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Is Bipolar A Mental Disorder

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What Should I Know About Bipolar Disorder

Living with Mental Illness: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a bio-chemical condition that results in an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Genetic make-up is thought to play a role but so too are environmental pressures such as your family, work and social environment, stress, injury, illness and hormone imbalances.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that can last for days, weeks or even months. These swings range from mild to severe. The “bi” in bipolar disorder refers to the dual nature of these mood swings – from feelings of great happiness and elation to sadness and despair. In its most severe expression, bipolar disorder can result in mania which is defined as strongly held beliefs that you are a famous person, have special physical abilities or knowledge, or that you are invincible. People can experience mania as a euphoric period. Unfortunately, mania is also accompanied by unwise behaviours tied to the false beliefs. These can include spending sprees, risky sexual activity, excessive drinking or drug use, and other reckless activities or decisions. Bouts of mania are followed by the depths of depression where people feel worthless and hopeless. This phase of bipolar disorder is excruciatingly painful. The mood swings of bipolar disorder deeply affect relationships, social and work functioning and can, in the extreme, bring people into contact with the law.

Symptoms of mania can include the following:

Some symptoms of depression may include:

Some Statistics:

What Causes Bipolar Affective Disorder

Any person can develop Bipolar Affective Disorder; however, studies indicate that highly creative, sensitive people, people tending to be perfectionists and high achievers, have a higher prevalence of bipolar affective disorder. Biological factors seem to play a major role in producing Bipolar Affective Disorder. A persons personality make-up and/or stresses in the environment may also play a part in bringing on depressive or manic states.

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.

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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 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 Diagnose Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because an individuals mood swings can vary. And yet, the longer it goes untreated, the worse the disorder can get as episodes may happen more frequently or become more extreme.

As mentioned, a diagnosis of bipolar I requires a person to have either one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes. Bipolar II, on the other hand, involves one or more depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania.;

If a person is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is important to see a licensed healthcare professional. Seeking professional help ensures that the person will get an accurate diagnosis and receive correct, individualized; treatment. The right treatment for bipolar disorder can make it possible for a person to lead a healthy and productive life.;

The evaluation for bipolar disorder is examined through several tests and exams and may include:

  • Physical examination
  • A doctor may complete a physical exam as well as lab tests to determine any extenuating medical problems that could be contributing to your symptoms.
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • A medical professional may refer you to a psychiatrist, who will talk to you about your thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. You may also be asked to complete a bipolar test via a psychological self-assessment. With your permission, family members or close friends may also be asked to provide information about your symptoms.
  • Mood charting
  • Criteria for bipolar disorder
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    Is Bipolar Disorder Hereditary

    Bipolar disorder can be passed from parent to child. Research has identified a strong genetic link in people with the disorder. If you have a relative with the disorder, your chances of also developing it are four to six times higher than people without a family history of the condition.

    However, this doesnt mean that everyone with relatives who have the disorder will develop it. In addition, not everyone with bipolar disorder has a family history of the disease.

    How To Treat Bipolar Disorder

    The ideal course of treatment for bipolar disorder will vary for each individual. One common option is medication.

    “Bipolar disorder is often treated with the help of medications called mood stabilizers,” Madan says. Common mood stabilizers include:

    • Lithium
    • Valproic acid
    • Divalproex sodium ;

    Some people may also benefit from antipsychotic medication, like olanzapine or risperidone , either prescribed alone or alongside a mood stabilizer. These medications can help treat manic or depressive periods that involve instances of psychosis or hallucinations.;

    Therapy can also be a helpful treatment option, typically in addition to medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help people identify unhealthy thoughts or behaviors and replace them with healthier alternatives. A 2017 paper in PLoS One evaluated 19 trials involving 1,384 patients with bipolar disorder. The review concluded that CBT can lower relapse rates, improve depressive symptoms, lessen the severity of manic episodes, and improve day-to-day functioning and interaction with other people.;

    Depending on the severity of the bipolar disorder in question, people can be treated as outpatients or in a residential psychotherapy program. Madan also recommends that people with bipolar disorder try to avoid extreme stress and sleep deprivation, as these can trigger episodes.;

    “Regular monitoring by a mental health provider is essential to ensure the ongoing stability and appropriate care,” Madan says.

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    Manic Symptoms In Children

    Symptoms of a childs manic episode caused by bipolar disorder can include:

    • acting very silly and feeling overly happy
    • talking fast and rapidly changing subjects
    • having trouble focusing or concentrating
    • doing risky things or experimenting with risky behaviors
    • having a very short temper that leads quickly to outbursts of anger
    • having trouble sleeping and not feeling tired after sleep loss

    What Is Unipolar Depression

    The Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder with Ramsay Mental Health

    Unipolar depression is what we typically think of as depression: a mood disorder thats characterized by feeling sad or down for two weeks or more. Symptoms of unipolar depression can include:

    • Constantly feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
    • Changes in appetite and sleeping patterns
    • Feeling fatigue or a lack of energy
    • Feeling guilty, worthless, or like you are not enough
    • Frequently having thoughts of death or suicide
    • Losing interest or pleasure in your usual hobbies, or withdrawing from social activities

    Unipolar depression does not include the manic behaviors that characterize bipolar depression, but like bipolar depression, its symptoms can be mild or severe, and can be disruptive to a persons everyday life. Learn more about depression and depressive disorders here.

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    Lean On A Support Team

    In addition to seeking professional help, it can help to put together a group of friends, family members, and other trusted adults who can support treatment. Its not uncommon for someone with bipolar disorder to feel like a burden to others. When they do, it is common to self-isolate. It can help to remember that there are people who have a common goal: to help you cope with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder.

    Bipolar Disorder Risk Factors

    When someone develops bipolar disorder, it usually starts when they’re in late adolescence or young adulthood. Rarely, it can happen earlier in childhood. Bipolar disorder can run in families.

    Men and women are equally likely to get it. Women are somewhat more likely than men to go through “rapid cycling,” which is having four or more distinct mood episodes within a year. Women also tend to spend more time depressed than men with bipolar disorder.

    Bipolar disorder usually develops later in life for women, and theyâre more likely to have bipolar disorder II and be affected by seasonal mood changes.

    A combination of medical and mental issues is also more common in women. Those medical issues can include thyroid disease, migraine, and anxiety disorders.

    Some things that make you more likely to have bipolar disorder include:

    • Having a family member with bipolar disorder

    • Going through a time of high stress or trauma

    • Drug or alcohol abuse

    • Certain health conditions

    Many people with the condition abuse alcohol or other drugs when manic or depressed. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to have seasonal depression, co-existing anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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    The Role Of Mitochondria

    Experts also believe mitochondria which you may remember from science class as the cells that generate energy, aka the powerhouse of the cell may have something to do with the development of mood disorders.

    When cells dont produce or metabolize energy as they typically would, the resulting imbalances in brain energy could lead to the changes in mood and behavior often seen with bipolar disorder.

    Watch Out For Rap Phenom

    Bipolar Disorder Symptoms Infographic Of Mental Health ...

    Kanye Wests troubled mental state has been on full view in tweetstorms and on the campaign trail.

    A series of concerning tweets and public appearances over the years have likely been the result of the 43-year-old rappers bipolarism, according to his wife, Kim Kardashian, who, along with her family, has been the subject of his ultrapersonal rants and claims.

    As many of you know, Kanye has disorder, Kardashian once explained about her husband to fans and begged for compassion and empathy … so that we can get through this.

    Wests erratic behavior is part and parcel of the mental health disorder, which, according to the American Psychiatric Association, can bring on extreme and intense emotional states and can include risky behavior and irritability.

    How did the 21-time Grammy winner get here? Heres a look into the disorder and its effect on West over the years.

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    Learn Healthy Coping Strategies

    There are plenty of coping strategies;that can help you process your emotions in a healthy way. Try activities like:

    • Keeping a journal. Use a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings, both the negative and positive.
    • Exercising. Exercise releases chemicals that make you feel good. Find a way of moving your body thats fun for you without judging your fitness level.
    • Trying a new hobby. Creative hobbies like painting, drawing, writing, or singing can help you express your feelings in a new way.

    Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

    The high and low phases of bipolar disorder are often so extreme that they interfere with everyday life.

    But there are several options for;treating bipolar disorder that can make a difference.

    They aim to control the effects of an episode and help someone with bipolar disorder live life as normally as possible.

    The following treatment options are available:

    • medicine to prevent episodes of mania and depression;;these are known as mood stabilisers, and you take them every day on a long-term basis
    • medicine to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they happen
    • learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
    • psychological treatment;;such as talking therapy, which can help you deal with depression, and provides advice about how to improve your relationships
    • lifestyle advice;;such as doing regular exercise, planning activities you enjoy that give you a sense of achievement, as well as advice on;improving your diet and getting more sleep

    It’s thought using a combination of different treatment methods is the best way to control bipolar disorder.

    Help and advice for people with a long-term condition or their carers;is also available;from charities, support groups and associations.

    This includes self-help and learning to;deal with the practical aspects of a long-term condition.

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    The 10 Most Common Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

    Bipolar disorder is a complicated mental health illness that is easily mistaken for other problems like ADHD or regular depression. ;;One way a doctor diagnoses the type of bipolar disorder a person suffers from is by looking at the symptoms the person has.

    While not everyone who has bipolar disorder will suffer from all of the signs and symptoms of it and the symptoms usually vary in type and severity from person to person, there are certain common bipolar disorder symptoms that are usually found.

    These symptoms can occur in both men and women.; While most of these signs of manic depression usually first manifest themselves in a persons teens or twenties they have been known to occur earlier or later in some cases.

    The Top 10 Most Common Bipolar Disorder Symptoms in Adults


    The one trait that all people who have bipolar disorder share is that each person with this condition will have at least one manic or mixed-manic event during their lifetime. ;;That is one of the hallmark symptoms of bipolar disorder and a key factor in its diagnosis.

    Mania is a high-energy state of mind where the individual is likely to have a positive mood. ;The individual is likely to seem extremely energetic and in the case of the milder Bipolar II disorders is often highly productive when in a state of mania or hypomania. ;This is the happy mood that tends to go in cycles with other moods.


    Mood Swings


    Sleep Issues

    Inflated Ego or Self-Esteem

    Constant Fatigue

    Rapid Speech

    You Have Another Mental Health Condition

    My Life Living with Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder may also be linked to other mental health conditions. The National Institute of Mental Health links it to anxiety disorders, eating disorders, ADHD, and substance abuse disorders.;

    Because the exact relationship between bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions isn’t clear, it’s hard to say how likely people with certain mental health conditions are to have bipolar disorder, and vice versa. However, research does suggest that some mental health conditions can co-occur with bipolar. If you live with one of the following conditions, you may want to be on the lookout for symptoms of bipolar disorder:

    • Substance abuse. A 2004 study published in the journal Bipolar Disorders evaluated 4,310 people receiving treatment for bipolar disorder at Veterans Administration facilities. Researchers found that 25% of these patients had alcohol use disorder, 10.4% abused cocaine, and 4.4% abused opiates.

    • Psychosis. Research suggests that some types of psychosis episodes where a person has trouble differentiating between what is real and what’s not might be linked to developing bipolar disorder. A 2018 paper published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looked at 6,788 people who experienced substance-induced psychosis, which is when using alcohol or drugs triggers delusions or hallucinations. They found that 32.2% of the subjects developed either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia after their psychosis, typically within a few years’ time.;

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    Bipolar Disorder And Relationships

    When it comes to managing a relationship while you live with bipolar disorder, honesty is the best policy. Bipolar disorder can have an impact on any relationship in your life, perhaps especially on a romantic relationship. So, its important to be open about your condition.

    Theres no right or wrong time to tell someone you have bipolar disorder. Be open and honest as soon as youre ready. Consider sharing these facts to help your partner better understand the condition:

    • when you were diagnosed
    • what to expect during your depressive phases
    • what to expect during your manic phases
    • how you typically treat your moods
    • how they can be helpful to you

    One of the best ways to support and make a relationship successful is to stick with your treatment. Treatment helps you reduce symptoms and scale back the severity of your changes in mood. With these aspects of the disorder under control, you can focus more on your relationship.

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