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Is She Bipolar Or Just Mean

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Please Describe What You And Your Family Went Through Personally During This Time

Am I really bipolar or just dramatic? – Maybe delusional?

There were many times we were all walking on eggshells. We had many sleepless nights and lots of tears. The stress of dealing with this reality and trying to keep our lives as normal as possible was immense. At times, it still is. Our younger daughter often got the brunt of the irritability symptom and I felt the need to protect her. We have worked hard to make sure she knows that she deserves her best life, but also to help her understand that what her sister goes through isnt anyones fault and that we all have to work towards acceptance and healthy relationships.

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
  • depression.

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.

Cant We Just Talk About This

Its true that when a person is in the midst of a depressive or manic episode discussing their behavior may not be all that helpful. Its difficult for someone in the middle of a brain storm to pay attention to anything other than the lightening in their head. Nevertheless, at some point, someone needs to say something.

While actions committed in an episode can be more indicative of the disease than of the person, it can still hurt nonetheless.

People though, seem extremely reluctant to just say so. For some reason they dont want to say they were hurt by the actions of the person with bipolar disorder.

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How Is Nimh Addressing Bipolar Disorder

The National Institute of Mental Health conducts and supports research on bipolar disorder that increases our understanding of its causes and helps develop new treatments. Researchers continue to study genetics and bipolar disorder, brain function, and symptoms in children and teens who have bipolar disorder, as well as family history in health and behavior.

Learn more about NIMHs research priorities and current studies.

How To Help Yourself When You Have A Mean And Nasty Episode

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Write down what you think, say, and do during one of these episodes . Documenting what you think, say, and do can help you determine if its agitated depression or dysphoric mania. You can also use this list in the future to prevent the mood swing from going too far. I call this being a bipolar detective.

Here is an example of my think, says, does list from my last agitated depression:

What I said to others and wrote in my journal:

  • The government where I live is so fing stupid. They are incompetent and I HATE them. They should all be fired! They lied to the press and caused enormous distress for all of us!
  • I cant believe how dumb everyone is! People are sheep and they are stupid! They are blind and I cant figure out how they can be so dumb!
  • This life is too hard. Its ridiculous that my life is so hard. I cant find peace anywhere.

My behavior:

I do NOT think like this at all when Im stable. Im not a mean or unkind person. This is a downswing.

How I Ended the Agitated Depression

Writing my thoughts and behaviors down in my journal really helped me recognize that I was sick and I needed to help myself so that I wouldnt ruin any relationships:

  • I stopped talking about politics and world events.
  • I tried to be nice to myself and remind myself that I have bipolar and this is simply a symptom. What matters is that I caught itand that is a positive.
  • I apologized.

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Bipolar Disorder Deserves To Be Taken As Seriously As Any Other Chronic Health Condition

Bipolar disorder is a disease that is serious and deadly just like cancer and heart disease. People dont understand that and dismiss the disorder as something that is easy to fix or get overits not, Mike says.

A recent example of this is a man saying to me, Watch a good movie and youll feel better, Mike recalls. My dad would say to me when I was in my teens and 20s and showing symptoms of bipolar disorder to find yourself a new girlfriend and youll feel better. This is a complex disorder and difficult to manage, but that does not register with people.

Heres The Good Newsyes There Is Good News

Bipolar disorder is an episodic illness. We have all of our symptoms while in a mood swing. This means we are STABLE when we are not in a mood swing. The symptoms I list above usually go away when the illness is successfully managed. It can take regular monitoring for those of us who have daily symptoms. Others who have long breaks between mood swings may even forget the symptoms even existed. This is why we must have a management plan that can recognize the dangerous, aggressive, and violent behavior psychosis and cognitive impairment as soon as they begin.

I know we want to protect our reputation around this illness. We dont want to be seen as different or freaks. But I ask that within our community, we get brutally honest about what really happens to those of us with the illness. Its the ONLY way to stop the symptoms and make them stay away forever!

Originally posted January 29, 2015.

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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.

Bipolar Disorder: What Does It Feel Like

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Bipolar disorder is an illness that produces dramatic swings in mood . A person with bipolar disorder will alternate between periods of mania and periods of depression . In between these two extremes, a person will have periods of normal mood. To help gain a better understanding of what it feels like, mania and depression are described below.

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What Treatments Are Now Successful

During our journey of trying to find the right med, one of the mood stabilizers triggered an immune deficiency this led to having to deal with a number of specialists: a neurologist, immunologist, hematologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, and endocrinologist. My daughter is currently seeing only a psychiatrist and getting ready to see a hormone specialist. She has been through multiple medication changes and had genetic testing through her psychiatrist to better judge specific meds for her particular genetic make-up.

She takes pharmaceutical medications as well as supplements for mood, depression, anxiety and general health. It has been a long road getting to this meds-cocktail and we wish she didnt need so many, but it is working the best for her after years of trials and testing. I think its important for parents to know how much testing we have done and that we have been willing to look outside the box for therapies. We continue to read up on current med trials and studies regarding other ways of dealing with this.

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.

Blogger Tanya said:

The thing I most prioritise with keeping myself well is to be strict in taking my medication. Missing doses or tweaking them without professional help can be devastating.

Again, Im going to buck the trend and say I dont take medication routinely. I took lithium for a decade, and then wanted, once I knew myself and had done my research, to try tapering off. That was eight years ago, and Ive managed it. I did it carefully, over two years, with support, whilst learning other techniques.

Cait agrees:

For 13 years, I took medication, but in the past six months, I’ve been trying to cope without it. So I have to be super careful, and alas, super boring. I don’t drink a lot, I have relatively early nights when I can.

Bipolar can also be triggered by trauma, or other life events and sometimes part of therapy is addressing underlying concerns to get someone to a point where they can start to see a life worth living.

Anna said:

Hannah has a rigid menu:

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Other Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Most patients respond very well to medication and various psychotherapies but there are some outliers who dont respond as well, points out Dr. Narasimhan. In this case, you may want to explore other options.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Medication-resistant patients can benefit from other treatments such as Transcranial magnetic stimulation . This non-invasive treatment works by using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain and improve depressive symptoms. The treatment delivers repetitive magnetic pulses via an electromagnetic coil placed against your scalp. Though the mechanism for how it works isnt well understood, its thought to impact how the brain works, which in turn can alleviate depressive episodes. TMS is well tolerated, doesnt include much downtime, and has only some side effects such as headache, tingling, and lightheadedness. There are some rare side effects such as seizure and hearing loss.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Lifestyle and Integrative Treatments

What Are The Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder

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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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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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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.

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Should I See A Doctor

It is always a good idea to speak with a doctor when there is concern about severe mood swings that seem to come and go or make it difficult to work.

The best person to start with may be a primary care physician or family doctor. However, they will likely refer someone with these symptoms to a psychiatrist, or a specialist who cares for people with mental health disorders.

Someone who notices these symptoms in a friend or loved one can also speak with their doctor about their concerns. The doctor can help find local support groups or other mental health resources.

Distinguishing Angry Bipolar Depression From Mixed Mania

When She Stops Texting You Back [The Harvey Specter Rule]

Many of the above signs of irritated and angry depression are also the signs of mixed mania, also called a dysphoric manic episodebut only if typical mania symptoms are also present. Mixed mania is a combination of mania, anxiety, and depression.

How do you know if its mixed mania and not plain old angry depression?

Its all about the energy behind the symptoms. Its possible to have all of the above symptoms and still sleep normally, talk regularly, watch your spending, keep a regular libido, and stay at a level of consistent and often low energy. However, if the above symptoms are actually a result of mixed or dysphoric mania, you WILL have one or more of these additional symptoms: noticeable sleep changes, increased libido, the desire to spend, rapid speech, goal-driven activities that you actually act on, and an overall sense that your organs are trying to jump out of your body due to profound restlessness.

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Everybody Has Mood Swings Sometimes

That’s true. For one thing, 8% of American adults and 4% of adolescents have major depressive disorder, having periods of euthymia and depression. Even among those who do not have a diagnosable mental health disorder, people experience changes in mood.

But only people with bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, schizoaffective disorder, and related severe mental illnesses have repeated and severe mood swings between mania or hypomania and depression.

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