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Is Bipolar A Personality Disorder

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Why Is Bipolar Disorder No Longer Called Manic

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In the last few decades, the medical world, especially the field of psychiatry, has intentionally made a shift from using manic-depressive illness or manic depression to describe bipolar disorder. There are several reasons for this shift, including:

  • Healthcare providers used to use manic depression to describe a wide range of mental health conditions. As mental health condition classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , have become more sophisticated, the new term bipolar disorder allows for more clarity in diagnosis.
  • Theres a lot of stigma and negativity associated with the terms manic and mania, especially due to the use of maniac. Similarly, people use the term depression casually to describe periods of sadness that dont qualify as clinical depression. Using bipolar disorder takes the focus away from these two words. Bipolar disorder is more of a clinical, medical term and less emotionally loaded than manic depression.
  • The term manic depression excludes the cyclothymic or hypomanic versions of the condition.

How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed

To diagnose bipolar disorder, your healthcare provider may use many tools, including:

  • A physical exam.
  • A thorough medical history, which will include asking about your symptoms, lifetime history, experiences and family history.
  • Medical tests, such as blood tests, to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms, such as hyperthyroidism.
  • A mental health evaluation. Your healthcare provider may perform the evaluation, or they may refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you must have experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania. Mental health providers use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose the type of bipolar disorder a person may be experiencing.

To determine what type of bipolar disorder you may have, your mental health provider assesses the pattern of symptoms and how much they affect your life during the most severe episodes.

People with bipolar disorder are more likely to also have the following mental health conditions:

Because of this, as well as the fact that memory is often impaired during mania so people cant remember experiencing it, it can be difficult for healthcare providers to properly diagnose people with bipolar disorder.

Can Bipolar Disorder Be Confused With Narcissism

Yes, some behaviors could be interpreted as both a symptom of bipolar disorder or a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder.

For example, a person with bipolar disorder who may be experiencing mania could act impulsively, leading them to ignore some rules. In the same way, a person with NPD might also ignore or fail to comply with some social or specific rules.

The reason for this behavior, however, can be very different for both people.

On one hand, someone experiencing mania may have a difficult time controlling their impulses, which could lead to overlooking some safety rules.

On the other hand, someone with NPD might believe some rules dont apply to them because they feel they deserve special treatment.

Bipolar disorder and NPD can also be confused with one another because some people experiencing hypomania or mania in bipolar disorder can develop signs of grandiosity, a common symptom of NPD.

Grandiosity refers to a persistent belief that one is superior to everyone else.

In fact, research from 2011 suggests that as many as two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder also experience these grandiose delusions.

Since behaviors can often be misinterpreted, only a trained mental health professional can offer you an accurate diagnosis. For that, they will likely explore other significant behaviors and persistent sources of distress for you.

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What Is It Like To Live With Bipolar Disorder

American actress Ricki Lake posted an emotional announcement in February 2017 that her ex-husband Christian Evans had died citing his struggle with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar is a condition of extremes, and sometimes the sufferer may not realise they are in the manic phase and can be shocked at their behaviour afterwards.

During their manic phase they may get irritable at other people trying to help, believing them to be negative.

The frequency of episodes can vary depending on the sufferer, with some getting jobs or having functional relationships.

There is also an increased chance of suicide.

Some people are able to manage bipolar well through their medication.

Kerry Katona recently explained that she’s been well enough to come off her medication.

Over the years numerous celebrities have come forward and admitted they suffer from the condition.

Billionaire Elon Musk is one of the many famous faces opening up about the condition.

The entrepreneur revealed on Twitter that he experiences great highs, terrible lows and unrelenting stress.

And when asked if he suffers from bipolar, he said yes although clarified he has not been medically diagnosed.

Bipolar Disorder And Other Conditions

What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Some bipolar disorder symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses, which can make it challenging for a health care provider to make a diagnosis. In addition, many people may have bipolar disorder along with another mental disorder or condition, such as an anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, or an eating disorder. People with bipolar disorder have an increased chance of having thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other physical illnesses.

Psychosis: Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression may experience psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the persons extreme mood. For example:

  • People having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may have the unrealistic belief that they are famous, have a lot of money, or have special powers.
  • People having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may falsely believe they are financially ruined and penniless, have committed a crime, or have an unrecognized serious illness.

As a result, people with bipolar disorder who also have psychotic symptoms are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed with schizophrenia. When people have symptoms of bipolar disorder and also experience periods of psychosis that are separate from mood episodes, the appropriate diagnosis may be schizoaffective disorder.

Anxiety: It is common for people with bipolar disorder to also have an anxiety disorder.

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What Else Could It Be

BPD and bipolar disorder are often confused or misdiagnosed for one another. You may also be diagnosed with one of these conditions when you actually have an entirely different mental health condition.

Can you have both BPD and bipolar disorder? Yes, its possible but its rare. This is called a dual diagnosis.

Other conditions that might be confused with bipolar disorder and BPD include:

Other possible diagnoses include antisocial personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder. These conditions are diagnosed less often than BPD.

If you think your diagnosis may be incorrect, you can reach out to a mental health professional for a reevaluation. And its OK to get a second opinion.

It can help to look for a pro who specializes in treating BPD or bipolar disorder.

When Should I Go To The Emergency Room For Bipolar Disorder

If youre experiencing any of these situations, its essential to call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room:

  • Thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Thoughts or plans of hurting yourself or others.
  • Experiencing hallucinations and delusions.
  • Symptoms of lithium toxicity , such as severe nausea and vomiting, severe hand tremors, confusion and vision changes.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness. But long-term, ongoing treatment, such as medication and talk therapy, can help manage your symptoms and enable you to live a healthy, purposeful life. Its important to see your healthcare team regularly to monitor your treatment plan and symptoms. Know that your healthcare providers and loved ones are there to support you.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/12/2022.

References

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Is Bipolar A Personality Disorder

Bipolar is a type of mental or mood disorder.

However bipolar personality disorder and bipolar disorder are different conditions.

People who have BPD have a personality disorder, whereas those with bipolar are classed as having a mood disorder.

Experts say that BPD in some instances can be harder to treat

What Are The Types Of Bipolar Disorder

How to Tell the Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder & Bipolar Disorder

There are four types of bipolar disorder, including:

  • Bipolar I disorder: People with bipolar I disorder have experienced one or more episodes of mania. Most people with bipolar I will have episodes of both mania and depression, but an episode of depression isnt necessary for a diagnosis. The depressive episodes usually last at least two weeks. To be diagnosed with bipolar I, your manic episodes must last at least seven days or be so severe that you need hospitalization. People with bipolar I can also experience mixed states .
  • Bipolar II disorder: People with bipolar II experience depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes. But they never experience a full manic episode thats characteristic of bipolar I disorder. While hypomania is less impairing than mania, bipolar II disorder is often more debilitating than bipolar I disorder due to chronic depression being more common in bipolar II.
  • Cyclothymic disorder : People with cyclothymic disorder have a chronically unstable mood state. They experience hypomania and mild depression for at least two years. People with cyclothymia may have brief periods of normal mood , but these periods last fewer than eight weeks.
  • Other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders: If a person doesnt meet the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I, II or cyclothymia but has still experienced periods of clinically significant abnormal mood elevation, its considered other specified or unspecified bipolar disorder.

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Find Out Which Crystals Best Serve You

A hypomanic episode is characterised as less severe than a manic episode, and sufferers of a hypomanic episode won’t usually require hospitalisation – whereas this can be the case for a manic episode.

Meanwhile, a person with bipolar I may not experience a major depressive episode, while someone with bipolar II will.

Getting A Proper Diagnosis Is Key

Diagnosing psychiatric illness isn’t easy. There’s usually no lab test, physical indication, or quantitative measurement that can distinguish one illness from another, and often no magic bullet that can ensure effective treatment. Clinicians are dependent on a description of symptoms and patterns over time to make a diagnosis and these often appear similar even when the underlying illness is very different.

One example of this difficulty is in the incidence of borderline personality disorder being misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder. Both are characterized by impulsive behavior, mood swings, and suicidal thinking but have different causes and different treatments. Only an experienced medical professional can make the right diagnosis and determine appropriate treatment, but patients and their families can help by paying attention to their own thoughts and feelings and describing them accurately.

The key difference between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder is that bipolar disorder is a mood disorder and borderline personality disorder, as its name implies, is a personality disorder.

Mood disorders are characterized by drastic changes in mood that may come on suddenly or randomly without an apparent trigger. Depression is the most common mood disorder.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

The defining sign of bipolar I disorder is a manic episode that lasts at least one week, while people with bipolar II disorder or cyclothymia experience hypomanic episodes.

But many people with bipolar disorder experience both hypomanic/manic and depressive episodes. These changing mood states dont always follow a set pattern, and depression doesnt always follow manic phases. A person may also experience the same mood state several times with periods of euthymia in between before experiencing the opposite mood.

Mood changes in bipolar disorder can happen over a period of weeks, months and sometimes even years.

An important aspect of the mood changes is that theyre a departure from your regular self and that the mood change is sustained for a long time. It may be many days or weeks in the case of mania and many weeks or months in the case of depression.

The severity of the depressive and manic phases can differ from person to person and in the same person at different times.

Signs and symptoms of manic episodes

Some people with bipolar disorder will have episodes of mania or hypomania many times throughout their life others may experience them only rarely.

Signs and symptoms of a manic episode include:

Most of the time, people experiencing a manic episode are unaware of the negative consequences of their actions. With bipolar disorder, suicide is an ever-present danger some people become suicidal in manic episodes, not just depressive episodes.

Causes Of Personality Disorders

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Personality disorders usually emerge in adolescence or early adulthood. There is no clear answer as to why personality disorders form, but there is reason to believe it is linked to both genetics and environment. Personality disorder may also develop as a coping response during a stressful situation or event in life.

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What Is The Outlook Of Bipolar Disorder

The prognosis for bipolar disorder is often poor unless its properly treated. Many people with bipolar disorder who receive appropriate treatment can live fulfilling and productive lives.

Bipolar disorder results in approximately nine years reduction in expected life span, and as many as1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder commit suicide. An estimated 60% of all people with bipolar disorder have drug or alcohol dependence.

This is why its essential to seek medical care and stay committed to treatment for bipolar disorder.

Regular and continued use of medication can help reduce episodes of mania and depression. By knowing how to recognize the symptoms and triggers of these episodes, theres a better chance for effective treatment and finding coping methods that may prevent long periods of illness, extended hospital stays and suicide.

Coping With Bipolar Disorder

Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but there are ways to help make it easier for yourself, a friend, or a loved one.

  • Get treatment and stick with itrecovery takes time and its not easy. But treatment is the best way to start feeling better.
  • Keep medical and therapy appointments and talk with the provider about treatment options.
  • Take all medicines as directed.
  • Structure activities: keep a routine for eating and sleeping, and make sure to get enough sleep and exercise.
  • Learn to recognize your mood swings and warning signs, such as decreased sleep.
  • Ask for help when trying to stick with your treatment.
  • Be patient improvement takes time. Social support helps.
  • Avoid misuse of alcohol and drugs.

Remember: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but long-term, ongoing treatment can help control symptoms and enable you to live a healthy life.

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Symptoms: Similarities And Differences

Not everyone with BPD has narcissistic traits. Most people with BPD or NPD dont have the other disorder. Research suggests 4.5% of people with BPD have NPD.

On the surface, BPD and NPD look quite different. When you dig deeper, though, you find some similarities.

In particular, the manic phase of bipolar disorder can make a person feel that theyre especially powerful, important, or talented. Thats a key trait of narcissism.

Other symptoms BPD and NPD have in common include:

  • Setting high, often unachievable goals
  • Impulsivity and risky behavior
  • Relationship problems
  • Appearing to be insensitive or dismiss the needs of others

The nature of BPD can help you distinguish between garden-variety narcissism and the pathological symptoms of NPD.

  • In NPD, narcissistic personality traits are always present
  • In BPD, narcissistic traits only tend to surface during manic episodes.

It also helps to look at other symptoms. That may help you rule out one of these disorders.

  • Preoccupation with fantasies of power, and intelligence

  • Unreasonable expectations of special treatment

  • Constant need for attention, admiration

  • Lack of empathy

  • Obsessive self-interest

In NPD, what appears as arrogance is an attempt to hide deep-seated fears and insecurities. This can lead to depression and other traits that may be similar to depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are common in both disorders.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Can Bipolar Disorder Change Your Personality

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When it comes to personality, the largest change in people with bipolar disorder is often overall functioning before and after the onset of the diagnosis. Some people are relatively asymptomatic until the point at which the illness is activated, often between mid-teens and the mid-20s.

Once the illness becomes activated, particularly if symptoms have frequent recurrence, then, of course, we will likely see the broader personality become affected by the illness, says Federman.

But he notes that even in that situation, personality style tends to be relatively consistent and enduring.Therefore, in most instances, you won’t see personality undergo significant transformation or change because of the onset of bipolar disorder.

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Bipolar Disorder Is A Mood Disorder

Bipolar disorder belongs to a type of disorders called mood disorders. Mood disorders include bipolar as well as:

As the name implies, mood disorders affect mood. This means symptoms include an inappropriate, exaggerated or a limited range of emotions. This could be a very low emotional state, like depression, or a very high emotional state like mania .

Bipolar Personality Disorder Doesnt Exist

There is no such thing as bipolar personality disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness classified as a mood disorder. A mood disorder is distinctly different from a personality disorder and bipolar personality disorder does not exist. The current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not include a bipolar disorder personality disorder .

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