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.
Mental And Psychiatric Exam
Your doctor will also try to recommend you to a psychiatrist to check if you have any emotional problems and problematic behavioral patterns that may cause you to have bipolar disorder.;
You will also be asked to have to answer a psychological questionnaire so they can assess and gather any specific information from you in order to evaluate the problems that you may have mentally.
What Your Doctor Will Look For
The manic episodes of bipolar disorder often last a long time. Typically, your symptoms will be strong enough to seem unusual and disrupt your daily life.
Symptoms of mania might include:
- Impulsive, high-risk behavior
- Unusually happy or outgoing mood
With bipolar disorder, you will also have depressive episodes. These symptoms are similar to depression:
- Change in eating habits, either not eating or overeating
- Change in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in activities
- Thoughts of suicide or death
- Trouble concentrating
You can also have other symptoms. For instance, sometimes a person with bipolar disorder experiences a mixed state. This is when mania and depression are present at the same time. Someone with severe bipolar disorder may have psychotic symptoms. These include delusions or .
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Can People Tell They Are Bipolar
People can often tell that something is wrong , but may not always be able to accurately label it as bipolar. For example, it is frequently easy for people to know when they are depressed, but sometimes symptoms of mania go unnoticed, or feel good, so they are not as easily seen as an issue, 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.
Were Still Learning How To Treat Bipolar Disorder
There is no cure for bipolar disorder. Instead, it must be managed for life.
According to the National Advisory Mental Health Council, the treatment success rate is a remarkable 80%.
Treating bipolar disorder is complex, because the right treatment for one person may not help someone else. Additionally, the same treatments that alleviate depression can cause mania or mood swings. Whats more, treatments that reduce mania might cause rebound depressive episodes. While antidepressants are commonly used to treat the depressive phase of the disorder, they are not always effective.
People living with bipolar disorder are also at risk for other easier-to-spot conditions that distract from their root problems. For example, poor sleep often plays a key role in bipolar disorder, and patients may be sent home with a sleep aid rather than a mood stabilizer.
Similarly, migraine headaches are three and a half times more common among those with bipolar disorder, especially in women, although the treatments are vastly different.
The most common treatment protocols for bipolar disorder include the following:
Studies show that therapy and stress reduction can also help those with bipolar disorder. Experts say that combining talk therapy with mood-stabilizing drugs seems to be one of the most promising lines of treatment for bipolar disorder.
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Can Brain Scans Or Imaging Tests Help With The Bipolar Diagnosis
While doctors donât rely on brain scans or imaging tests for making a bipolar diagnosis, some high-tech neuroimaging tests may help doctors make specific neurologic diagnoses that can account for psychiatric symptoms. An MRI or CT scan is therefore sometimes ordered in patients who have had a sudden change in thinking, mood, or behavior to assure that a neurological disease is not the underlying cause.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, studies are underway to examine whether electroencephalograms and magnetic resonance imaging studies of the brain can reveal differences between bipolar disorder and related behavioral syndromes. But bipolar disorder remains a clinical diagnosis, and no imaging study or other lab test has yet been established to confirm its diagnosis or guide its treatment.
You Have Bouts Of Over
This is mania. Itâs a high that goes way beyond âhappyâ or âjoyful.â Some people have it often, others hardly ever.
Hypomania is a milder form of this feeling. It doesnât turn into psychosis like mania can, but itâs part of a bipolar diagnosis. You might feel great and get a lot done, but those around you might see changes in your mood and activity levels.
To get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, you must have had at least one manic or hypomanic experience.
Signs of manic behavior include:
- Your mood isnât comfortable. It might feel good at first, especially after depression. But it quickly becomes erratic and out of control.
- Your judgment swerves way off. You take extreme risks. You make bad decisions with no thought for what might happen. For instance, you might spend money recklessly or have risky sex.
- You get bad-tempered and angry.
- You feel strung-out or edgy.
- You find it hard to sleep.
- You feel like your mind is a freeway. You might talk super-fast and hop subjects, or think you can do too many things at once.
Some episodes can mix mania and depression. For example, you might feel hyper-energetic and full of despair at the same time.
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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.
Can Anxiety Turn Into Bipolar
There is no research evidence that suggests that anxiety can turn into bipolar disorder, 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. People with bipolar disorder may experience feelings of anxiety, however, and may also confuse some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder for symptoms of anxiety.
In addition, some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can also be associated with some of the anxiety disorders, Rego says. And some people may have both an anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder.
So it’s not always so easy to sort these things out, Rego says. It is much more important to seek professional help if youre experiencing symptoms that are causing you distress or interference in your ability to function in life.
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Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Information presented in this article may be triggering for some people. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Bipolar disorder isn’t just about having mood swings. It’s a serious mental health condition that used to be referred to as manic depression.
According to the DSM-5, the guide used to diagnose mental illnesses, there are two main types of bipolar disorder that can be diagnosed based on the severity and nature of their symptoms:
- Bipolar I ;Individuals;with bipolar I experience at least one manic;episode in their lives. Although not required for the formal diagnosis, the vast majority will also experience major depressive episodes during the course of their lives.
- Bipolar II; Individuals;with bipolar II have at least one hypomanic episode and at least one major depressive episode.
Even One Manic Episode In Your Entire Life Is Enough
Dr. Sportell also clarifies that going through a manic episode once in your life is enough to be diagnosed with this disorder. Of course, being overly hyped or energetic once in your life doesnt mean youre Bipolar. However, if a psychiatrist can identify an abnormal manic episode in your life, youre likely to have it.
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Mental Health Treatment Locator
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this online resource for locating mental health treatment facilities and programs. The Mental Health Treatment Locator section of the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator lists facilities providing mental health services to persons with mental illness. Find a facility in your state at www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp.
What Are The Long
Bipolar disorder is a life-long and often recurring illness. You may need long term support to help manage your condition.
What medication options are there?
Your doctor will look at what medication worked for you during episodes of mania or depression. They should ask you whether you want to continue this treatment or if you want to change to lithium.
Lithium usually works better than other types of medication for long-term treatment. Your doctor should give you information about how to take lithium safely. If lithium doesn’t work well enough or causes you problems, you may be offered:
- Olanzapine, or
Your doctor should monitor your health. Physical health checks should be done at least once a year. These checks will include:
- measuring your weight,
- checking your liver and heart, and
- checking your pulse and blood pressure.
What psychological treatments are recommended?
You should be offered a psychological therapy that is specially designed for bipolar disorder. You could have individual or group therapy.
The aim of your therapy is to stop you from becoming unwell again. This is known as relapse. Your therapy should help you to:
If you live with your family or are in close contact with them, you should also be offered family intervention.
Family intervention is where you and your family work with mental health professionals to help to manage relationships. This should be offered to people who you live with or who you are in close contact with.
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Brain Structure And Function
Researchers are learning that the brain structure and function of people with bipolar disorder may be different from the brain structure and function of people who do not have bipolar disorder or other psychiatric disorders. Learning about the nature of these brain changes helps doctors better understand bipolar disorder and may in the future help predict which types of treatment will work best for a person with bipolar disorder. At this time, diagnosis is based on symptoms rather than brain imaging or other diagnostic tests.
A Lab Test For Bipolar Disorder
Several new findings have emerged, one of which comes very close to providing a noninvasive lab test for bipolar disorder.
Unlike schizophrenia, in which ventricular enlargement is a well-established anatomic finding, there are no clear anatomic findings in standard brain imaging in bipolar disorder . But new techniques in neuroimaging are providing clues about what is different in the brains of individuals with bipolar disorder.
Early functional imaging approaches included single photon emission computed tomography scans and positron emission tomography scans. Then came functional MRI . Because increased neuronal activity increases blood flow, that flow rate can be used to reflect which regions of the brain are active, relative to other regions, or relative to a resting state. Functional MRI can quantify and image cerebral blood flow rate in several ways.
Using fMRI, several regions of the brain have been consistently shown to function differently in people with bipolar disorder. In a masterful review, Mary Phillips and Holly Swartz of the University of Pittsburgh and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic summarized the main findings to date .1
Several new findings have emerged, one of which comes very close to providing a noninvasive lab test for bipolar disorder.
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Talk To Family About Their Mental Health
Because mental health conditions tend to run in families, its helpful to know your relatives mental health experiences.
In fact, an estimated 8090% of people with bipolar disorder have a relative with depression or bipolar disorder.
You might ask family:
- Have you experienced extreme mood shifts in your life?
- Have you felt down a lot? Or not like yourself?
- Have other relatives struggled with their mental health?
Reason #1: More People Are In Danger These Days
According to Statista, 0.59 percent of the population suffered from Bipolar Disorder from 1990 to 2013. However, the number of patients has increased by 0.01 during the last seven years. That means more people are ending up struggling with this condition. So, its best to be cautious rather than ignorant.
Taking the am I Bipolar quiz can lead to an early diagnosis and proper treatments.
Reason #2: People with This Disorder Have Shorter Lifespan
Dr. Sportell says, the numbers suggest that people with this condition have shorter lifespan by fifteen years. So, ignoring your symptoms could be terminal in some way. However, by taking the am I Bipolar quiz, you can notice the possibilities before its too late.
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Can A Blood Test Help Diagnose And Treat Bipolar Disorder
- Doctors currently diagnose bipolar disorder with a clinical examination.
- Recent studies have explored the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in blood samples in cases of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.
- A new blood test could support a clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder. However, the diagnostic criteria remain unchanged.
Recent studies have given new hope of a potential test to diagnose bipolar disorder based on levels of a molecule in the blood. This research shows promise for future developments, although clinical evaluation will likely remain the cornerstone of diagnosis and treatment in the near future.
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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From Diagnosis To Treatment
Although bipolar disorder is a challenging diagnosis, its an important one to get right. Bipolar disorder, as with other mental illnesses, can worsen without treatment. There are many effective treatments that can make the highs and lows of bipolar disorder less severe and tolerable. Medications and other forms of therapy can improve the quality of life for people with bipolar disorder. All of these factors make careful diagnosis by a mental health professional very important.
Bipolar Isnt Just One Disorder
There is no single life event, personality type, chemical imbalance, or genetic variation that determines whether someone will or wont develop bipolar disorder. Rather, every patients background and experience is unique.
Bipolar disorder is not a simple condition, but one made up of several subtypes, most commonly bipolar I and bipolar II. Here are the different types:
- Bipolar disorder type I: These patients have at least one episode of full-blown mania or manic and depressive symptoms, and often many more, over the course of a lifetime.
- Bipolar disorder type II: Patients have long episodes of depression, at least one episode of hypomania , but no full-blown manic episodes.
- Cyclothymic disorder: These patients have several hypomanic and depressive symptoms, but their symptoms dont meet the criteria for depression or bipolar disorder type I.
- Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified: Patients have both depressive and hypomanic symptoms, but dont meet the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder.
Determining how bipolar expresses itself in each individual can lead to better, more targeted treatment plans and a more accurate prognosis. New research indicates that different subtypes of bipolar disorder tend to cluster within families, suggesting that genetic testing could someday help doctors make more accurate diagnoses.
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What Causes High Uric Acid Levels
- Certain medications, including low-dose aspirin, diuretics, vitamin B3 supplements, some chemotherapy drugs, and some immune-suppressing drugs
- Xylitol and sorbitol
- High blood insulin levels
Its been known for a long time how important it is to limit alcohol use and review your medication list with your health care providers if you have high uric acid.
The old thinking was that meat was a major contributor to high uric acid levels , but this theory was grounded in guesswork and has not held up to scientific testing.
The new kid on the block, and the most common root cause of high uric acid, is high insulin levelssometimes also called insulin resistance or pre-diabetes. Insulin resistance now affects more than 50% of all Americans and has reached epidemic proportions around the world, including in Portugal, where this study was conducted. High insulin levels tell the kidneys to reduce the amount of uric acid they release into the urine, allowing more uric acid to remain behind in the bloodstream.
In this interesting study, people with bipolar disorder who also happened to have insulin resistance were more likely to experience rapid cycling and less likely to improve in response to the mood stabilizer Lithium, suggesting that insulin resistance may contribute to the severity of bipolar symptoms.