bipolar 1 Disorder or Bipolar 2 Disorder.

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    Bipolar Disorder Symptoms In Women Vs Men

    Men and women are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in roughly equal numbers. However, the main symptoms of the disorder may vary, depending on both sex you were assigned at birth and your gender.

    Women with bipolar disorder tend to receive diagnoses later in life, often in their 20s or 30s. In some cases, they might first notice symptoms during pregnancy or after childbirth. Theyre also more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar II than bipolar I.

    Additionally, women with bipolar disorder tend to experience:

    • milder episodes of mania
    • more depressive episodes than manic episodes
    • rapid cycling, or 4 or more episodes of mania and depression in 1 year
    • more co-occurring conditions

    Women with bipolar disorder may also experience relapse more often, which may happen in part due to hormone changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. In terms of bipolar disorder, relapse means having a mood episode after not having one for some time.

    Men with bipolar disorder, on the other hand, may:

    • get a diagnosis earlier in life
    • experience less frequent but more severe episodes, especially manic episodes
    • be more likely to also have a substance use disorder
    • show more aggression during episodes of mania

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

    In the early stages, mania and depression are common symptoms. However, these periods may go beyond depression and mania. They become longer-lasting and more severe than normal. This is when individuals begin to experience psychosis.

    During a bipolar episode, manic symptoms and depressive symptoms can last for a week or more, with some patients experiencing symptoms of both daily.

    Look for any of the following signs of mania or bipolar depression to know the symptoms of bipolar disorder:

    Three or more of the following bipolar disorder symptoms can accompany episodes of mania:

    • Racing thoughts uncontrollable
    • A feeling of unusual optimism
    • Lack of sleep
    • High mood or activity levels
    • Restlessness and impulsivity
    • Distraction/inability to focus
    • Impaired judgment

    Five or more of the following symptoms can be associated with major depression in bipolar disorder:

    • Loss of energy
    • Significant weight loss or gain
    • Shifts in mood
    • Social withdrawal
    • Guilt
    • A feeling of worthlessness

    Since mental disorders often overlap these symptoms, it is essential to understand the difference between bipolar disorder and borderline personality.

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    How Do I Know If I Have Bipolar Disorder

    If you have symptoms that resemble bipolar disorder, such as intense mood swings, you might be wondering if you have the disorder. Perhaps others have suggested that you have some signs of bipolar disorder. Either way, you want to know whether you could possibly have bipolar disorder, and if so, what might happen next.

    Lets take a look at what bipolar disorder looks like for different people, how to find out if you have it, and how bipolar disorder is usually treated.

    Quick Answer: How Do You Explain Bipolar

    How to understand bipolar disorder

    Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental illness that brings severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. People who have bipolar disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and other periods of feeling very sad, hopeless, and sluggish.

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    When Do I Seek Help

    Often, people with the disorder dont ask for help until they lose jobs, drop out of school or run into legal troubles. It might take an involuntary psychiatric hospitalization brought on by severe depression, suicidal thoughts or manic symptoms that become psychotic with paranoia and hallucinations. If you worry that you could be bipolar, ask friends and family members about your mood swings and behavior patterns. They might be able to help you decide whether its time to seek professional help.

    Bipolar Disorder: Why Therapy Is Important

    People with bipolar disorder who are medicated and receive therapy are more likely to get well and stay well. Your symptoms can lead to problems in your relationships, at work, and with your self-esteem, but therapy can help you resolve these problems. Any other problems youre experiencing, such as anxiety or substance abuse, can also be addressed during therapy.

    The following types of therapy are particularly helpful when treating bipolar disorder:

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy
  • Social Rhythm Therapy And Interpersonal Therapy
  • Family-Centered Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • You explore how your thoughts affect your emotions when you participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy . A positive mindset is also acquired through the practice of changing negative behaviors and thinking patterns. Management of symptoms, avoiding relapse triggers, and problem-solving are the main components of treatment for bipolar disorder.

  • Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy
  • During interpersonal therapy, you will work on improving your relationship with the people in your life who are important to you. Stress can be reduced in your life by addressing and solving interpersonal problems. This relationship-oriented approach can reduce mood cycling caused by stress, one of the triggers for bipolar disorder.

  • Family-Focused Therapy
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    Types Of Bipolar Disorder

    There are three main types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

    Bipolar I

    Bipolar I is defined by the appearance of at least one manic episode. You may experience hypomanic episodes, which are less severe than manic episodes, or major depressive episodes before and after the manic episode. This type of bipolar disorder affects people of all sexes equally.

    Bipolar II

    People with bipolar II experience one major depressive episode that lasts at least 2 weeks. They also have at least 1 hypomanic episode that lasts about 4 days. According to a , this type of bipolar disorder may be more common in women.


    People with cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania and depression. These episodes involve symptoms that are shorter and less severe than the mania and depression caused by bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Most people with this condition only experience no mood symptoms for 1 or 2 months at a time.

    Your doctor can explain more about what kind of bipolar disorder you have when discussing your diagnosis.

    Some people experience distinct mood symptoms that resemble but dont quite align with these three types. If thats the case for you, you might get a diagnosis of:

    • other specified bipolar and related disorders
    • unspecified bipolar and related disorders

    Light And Dark Therapy

    Bipolar vs Borderline Personality Disorder â How to tell the difference

    In people with bipolar disorder, light and dark therapy targets their sensitive biological clocks. Sleep-wake cycles are easily disrupted by this clock, causing mania and depression symptoms. Through the careful management of your light exposure, light and dark therapy helps regulate your biological rhythms, thereby reducing mood cycling. During this therapy, artificial light is restricted for ten hours every night to create a regular dark environment.

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    Causes & Risk Factors

    The precise causes of bipolar disorder are unknown. However, there is strong evidence that biological factors, including genetics, play an important role. Stress or difficult family relationships do not cause the illness. However, these factors may trigger an episode in someone who already has the illness.

    Treatment Of Bipolar Disorder With Medication

    To control the symptoms of bipolar disorder, most people require medication. In the event that your doctor diagnoses you with bipolar disorder, you will work with them to determine the best medication or combination of medications for you. Each person responds differently to medications, so you may need to try several different ones before finding one that helps relieve your symptoms.

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    The Realities Of Atypical Bipolarity

    With bipolar finally recognized, bipolar medications can be introduced to decrease manic-type symptoms, while keeping depression in check. Alongside medications, its important to have therapy focus on the unique challenges facing people with bipolar disorder. Major depression is frequently considered an acute condition because it often can resolve in time, so medications may be discontinued at some point, along with a shorter overall approach to therapy. But bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. Even though its symptoms can come and go in episodes, the genetic nature of the condition means the bipolar patient will need continuing care over the lifespan.


    Hirschfeld R. M., Lewis, L., & Vornik, L. A. . Perceptions and impact

    of bipolar disorder: How far have we really come? Results of the National

    Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association 200 survey of individuals

    with bipolar disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 64, 161174.

    American Psychiatric Association. . Diagnostic and statistical manual

    of mental disorders . Washington, DC: Author, 128-130.

    Recommended Reading: How Can You Tell If You Have Bipolar

    Additional And Complementary Therapies

    Painted Brain

    In conjunction with medication, some form of psychotherapy or counseling will likely be recommended by your doctor. A common option is cognitive behavioral therapy, in which a psychiatrist or psychologist will help you identify episode triggers and work to develop behavioral strategies for managing your condition.

    Making certain lifestyle changes may also be necessary, such as quitting drugs and alcohol, avoiding certain foods, or making sure youre exercising regularly. Seeking out educational resources and a community of support can help you understand how to live with the condition and cope with symptoms.

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    Medication Wont Cure All Your Ailments

    Its important to lead a lifestyle that promotes wellness in order to feel your best, especially if you suffer from bipolar disorder. A supportive environment, therapy, and lots of rest can help you achieve this.

    Antidepressants should be used with extreme caution. Bipolar depression cannot be effectively treated with antidepressants, according to research. People with bipolar disorder can also experience rapid cycling between mania and depression.

    Information For Family Carers And Friends

    How can I get support?

    You can speak to your GP. You should be given your own assessment through NHS mental health services to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.

    These are some other options for you:

    • Join a carers service
    • Join a carers support group
    • Ask your local authority for a carers assessment
    • Read about the condition
    • Apply for welfare benefits for carers

    Rethink Mental Illness run carers support groups in some areas. You can also search for groups on the Carers Trust website:

    How can I support the person I care for?

    You might find it easier to support someone with bipolar disorder if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills.

    You should be aware of what you can do if you are worried about their mental state. It can be helpful to know contact information for their mental health team or GP.

    You could find out from your relative if they have a crisis plan. You could help your relative to make a crisis plan if they dont have one.

    As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. But you dont have a legal right to this. The medical team should encourage the person that you care for to allow information to be shared with you.

    You can find out more information about:

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