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:
- Olanzapine, or
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.
What Risks And Complications Can Bipolar Disorder Cause
There can be complications and risks for people who live with bipolar disorder. But these risks can be lessened with the right support and treatment.
What about suicide and self-harm?
You might have an illness where you experience psychosis, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Your risk of suicide is estimated to be between 5% and 6% higher than the general population.
You are more likely to try to take your own life if you have a history of attempted suicide and depression. It is important that you get the right treatment for your symptoms of depression and have an up to date crisis plan.
There is also research that suggests you are 30% – 40% more likely to self-harm if you live with bipolar disorder.
What about financial risk?
If you have mania or hypomania you may struggle to manage your finances. You may spend lots of money without thinking about the effect that it may have on your life.
You could make a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a legal process. This means that you pick someone that you trust to manage your finances if you lack mental capacity to manage them by yourself.
You can work with your carer and mental health team. You can form an action plan. This can say what they can do if you have a period of mania or hypomania and you start to make poor financial decisions.
What about physical health risk?
What about alcohol and drugs risk?
If you want advice or help with alcohol or drug use contact your GP.
What about driving risk?
Brain Structure And Function
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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What Is Bipolar Disorder In Teens
Bipolar disorder is a type of depression.
There are 3 main types of depression:
Persistent depressive disorder
A teen with bipolar disorder often has extreme mood swings. These mood swings go beyond the days normal ups and downs. A teen may have times of great elation, happiness, elevated mood, or irritability. This is called mania. These episodes are countered by periods of major depression. That is why this disorder has two poles or symptoms.
So Youre Home After Treatment Now What
There is a constant effort toward researching bipolar disorder causes and treatments, including by the National Institutes on Mental Health. For now, knowing it can be managed is important to keep in mind.
Whether you are managing your bipolar disorder or supporting someone living with it, it can successfully be built into day-to-day living. You will already have skills in place upon leaving an outpatient treatment program treatment is a start but recovery takes time.
Continue with the following:
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Do Other Illnesses Mimic Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
Mood swings and impulsive behavior can sometimes reflect psychiatric problems other than bipolar disorder, including:
- Substance use disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Certain anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder
Psychosis can occur not only in bipolar disorder but other conditions such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. In addition, people with bipolar disorder often have additional psychiatric problems such as anxiety disorders , and social anxiety disorder), substance use disorders, or personality disorders that may complicate an illness presentation and require independent treatment.
Some non-psychiatric illnesses, such as thyroid disease, lupus, HIV, syphilis, and other infections, may have signs and symptoms that mimic those of bipolar disorder. This can pose further challenges in making a diagnosis and determining the treatment.
Risk Factors Of Bipolar Disorder
Francis Mondimore4, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Clinic and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says genetics are likely a primary risk factor for bipolar disorder. A person who has a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder is at an elevated risk for developing the condition.
That said, even if you dont know of someone in your family with a bipolar disorder diagnosis, genetics could be at play. People can get bipolar disorder if they dont have a family history, but it is highly genetic, so those people may have a family history thats not complete, says Dr. Wang.
While genetics are an important potential factor in developing bipolar disorder, there are others as well. For example, stressful circumstances, traumatic events, or drug or alcohol abuse could incite a bipolar episode. Studies show difficult events during childhood, such as maltreatment and emotional abuse by parents, may also increase a persons risk for developing bipolar disorder later on in life5.
Bipolar disorder symptoms can appear at any time, but the average age of onset of bipolar disorder is early adulthood, between 18-20 years of age, according to the Cleveland Clinic6. In some cases, bipolar disorder symptoms can appear during pregnancy or following childbirth, and sometimes, children exhibit bipolar symptoms. Bipolar disorder also co-occurs in people who have seasonal depression and anxiety disorders .
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Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder: A Complex Process
Diagnosing bipolar disorder can be as complex as the disorder itself. Unlike conditions that require a simple blood test or short questionnaire, the process of diagnosing bipolar disorder often includes ruling out other conditions and undergoing extensive health evaluations, including blood tests and brain scans, as well as a comprehensive personal, family, and social history. It’s important to be completely honest with your healthcare provider to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance , many people with bipolar disorder deal with symptoms for up to 10 years before being properly diagnosed, and just one in four individuals receive an accurate diagnosis within the first three years of the onset of symptoms. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to seek help. You can get in touch with one of our experienced online therapists here.
Age Of Onset And Gender Issues In Bipolar Disorder
How early in childhood can the first bipolar symptoms appear? And the impact of bipolar disorder on girls and women.
It is being increasingly recognized that bipolar disorder often has its onset in adolescence or early adulthood. First affective symptoms appear in early teenage, and even in preadolescence. There is a growing interest, with little consensus, in the affective and behavioral symptomatology in childhood and adolescence preceding the first onset of a clearly diagnosable bipolar disorder. There is a significant time-lag between the onset of the illness and first treatment. This may put patients at risk of increased morbidity, including effects on personality, school, work and social functioning. There is growing evidence in the schizophrenia literature that this time-lag may predict a poorer response to treatment. Although there is no clear evidence of this in bipolar disorder, this issue should be borne in mind.
Gender Issues Associated with Bipolar Disorder
About the author: Vivek Kusumakar, MD, FRCPC is an Associate Professor, Head of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and Director, Mood Disorders Group, Dept of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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How Can I Help My Teen Live With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder has no cure. But over time, your teens symptoms will get better. Being supportive and patient can help. Here are things you can do to help:
Keep all appointments with your teens healthcare provider.
Take part in family therapy as needed.
Talk with your teens healthcare provider about other providers who will be involved in your teens care. Your teen may get care from a team that may include school staff, counselors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Your teens care team will depend on his or her needs and how serious the depression is.
Tell others about your teens bipolar disorder. Work with your teens healthcare provider and schools to create a treatment plan.
Reach out for support. Being in touch with other parents who have a teen with bipolar disorder may be helpful. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, talk with your teens healthcare provider about a support group for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder.
Take all symptoms of depression, mania, and suicide very seriously. Get treatment right away. Suicide is a health emergency. Talk with your teens healthcare provider for more information. Find out who to contact, and what to do if your teen has suicidal thoughts. Have an emergency plan in place.
At What Age Can Bpd Be Diagnosed
Unstable personal relationships, intense moods, and impulsive and risky behavior are core symptoms of the mental disorder BPD, or borderline personality disorder. According to Psych Central, BPD affects between 1.6 and 5.9 percent of the general population and may be more common than the more widely recognized disorder, schizophrenia. BPD is typically diagnosed in early adulthood and thought to decrease in intensity with age, although symptoms may be present earlier in life. While there is no rule against diagnosing BPD before age 18, most medical professionals are hesitant to do so.
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Depression Signs And Symptoms
Depressive episodes in bipolar disorder are a lot like any other type of depression. Symptoms of a depressive episode may include persistent sadness, hopelessness, pessimism, difficulty concentrating, irritability, loss of interest in normal activities, and changes in a persons appetite or sleeping habits6. If the depression is severe, Dr. Mondimore says it may cause suicidal ideation, which is one reason its so important to diagnose and treat.
Women And Bipolar Disorder
- Women and people with bipolar II disorder are significantly more likely to experience periods of rapid cycling than men with the same condition. . Depression, anxiety and perceived stress in women with and without PCOS: A community-based study. Psychological Medicine, 49)
- Other research findings indicate that women with bipolar disorder may have more depressive episodes and more mixed episodes than do men with the illness.
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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.
What Should I Do Before I See The Doctor About Bipolar Disorder
Before meeting with your doctor to clarify a diagnosis, itâs helpful to write down the symptoms you notice that may reflect depression, hypomania, or mania. Particular attention should focus not just on mood but also changes in sleep, energy, thinking, speech, and behavior. It is also useful to get an in-depth family history from relatives before meeting with your doctor. A family history can be very helpful in supporting a suspected diagnosis and prescribing appropriate treatments.
In addition, consider bringing your spouse or a close friend with you to the doctorâs visit. Oftentimes, a family member or friend may be more aware of a personâs unusual behaviors and be able to describe these in detail to the doctor. Before your visit, think about and record the following:
- Your mental and physical health concerns
- Symptoms youâve noticed
- Causes of stress in your life
- Questions you may have about bipolar disorder
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Bipolar I And Bipolar Ii Are The Most Common Types With Two Main Differentiators:
- Bipolar I: A person may experience a manic episode of extreme highs lasting around seven days or requiring hospitalization. This may or may not be followed by an extremely depressed period lasting around two weeks.
- Bipolar II: A person may experience a less-intense version of mania called hypomania, which is not as severe as bipolar I. A depressive episode may occur before or after the hypomania. This depressive state can be severe and one condition of bipolar is not more or less serious than another.
- Cyclothymic disorder. This type of disorder can occur when the mania or depression episode lasts longer than two years.
- Other: This type of disorder could be rooted in substance use disorder affecting mood or other health concerns.
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.
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Who Is Affected By Bipolar Disorder
- Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year.
- The median age of onset for bipolar disorder is 25 years , although the illness can start in early childhood or as late as the 40s and 50s.
- An equal number of men and women develop bipolar illness and it is found in all ages, races, ethnic groups and social classes.
- More than two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression, indicating that the disease has a heritable component.
Bipolar Disorder Fact Sheet
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a psychiatric disease that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to conduct daily life activities. The condition was estimated in 2014 to affect 2.2 percent of the population or approximately 5.3 million adults in the United States aged 18 or older. An estimated 51% of individuals with this condition are untreated in any given year. Suicide is the number one cause of premature death among people with bipolar disorder, with 15 percent to 17 percent taking their own lives.
The National Institute of Mental Health describes bipolar disorder as “a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
From the NIMH: “Bipolar Disorder in Adults: What is bipolar disorder?”
Signs and Symptoms of bipolar disorder
From the NIMH: Bipolar Disorder in Adults. Visit “What are the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder?” at the NIMH for more about symptoms.
Diagnosing bipolar disorder
Treating bipolar disorder
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