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How To Know If You Have Bipolar Disorder

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How to know if you have bipolar disorder

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:

  • Valproate,
  • Olanzapine, or
  • Quetiapine.

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.

How To Know If You Have Bipolar Disorder Adhd Or Borderline Personality Disorder

An estimated 46 million people around the world are affected by bipolar disorder. In the U.S. alone, around 2.3% of the adult population has this condition. Unfortunately, many patients with bipolar disorder are still misdiagnosed.

Bipolar patients may be mistakenly diagnosed with depression or with other severe conditions, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or borderline personality disorder . Such misdiagnoses can significantly affect treatment effectiveness and overall quality of life.

While there may be alternative treatments for bipolar disorder that also work well for individuals with ADHD and BPD, it is still best to get correctly diagnosed for a more targeted treatment plan.

Identifying Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness primarily characterized by extreme ups and downs in mood and energy levels.

The extreme mood swings and energy shifts can make it more challenging to make decisions and manage everyday tasks.

Bipolar disorder was also once called manic-depressive disorder. People with the illness fluctuate between very high or euphoric episodes called mania and extremely low and depressive periods.

The two periods of extremes manifest different symptoms entirely.

Extreme highs or manic episodes can last up to one week. Symptoms of a bipolar patient experiencing a manic episode may include:

  • Sleeping too much
  • Increase in appetite and weight
  • Low, hopeless, or dejected mood
  • Suicidal thoughts

How Accurate Is It

This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional or doctor.

Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.

This test is based on the bipolar screening questionnaire created by Dr. Ivan Goldberg. If you think you may be suffering from Bipolar Disorder or any other mental health condition, PsyCom strongly recommends that you seek help from a doctor in order to receive a proper diagnosis and support.

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How Does It Affect People

Bipolar disorder affects both men and women. For many people, the first symptoms show up in their early twenties. However, research has shown that the first episode of bipolar disorder is occurring earlier: It often shows up in adolescence, and even children can have the disorder.

Recent research suggests that kids and teens with bipolar disorder don’t always have the same behavioral patterns that adults with bipolar disorder do. For example, kids who have bipolar disorder may experience particularly rapid mood changes and may have some of the other mood-related symptoms listed below, such as irritability and high levels of anxiety. But they may not show other symptoms that are more commonly seen in adults.

Because brain function is involved, the ways people with bipolar disorder think, act, and feel are all affected. This can make it especially difficult for other people to understand their condition. It can be incredibly frustrating if other people act as though someone with bipolar disorder should just “snap out of it,” as if a person who is sick can become well simply by wanting to.

Bipolar disorder isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw it’s a serious medical condition that requires treatment, just like any other condition.


Who Can Diagnose Borderline Personality Disorder

Bipolar Disorder  Madison

BPD is most often diagnosed by a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker, 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, both in New York City.

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Learn The Side Effects Of Your Medication

Ask your doctor about medications that are the least likely to have sexual side effects. There are also medications available that help people, with or without bipolar disorder, to have a healthy sex life.

They include:

  • ED pills such as sildenafil and tadalafil

Bupropion may assist with low libido. The Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved bupropion for the treatment of low libido. However, your doctor may prescribe it anyway. This is known as off-label drug use.


Off-label drug use is when a drug thats approved by the Food and Drug Administration for one purpose is used for a different purpose that hasnt yet been approved.

However, a doctor can still use the drug for that purpose. This is because the FDA regulates the testing and approval of drugs, but not how doctors use drugs to treat their patients.

So your doctor can prescribe a drug however they think is best for your care.

Medications used to address the sexual side effects of bipolar disorder come with their own side effects, too.

According to case studies, bupropion may worsen hypersexuality in some men and women who are taking the medication to help treat depression. If bupropion is prescribed to someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder and theyre experiencing a manic episode, hypersexuality may get exasperated.

Side effects of ED pills are mostly mild, but they may include headache, flushing, and a stuffy or runny nose.

How Bipolar Disorder Affects Productivity

In bipolar disorder, you experience low energy. Your lack of motivation can be a symptom of your depression which can lead to feelings of fatigue and an overall lack of energy. Your low energy levels mean that there are fewer resources for you to utilize in order to complete tasks, so everything seems much harder than it actually is. Depression can also cause you to have very little or no energy at all. You might feel like its impossible for you to do anything because of how sluggish you feel.

Other than that you experience distractibility. Because its hard to focus when youre depressed, you might find your mind wandering away from the task at hand towards something else that either has nothing to do with what youre doing or makes the situation worse . Depression can make you think twice about everything, which makes decisions seem impossible to make.

The symptoms of depression might make it difficult to concentrate on work or school projects. Lastly, depression may lead to bad time management skills and difficult focusing on one thing at a time. Because of your lack of motivation, you might find yourself losing interest in hobbies and other activities that used to give you pleasure.

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How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed

Bipolar disorder is diagnosed through a clinical interview with a licensed mental health professional, 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.

Sometimes, the mental health professional will also ask the person to complete some assessment measures to aid in the diagnosis, Rego says. They may also ask to speak with a family member or partner, or other significant person in the persons life, in order to get additional information about the impact the disorder has had on the person and their relationships.

Find What Works For You

How To Tell Someone You Have Bipolar Disorder

King finds relief through self-reflection, frequent exercise, multiple hobbies, and having creative outlets. For Ayetoro, journaling and deep breathing practices help to bring her peace. Most people we interviewed are thankful for taking medication.

But what works for one person may not work for the next.

Howard encourages folks to try different things and not be afraid to fail. Every failed coping skill attempt gets you closer to what will work.

Consider combining these approaches for a more holistic treatment plan. Speak with a mental health professional to figure out what might work best for you.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.

There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of symptoms.

Bipolar Disorder And Other Mental Illnesses

People with bipolar disorder fluctuate between mania and depression. Because it can look like other illnesses, it can be difficult to diagnose.

Folks diagnosed with BD may experience another mental illness at the same time. Possibilities include eating disorders, anxiety disorders, or substance use disorders.

People with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing other chronic medical conditions including diabetes, obesity, migraine headaches, thyroid disease, and heart disease.

Below are just a few of the most common conditions that may look like bipolar disorder or may manifest as additional diagnoses. Anyone who has symptoms of these conditions should seek help from a trained medical professional, mental health professional, or specialist.

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Rarer Types Of Bipolar Disorder

There are two other types of the disorder that are less common than bipolar I and II. Cyclothymic disorder involves changes in mood and shifts similar to bipolar I and II, but the shifts are often less dramatic in nature. A person with cyclothymic disorder can often function normally without medication, though it may be hard. Over time, a persons changes in mood may develop into a diagnosis of bipolar I or II.

Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is a general category for a person who only has some symptoms of bipolar disorder. These symptoms are not enough to make a diagnosis of one of the other three types.

While bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose, once its identified, it can be treated.

Understand Sexual Health Issues

Understanding the two sides of bipolar disorder ...

Understanding what can happen as a result of sexual activities is important, as it relates to events that may be unintended, such as an unplanned pregnancy.

Having clarity about your sexual actions can also help to reduce your chances of contracting STIs, such as HIV.

This is especially important during periods of hypersexuality.

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Do People With Bipolar Disorder Know They Have The Condition Before Getting Diagnosed

Sometimes. For example, Ayetoro had suspicions for years before officially being diagnosed in 2014.

I experienced what I thought were abnormal swings in mood from very high energy to very low energy for a very long time before. My moods would get so low that I was spending unusual amounts of time in bed depressed, she recalls. It was strange that this depression would follow periods of extremely high spirits.

She experienced two manic episodes before receiving her diagnosis. It was somewhat of a relief to put a name to what was with me, but then began the hard road to stability.

On the other hand, Howard was surprised to receive a diagnosis of bipolar I with psychosis at age 25. As for what made me believe I may have had an illness literally nothing. I was tricked into going to the hospital. Up until the moment I was admitted, I thought everything was normal. It was quite the shock.

Who would I be without bipolar disorder? Id love to find out, he adds. But harnessing my mind and using it to the best of my ability has been my lifes work.

What Are The Criteria For Borderline Personality Disorder

The American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition outlines the criteria for a diagnosis. BPD is diagnosed on the basis of a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affect and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following nine criteria:

1.Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment this does not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in criterion 52.A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation3.Markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self4.Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging . This does not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in criterion 5.5.Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior6.Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood 7.Chronic feelings of emptiness8.Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger9.Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

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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.

Brain Structure And Function

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

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.

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Whats Bipolar Disorder How Do I Know If I Have It Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Types Treatment

Bipolar disorder is one of the brain disorders that results in abrupt changes in the sufferers energy, mood, and the ability to perform normally. People having the condition of bipolar disorder suffer intense emotional shifts that typically appear during certain periods of days to weeks, known as mood episodes. The mood episodes are either depressive or manic, which are two extremes of emotional state. Also, people with bipolar disorder usually have episodes of neutral mood too. However, people having bipolar disorder can live a full and productive life after getting proper treatment. The statistics visibly indicate that the prevalence of bipolar disorder is not rare like other brain disorders.

Mood changes and fluctuations are common among normal individual too but the mood changes of bipolar disorder patients last longer. Moreover, the mood changes of a normal person do not bring out extreme behaviors that might disrupt the daily routine and cause inability to function normally. Bipolar disorder causes sudden mood shifts along with extreme degree of improper behavior making it hard to interact socially and perform everyday tasks. Bipolar disorder adversely affects the patients relationships with their friends or loved ones by causing difficulties to communicate and behave normally.

Bipolar Disorder In Children And Teens Is Not Uncommon

Bipolar disorder is typically diagnosed during later teen years or early adulthood. However, symptoms of BD can often show up in young children.

It can be difficult to tell whether teens are experiencing normal mood swings or showing signs of a serious mental health condition.

Its important for parents, caregivers, friends, and family members to watch for mood swings that differ from typical behavior. Behavioral changes can be a sign of the onset of a mental health concern.

The most important thing to do if you are concerned is to ask for help. Even if the child is not diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there may be another mental health issue that needs to be addressed.

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Keep Taking Your Medication

Dont stop your bipolar medication because of sexual side effects. Stopping your bipolar medication can trigger a manic or depressive episode.

Talk with your doctor if you think your medication is lowering your sex drive too much. They may be able to adjust your dosage or help you choose a different medication.

Bipolar Disorder Vs Depression: How To Tell The Difference

How to tell if you have Bipolar Disorder

Written by Casa Palmera Staff

Bipolar disorder and depression are very similar illnesses with one major difference: People with bipolar disorder switch between episodes of depression and episodes of mania. Because these two illnesses are so similar, some people who are diagnosed as having depression may actually have bipolar disorder. One reason for this misdiagnosis is that people with bipolar disorder often only seek treatment during a depressive episode. They may also be unaware that when theyre not feeling depressed, they may actually be experiencing an episode of mania.

Heres more information about the differences between bipolar disorder and depression.

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