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How Do You Know Your Bipolar

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What If Im Not Happy With My Treatment

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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.

Know About Your Medication

It may seem to go without saying, butespecially when it comes to the treatment of a brain-based health condition like bipolarwhen you are taking or considering a psychiatric medication, it is important to know what it is supposed to do.

This means understanding the target symptoms the medication is intended to address, what kind of timelines are involved, whether certain side effects are to be expected, and so on.

When discussing medication with your prescribing doctor, ask for moreand more preciseinformation. Here are some questions to consider:

  • How long should it take to feel the full effect?
  • Will I have to try several different medications or a combination if Im not feeling better within that time frame?
  • What is the intended definition of feeling betteris the goal to be symptom-free or to experience a lessening of symptoms?

Conditions That Can Co

Many people with bipolar disorder also have other mental disorders or conditions such as anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder , misuse of drugs or alcohol, or eating disorders. Sometimes people who have severe manic or depressive episodes also have symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the persons extreme mood. For example, someone having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may falsely believe they are financially ruined, while someone having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may falsely believe they are famous or have special powers.

Looking at symptoms over the course of the illness and the persons family history can help determine whether a person has bipolar disorder along with another disorder.

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Bipolar Disorder Symptoms: How To Know If You Have Bipolar

While educating yourself about bipolar disorder symptoms can be helpful, the only way to tell if you have bipolar is to receive a diagnosis from a medical professional. If you experience symptoms of bipolar disorder, you should see your doctor, even if you dont have all of them. Your doctor will most likely refer you to a mental health specialist who will assess whether you fit the DSM-5 bipolar disorder symptoms criteria.

Types And Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

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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 Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

The defining sign of bipolar I disorder is a manic episode that lasts at least one week, while people with bipolar II disorder or cyclothymia experience hypomanic episodes.

But many people with bipolar disorder experience both hypomanic/manic and depressive episodes. These changing mood states dont always follow a set pattern, and depression doesnt always follow manic phases. A person may also experience the same mood state several times with periods of euthymia in between before experiencing the opposite mood.

Mood changes in bipolar disorder can happen over a period of weeks, months and sometimes even years.

An important aspect of the mood changes is that theyre a departure from your regular self and that the mood change is sustained for a long time. It may be many days or weeks in the case of mania and many weeks or months in the case of depression.

The severity of the depressive and manic phases can differ from person to person and in the same person at different times.

Signs and symptoms of manic episodes

Some people with bipolar disorder will have episodes of mania or hypomania many times throughout their life others may experience them only rarely.

Signs and symptoms of a manic episode include:

Most of the time, people experiencing a manic episode are unaware of the negative consequences of their actions. With bipolar disorder, suicide is an ever-present danger some people become suicidal in manic episodes, not just depressive episodes.

Go To Couples Counseling

Couples counseling is essential for working through upset over a bipolar partners actions. Its common for someone with bipolar disorder to hurt and offend their partner. When someone is first diagnosed, there are often relationship issues that need to be addressed. Couples counseling can help you:

  • Understand that theres an illness involved in the hurtful behavior.
  • Forgive the behavior that happened during an altered mood state.
  • Set boundaries with a partner about maintaining treatment.

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Self Care Tips To Follow After Bipolar Quiz

If you answered yes to four or more of the questions in the bipolar quiz, it is important that you consult a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. However, there are some things that you can do to help take care of yourself:

  • Get enough sleep: Most people with bipolar disorder need around eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat healthily: A balanced diet can help keep your moods stable.
  • Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve your mood.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol: Drugs and alcohol can make bipolar disorder worse.
  • Stay connected to friends and family: Spending time with loved ones can help you feel supported.
  • Take care of yourself: Relax, take time for yourself, and do things that make you happy.

It is important to remember that everyones experience with bipolar disorder is different. What works for one person may not work for another. If you are having a hard time managing your symptoms, please talk to your doctor or therapist.

Warning Signs Of Bipolar Disorder

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We all have ups and downs. But the steep climbs and sudden plunges of bipolar disorder can lead to life-threatening situations.

Shirley Rogerson thought her husband of 40 years was simply prone to dark moods. At other times, he was the life of the party, telling jokes that had everyone in stitches. But as years passed, his behavior became frightening. He threatened to kill himself and had hallucinations, says Rogerson, an author and library information specialist. Once, he saw visions of killing me and the dogs. Her husband was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

This serious mental illness affects about 6 million women and men in the U.S., according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance . And it can be harrowing and dangerous for people around them. In the manic phase, sufferers often dont think anything’s wrong. Theyre hyper-energized and brimming with confidence. But theyre not as invincible as they feel. Eventually, people almost always make a big mistake, such as a foolish investment or an ill-advised affair. When they realize what theyve done, they can crash into really bad depression, says psychiatrist Igor Galynker, MD, PhD, director of the Family Center for Bipolar Disorder at Beth Israel Medical Center, in New York City.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?This complex mental condition comes in various forms. These are the most common:

6 Warning Signs of Mania

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How To Know If You Have Bipolar Disorder

This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 82% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 378,014 times.

Your Depression Goes Way Deeper Than Just Feeling Down

Bipolar depression shows up in different ways for different people. You might have trouble sleeping. Or you might sleep too much, and even find it hard to get up. The smallest decisions can seem huge. Overwhelming feelings of failure, guilt, or deep loss can trigger suicidal thoughts.

Other signs to look for:

  • You feel like you canât enjoy anything.
  • You find it hard to focus.
  • You eat too little or too much.
  • Youâre weary, and your movements seem slow.
  • Youâre forgetful.

For a bipolar disorder diagnosis, you must have several depression symptoms that make it hard for you to function every day for at least 2 weeks.

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Bipolar Disorder Signs And Symptoms List

According to the fifth and most recent edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” , which is prepared by the American Psychiatric Association and contains the formal requirements for diagnosing mental illnesses, there are certain diagnostic criteria for bipolar episodes.

According to the DSM-5, tell-tale signs of bipolar disorder symptoms include:

Manic episodes

  • Extremely high self-esteem or grandiosity
  • Reduced need for sleep
  • Talking more than usual, often loudly and quickly
  • Becoming distracted easily
  • Doing too many activities at once
  • Risky behavior, such as spending sprees, substance abuse, hypersexuality and reckless driving
  • Racing thoughts

Hypomanic episodes

According to the DSM-5 bipolar disorder symptoms list, a hypomanic episode is similar to a manic episode except the symptoms are milder, usually lasting a maximum of four days in a row. Most people in hypomania are still able to function perfectly well and do not require hospitalization.

Major depressive episodes

Major depressive episodes are periods of two weeks or more in which a person has at least five of the following symptoms, including one of the first two:

  • Intense sadness or despair, including feeling helpless and hopeless
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Sleep problems, such as sleeping too little or too much
  • Feeling restless or agitated
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

How Is It Diagnosed

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Bipolar can be tricky to diagnose. Your doctor or therapist will ask detailed questions about your symptoms. You may need blood and urine tests to rule out other problems.

There are two types of bipolar disorderI and II. To be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you must have had:

  • A manic episode lasting at least a week .
  • During that episode, three or more symptoms of mania.

For bipolar II disorder, your doctor will look for the same symptoms, but the manic high may be less severe and shorter.

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Bipolar In Men During A Depressive State

In both genders, bipolar depression manifests itself through six behaviors: excessive sleeping, changes in eating, being withdrawn and sullen, irritability, inability to concentrate, and lack of interest in virtually anything typically enjoyed. Extremes, not surprisingly, include suicidal impulses and attempts as well as reclusive behaviors.

Bipolar disorder carries a high risk of suicide. Suicide in men is a significant social, behavioral health and medical problem. Men have a much larger rate of attempts and completed suicide rates in comparison with women. Early identification of bipolar disorder and risk factors is essential to intervene, treat, and prevent any risk-taking behavior.

Again, it can be argued that women more easily reveal their emotion and more willing to seek help. Extensive evidence supports that men are typically unwilling to admit to depression. In fact, they often take extreme measures to avoid being identified as depressedclinically or otherwisebecause depression and the symptoms that come with it defy male norms of independence and emotional control.

Sadly, men suffering from bipolar are less easy to identify and less likely to seek assistance and treatment.

Brain Structure And Function

Research shows that the brain structure and function of people with bipolar disorder may differ from those of people who do not have bipolar disorder or other mental disorders. Learning about the nature of these brain changes helps researchers better understand bipolar disorder and, in the future, may help predict which types of treatment will work best for a person with bipolar disorder.

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Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

This online resource, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , can help you locate mental health treatment facilities and programs. Find a facility in your state by searching SAMHSAs online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. For additional resources, visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.

Patterns Of Depression And Mania

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If you have bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of depression more regularly than episodes of mania, or vice versa.

Between episodes of depression and mania, you may sometimes have periods where you have a “normal” mood.

The patterns are not always the same and some people may experience:

  • rapid cycling where a person with bipolar disorder repeatedly swings from a high to a low phase quickly without having a “normal” period in between
  • mixed state where a person with bipolar disorder experiences symptoms of depression and mania together for example, overactivity with a depressed mood

If your mood swings last a long time but are not severe enough to be classed as bipolar disorder, you may be diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.

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When Should I Go To The Emergency Room For Bipolar Disorder

If youre experiencing any of these situations, its essential to call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room:

  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Thoughts or plans of hurting yourself or others.
  • Experiencing hallucinations and delusions.
  • Symptoms of lithium toxicity , such as severe nausea and vomiting, severe hand tremors, confusion and vision changes.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness. But long-term, ongoing treatment, such as medication and talk therapy, can help manage your symptoms and enable you to live a healthy, purposeful life. Its important to see your healthcare team regularly to monitor your treatment plan and symptoms. Know that your healthcare providers and loved ones are there to support you.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/12/2022.


Bipolar Disorder Symptoms: How To Tell If You Have Bipolar

The symptoms of bipolar disorder arent always easy to spot. While some people experience dramatic highs and lows, for others the signs are much subtler. There is also a lot of misinformation about bipolar disorder, making it easy to misdiagnose or leave untreated, as well as different forms it can take. So how do you know whether you have bipolar or you’re just experiencing normal mood changes? Here are some tell-tale symptoms of bipolar disorder.

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How Do I Know If I Am Bipolar

Identifying bipolar disorder is very strategic because there are behavioral explanations that first need to be ruled out. Since the disorder is more commonly seen in teenage years than perhaps someone in their 40s, somebody might be inclined to gloss over symptoms as typical teenage behavior.

If the behavior of manic highs continues to be repeated over time with potentially dangerous consequences or depressed periods lasting longer than two weeks, a visit to a medical professional is in order. A routine physical including blood work can rule out other physical contributors and a full mental wellness evaluation can be performed.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Mania

  • Showing intense happiness or silliness for a long time
  • Having a very short temper or seeming extremely irritable
  • Talking very fast or having racing thoughts
  • Having an inflated sense of ability, knowledge, and power
  • Doing reckless things that show poor judgment

These symptoms may be more manic and an episode may require hospitalization until the person can be stabilized, as in bipolar I.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling very sad or hopeless
  • Feeling lonely or isolating themselves from others
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Having little energy and no interest in usual activities
  • Sleeping too much

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