How Do Doctors Treat It
Although there’s no cure for bipolar disorder, treatment can help stabilize moods and help the person manage and control symptoms. Like other teens with long-lasting medical conditions , teens with bipolar disorder need to work closely with their doctors and other medical professionals to treat it.
This team of medical professionals, together with the teen and family, develop what is called a treatment plan. Teens with bipolar disorder will probably receive medication, such as a mood stabilizer, from a psychiatrist or other medical doctor. A psychologist or other type of counselor will provide counseling or psychotherapy for the teen and his or her family. Doctors will watch the symptoms closely and offer additional treatment advice if necessary.
Why Is It Important To Differentiate Between Bipolar Disorder And Major Depressive Disorder
Certain medications used to treat major depressive disorder can contribute to the onset of mania if a person has bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for people with bipolar disorder to be misdiagnosed with depression.
According to a study published in 2018, 60% of patients seeking care for recurring depression actually have bipolar disorder. This is often because people are more likely to seek treatment while experiencing a depressive episode.
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.
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Symptoms In Children And Teens
Symptoms of bipolar disorder usually emerge in early adulthood, though they can occur at any age. Sometimes, they can appear in children.
Signs that a child may have bipolar disorder
- lose interests in things they used to enjoy
- think about death or suicide
There are many reasons why children and teens can experience mood changes or moods that seem extreme. The hormonal changes in puberty can lead to fluctuations in mood, and the symptoms of ADHD and other conditions can resemble those of bipolar disorder.
If youre concerned about yourself or a young person, seek medical help early. Whatever the reason for mood changes in a young person, getting a correct diagnosis can help manage the symptoms and prevent long-term complications.
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.
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Is Bipolar Disorder Treatable
Figuring out if you have bipolar disorder is just the first step. The next is learning about how and where to get treatment. The good news is this: bipolar disorder is a treatable condition. Like many other mental health conditions, with the help of experienced and skilled professionals, you can find a way to live a full life after a bipolar disorder diagnosis.
We feel its important to acknowledge that a bipolar disorder diagnosis can be frightening, especially at the beginning of the journey when so much is unknown. Its also important for you to understand that if left untreated, bipolar disorder can have serious consequences. Its essential to learn more about how you can recognize symptoms so you can focus on how to treat them.
If youre asking yourself, how do I know if I have bipolar disorder, youre well on your way to a positive path toward finding treatment and learning how to move forward. And if youve recently found out that you have bipolar disorder, its time to start the process of beginning to look at bipolar disorder treatment options and learning how to handle bipolar disorder in relationships.
Patterns Of Depression And Mania
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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Dating With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can become an issue from the very start of a relationship. When you first meet someone you like, its natural to want to make a good impression. Introducing the fact that you have bipolar disorder may not make for the most auspicious beginning. There is always the fear that you might scare the person off and lose the opportunity to get to know one another. At some point, though, you will need to let your partner know that you are bipolar.
I dont think its necessary to introduce your psychiatric problems on the first date, Haltzman says. But once you sense that theres a mutual attraction and you decide to become more serious with this person, when you decide that you want to date this person exclusively, I think at that point each partner needs to come clear with what the package includes.
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.
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Giddy Romance And Mania Have A Lot In Common So Learn The Signs That Tell You Which Is Which
In Irving Berlins catchy Broadway tune Youre Just in Love, a puzzled young man wonders why he cant sleep or eat, yet feels like hes walking on air. Its OK, hes told:
You dont need analyzing, It is not so surprising Youre not sick, youre just in love.
When you have bipolar disorder, though, the question becomes more complicated. Is it love when youre swept by euphoria, erotic stirrings, a special feeling of connection, and constant thoughts of the one you desire?
Or are those traits actually signs of looming mania?
Turns out a group of psychiatrists has been looking at the love vs. mania conundrum. Members of the Human Sexuality Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatryan organization dedicated to addressing the social needs of people with a mental disorderare trying to come up with helpful answers to guide individuals with bipolar.
Elizabeth Haase, MD, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and a member of the sexuality committee, says learning to tell the difference can help avert harmful choices.
When youre in a hypomanic or manic state, youre also more likely to feel youre in love, says Haase. You may then act on that feeling when making major long-term life decisions, not understanding your state had something to do with what you were feeling.
Robin, a 38-year-old artist from the southern United States, remembers diving into toxic relationships during periods of elevated mood.
Whats The Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder And Bipolar Disorder
While borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder have similar symptoms and are often confused for each other, theyre distinct conditions.
BPD involves a longstanding pattern of abrupt, moment-to-moment swings in moods, behavior and self-image that are often triggered by conflicts in interactions with other people. Nonsuicidal self-injury is also common in BPD but not in bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is different from BPD because it involves distinct, longer-lasting episodes of mania/hypomania and/or depression. Several things can trigger manic or depressive episodes, such as sleep changes, stress, medications and substance use.
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Bipolar Disorder Or Depression
Doctors sometimes find it hard to distinguish between bipolar disorder and depression, and this can lead to misdiagnosis. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek help during a low mood because depression is more likely to have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. During a high mood, they may feel exceptionally well.
Factors that increase the chance of this happening include the following:
- Depression is the dominant mood.
- Depression is the first episode you have.
- You have experienced mania or hypomania but not realized it could be significant.
Its essential to get an accurate diagnosis in order to work out a treatment plan. Antidepressants may not be effective in treating bipolar disorder.
In addition, some antidepressant medications can trigger a first manic or hypomanic episode if youre susceptible to them, and this could complicate both treatment and the outcome.
If you go to see your doctor with depression, be sure to tell them about any of the following, as these can help get an accurate diagnosis:
- a family history of bipolar disorder or other mental health conditions
- any other conditions that affect your mental or physical wellbeing
- any medications, drugs, or other substances youre taking or have used in the past
- if youve already tried antidepressants and they did not help
Find What Works For You
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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Talk With Your Doctor
If you think that you or a loved one has signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder, your first step should be to talk with your doctor. Only a trained medical professional can diagnose this disorder, and diagnosis is key to getting proper treatment.
Medication, therapy, or other treatment options can help you or your loved one manage symptoms and maximize quality of life.
Differences In Men And Women
Bipolar disorder occurs in men and women at approximately the same rates. However, the presentation of symptoms and course of the condition may differ depending on the sex that an individual was assigned at birth.
Men are often diagnosed at an earlier age, experience more severe episodes, and are more likely to have co-occurring substance use issues. Women tend to have more depressive episodes and more rapid cycling between manic and depressive episodes.
Note that symptoms of bipolar disorder are the same in women and men, but societal and gender roles can affect how they manifest or how others perceive them.
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Bipolar More Common In Younger
In terms of ages and percentages experiencing bipolar, 2.6% of males ages 13-18 are diagnosed as bipolar, with the most common ages being 16-18.
In men ages 18 and older, 2.9% are diagnosed as bipolar, with the most common occurrence of 4.7% for ages 18-29, dropping exponentially in older age groups.
The number of people in their 30s to early 40s is 3.5% experiencing bipolar, dropping to 2.2% of those ages 45-59. Fewer than 1% of those older than 60 experience bipolar.
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.
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What Is Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can be a life-long mental health problem that mainly affects your mood. It affects how you feel, and your mood can change massively. You can experience episodes of:
- mania, and
You may feel well between these times. When your mood changes, you might see changes in your energy levels or how you act.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They can affect areas of your life, such as work, school and relationships.
You usually develop bipolar disorder before you are 20. It can develop in later life, but it rarely develops after the age of 40.
You could have symptoms of bipolar disorder for some time before a doctor diagnoses you. A doctor might say you have something else such as depression before you get a bipolar disorder diagnosis. This is because diagnosing mental illnesses can be sometimes difficult for doctors. They usually cant do things like blood tests and scans to help them.
Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression.
What Do You Do To Keep Well
Keeping well when you have bipolar is an interesting concept. For some it revolves exclusively around manging moods. For others it means fitting life around moods.
For me, and others like me who are deep into a recovery that seems to be holding, its about keeping an eye, and investing in the things that help us all boost our mental health.
For many, if not most people with bipolar, life and keeping well includes taking medication.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Bipolar Disorder
The first step is to determine if you have bipolar disorder.
After that, you need to find out what treatment plan is available. This condition can be managed with the help of skilled and experienced professionals. It is no doubt terrifying to receive a diagnosis of bipolar disease, especially at the beginning of the journey when so much remains unknown.
However, you also need to understand that it can lead to severe consequences if not treated. To learn how to treat these symptoms, its essential to recognize them first.
Getting an accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder need not be frightening.
When youre ready to start exploring bipolar disorder treatment options, a doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist may recommend starting with any of the following bipolar disorder treatments:
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
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