Tuesday, June 11, 2024

How To Know If Someone Is Bipolar

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During a manic phase, bipolar folks may feel more efficient with their extra energy and decreased need for sleep. However, the crash is inevitable, resulting in a depression that cancels out the superman effect. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a depressed cycle brings problems with memory, concentration, and decision-making, which can impair job performance and cause mistakes.

Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do

Regular Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking, swimming, or bicycling, helps with depression and anxiety, promotes better sleep, and is healthy for your heart and brain. There is also some evidence that anaerobic exercise such as weightlifting, yoga, and Pilates can be helpful. Check with your health care provider before you start a new exercise regimen.

Keeping a Life Chart: Even with proper treatment, mood changes can occur. Treatment is more effective when a patient and health care provider work together and talk openly about concerns and choices. Keeping a life chart that records daily mood symptoms, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events can help patients and health care providers track and treat bipolar disorder over time. Patients can easily share data collected via smartphone apps including self-reports, self- ratings, and activity data with their health care providers and therapists.

What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

If you or a loved one has schizoaffective disorder, ask your provider:

  • What medication will help?
  • What other therapy can help?
  • Will this disorder ever go away?
  • How long will treatment continue?
  • Is there a higher risk for other conditions or disorders?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Schizoaffective disorder is a serious mental health condition. It has features of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder. Schizoaffective symptoms may include symptoms of mania, depression and psychosis. Its important to get treatment as soon as possible. If you notice symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, talk to a healthcare provider. Treatment for schizoaffective disorder includes medication and therapy. While theres no cure for this disorder, treatment helps improve peoples symptoms and quality of life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/24/2021.


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Bipolar I And Bipolar Ii Are The Most Common Types With Two Main Differentiators:

  • Bipolar I: A person may experience a manic episode of extreme highs lasting around seven days or requiring hospitalization. This may or may not be followed by an extremely depressed period lasting around two weeks.
  • Bipolar II: A person may experience a less-intense version of mania called hypomania, which is not as severe as bipolar I. A depressive episode may occur before or after the hypomania. This depressive state can be severe and one condition of bipolar is not more or less serious than another.
  • Cyclothymic disorder. This type of disorder can occur when the mania or depression episode lasts longer than two years.
  • Other: This type of disorder could be rooted in substance use disorder affecting mood or other health concerns.

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Make A Plan For Manic Episodes

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When your friend, partner or family member is feeling well, try talking to them about the support you can offer during a hypomanic or manic episode. This can help you both feel more stable and in control of what’s happening.

You could discuss ideas such as:

  • Enjoying being creative together.
  • Offering a second opinion about projects or commitments, to help them consider whether theyre taking too much on.
  • Helping to manage money while theyre unwell, if theyd like you to.
  • Helping them keep a routine, including regular meals and sleeping patterns.

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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.

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.

The following are signs of lithium toxicity . Call your healthcare provider immediately or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience:

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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 doesnât work well enough or causes you problems, you may be offered:

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.

Diagnosing Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder

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There is no standard blood test for either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder however, a physician could conduct a psychological and physical exam. They may want to run a full blood test, and they may want to send you in for a CT scan or MRI to be sure no other conditions are in play. You will likely be asked about any family history of mental disorders and about any symptoms you are experiencing.

It is crucial to be completely honest with your doctor about any symptoms, even if you think they are not worth mentioning or are nervous to mention them. It is also vital to be truthful about any substance use you may be engaging in, as any medication the physician may prescribe could not mix well with other drugs and alcohol. Your doctor may request you undergo a substance use screening to be sure.

You might have to return a few times to your doctor before a diagnosis is made, and you might even be referred to a doctor that specializes in mental health conditions, as most HMOs require referrals to specialists. A doctor may ask you to maintain a journal of your moods, sleep patterns, and record any symptoms you are experiencing. This will help the doctor determine any patterns that can help them make the correct diagnosis.

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Supporting Someone With Bipolar Disorder

This page is for friends, partners and family who want to help someone with bipolar disorder.

Seeing someone you care about going through the moods and symptoms of bipolar disorder can feel distressing. But you can offer support in lots of ways, while also looking after your own wellbeing.

This page covers how you can:

What Causes These Disorders

After years of research, doctors still dont know what causes schizophrenia. They think that chemical imbalances of dopamine and glutamate might play a role. Also, they know that people with schizophrenia often have physically different brains than those who dont. This might indicate that it happens during the development of the brain itself.

Doctors havent studied schizoaffective disorder for nearly as long. However, theyve made more breakthroughs. For example, doctors believe that the genes that control the bodys natural sleep and wake cycle contribute to this disorder.

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What Treatments Are Available For People With Bipolar Disorder

Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers like lithium, Depakene, Depakote and Lamictal help reduce the severity of hypomania/mania cycling by preventing dopamine from flooding the brain. Mood stabilizers also act similar to antidepressants by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Bipolar individuals taking mood stabilizers for the first time often need doses readjusted several times before they find a specific dosage that works best for them.


When someone is more affected by the depression stage than the manic stage, their doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to treat severe depression and suicidal ideation. Celexa, Zoloft and Effexor are commonly prescribed to relieve symptoms of bipolar depression. Some research suggests antidepressants also help decrease rapidly cycling episodes of mania and depression.

Atypical Antipsychotics

New antipsychotic medications like Seroquel, Abilify and Risperdal control delusional thinking and hallucinations in bipolar adults experiencing severe manic phases. These medications do not cause the side effects associated with older antipsychotics and can also help diminish disorganized thinking, impulsive behavior, and insomnia.

Information For Family Carers And Friends

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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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Is My Husband Bipolar: Bipolar Disorder In Men

Bipolar disorder can affect men and women differently. For men, in particular, manic episodes tend to be more violent and aggressive. Reckless behavior and acting out are not uncommon in men with bipolar disorder. These impulsive and risky behaviors are heightened during these manic episodes.

Additionally, men are also more likely to turn to substance and drug abuse during manic cycles. They tend to self-medicate more than women do. It is also no surprise that alcohol and substances only make these symptoms worse in men. This can also lead to co-occurring disorders where a person is struggling with both drug addiction and mental illness.

Other Options To Try At Home

Treatment can come in other forms as well. Practicing regular exercising and anaerobic exercises can help depression and anxiety. Additionally, exercise can promote a better sleep schedule. Couples counseling is also an option as well, continuing to improve and nurture your relationship can be very beneficial.

Keeping a life chart of your mood changes and swings can be very useful for you and your spouse. Over time, this information can become useful in seeing patterns during and after treatment. This info can also be shared with your therapist for improved treatment.

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Bipolar Disorder Is Often Mistaken For ‘just’ Depression

People with bipolar disorder are frequently misdiagnosed as having only depression. In bipolar II disorder, the milder form, manic episodes are mild and can pass by unnoticed. Time spent with depression symptoms, meanwhile, outnumbers time spent with hypomanic symptoms by about 35 to one in people with bipolar II disorder.

Time spent with depression symptoms also usually outweighs time spent with mania symptoms in bipolar I disorder by about three to one, although the more severe mania in bipolar I generally is easier to identify.

Major depressive disorder — often referred to as unipolar depression — is different from bipolar disorder II — also called bipolar depression — in that unipolar depression has no intervals of hypomania while bipolar II does have intervals of hypomania.

Anyone evaluated for depression should also be evaluated for a lifetime history of manic or hypomanic episodes.

Psychotherapy With A Doctor

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Psychotherapy is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Psychotherapy can offer support, education, skills, and strategies to people with bipolar disorder and their families.

Therapy with family can also be beneficial as the symptoms of bipolar disorder can strongly affect the overall dynamics of a familys day-to-day function.

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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.

Take Care Of Yourself

If you dont spend enough time on yourself, your spirit will suffer, and youll be less able to give your loved one the attention they need. Self care is critical for all of us. Your health and well-being must be your top priority, otherwise youll be too exhausted and overwhelmed to be of any real value to anyone you try to help. Dont be afraid to make time to pamper yourself periodically.

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Living With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a condition of extremes. A person with bipolar disorder may be unaware they’re in the manic phase.

After the episode is over, they may be shocked at their behaviour. But at the time, they may believe other people are being negative or unhelpful.

Some people with bipolar disorder have more frequent and severe episodes than others.

The extreme nature of the condition means staying in a job may be difficult and relationships may become strained. There’s also an increased risk of suicide.

During episodes of mania and depression, someone with bipolar disorder may experience strange sensations, such as seeing, hearing or smelling things that are not there .

They may also believe things that seem irrational to other people . These types of symptoms are known as psychosis or a psychotic episode.

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder: Get the Facts

If you spot the symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or someone else, dont wait to get help. Ignoring the problem wont make it go away in fact, it will almost certainly get worse. Living with untreated bipolar disorder can lead to problems in everything from your career to your relationships to your health. But bipolar disorder is highly treatable, so diagnosing the problem and starting treatment as early as possible can help prevent these complications.

If youre reluctant to seek treatment because you like the way you feel when youre manic, remember that the energy and euphoria come with a price. Mania and hypomania often turn destructive, hurting you and the people around you.

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