How To Distinguish Bipolar Disorder From Other Conditions
Identifying bipolar disorder can be a little tricky because bipolar disorder symptoms are often fairly similar to the symptoms of other mental health conditions. It is most frequently confused with depression. However, depression rarely causes periods of hyper, excited, upbeat, or agitated behavior. Periods of mania might seem similar to ADHD, but ADHD tends to cause constant distractibility. Individuals with bipolar disorder are more at risk for impulsive behavior, so they may also deal with substance abuse from trying to self medicate with drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, the effects of a substance abuse disorder can mimic bipolar mood swings. Therefore, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two until after attending co-occurring rehabilitation services in MI for both disorders.
Natural Treatments For Bipolar Disorder
How to bipolar disorder treated? Treatment for bipolar disorder is aimed to reduce depressive and manic symptoms, and will include mood stabilizers like lithium and certain anticonvulsants. Other drugs for bipolar disorder include second-generation antipsychotics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , and electroconvulsive therapy.
There are also natural ways to treat bipolar symptoms. For instance, counseling or body-center psychotherapy can help a person heal the emotional blocks associated with bipolar disorder. Other natural therapies include hypnosis, acupuncture, reiki healing, tai chi, qigong, yoga, and meditation. It also helps to avoid stimulants such as cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine.
Natural bipolar remedies also include omega-3 fatty acids, ashwagandha, magnesium with calcium, 5-hydroxytryptophan , S-adenosyl-L-methionine , vitamin D, vitamin C with bioflavoids, B complex vitamins, high-potency multivitamins, GABA, turine, and L-tyrosine.
A Lifelong Illness That Can Be Misdiagnosed
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness that involves a lot of shifting mood swings and confusion.
Depending on how extreme the symptoms are, it can be misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.
Similarly, someone who experiences a depressive form of bipolar rather than mania can be mistreated for just depression.
Its important to know the signs of bipolar disorder and track them as well as the shifting moods, whether its through journaling or with a tracking app on your phone.
The more youre aware of your own behavior shifts and changes, the easier it becomes to see when you might be experiencing a particular mental health disorder or illness.
Do you suffer from bipolar? Tell me in the comments what signs of bipolar disorder youre experiencing.
Also Check: Can Anxiety Make Your Chest Tight
Symptoms Of Bipolar I Disorder
A manic episode is a period of at least one week when a person is extremely high-spirited or irritable most of the day for most days, possesses more energy than usual, and experiences at least three of the following changes in behavior:
- Increased or faster speech
- Uncontrollable racing thoughts or quickly changing ideas or topics when speaking
- Increased activity
- Increased risky behavior
These behaviors must represent a change from the persons usual behavior and be clear to friends and family. Symptoms must be severe enough to cause dysfunction in work, family, or social activities and responsibilities. Symptoms of a manic episode commonly require a person to receive hospital care to stay safe.
Some people experiencing manic episodes also experience disorganized thinking, false beliefs, and/or hallucinations, known as psychotic features.
A hypomanic episode is characterized by less severe manic symptoms that need to last only four days in a row rather than a week. Hypomanic symptoms do not lead to the major problems in daily functioning that manic symptoms commonly cause.
Major Depressive Episode
A major depressive episode is a period of at least two weeks in which a person has at least five of the following symptoms :
- Intense sadness or despair
- Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
Key Points About Bipolar Disorder In Teens
Bipolar disorder is a type of depression. A teen with this disorder often has abnormal mood swings that shift between depression and mania.
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. But it tends to run in families.
A teen must have both depressive and manic symptoms to a varying degree to be diagnosed with the disorder.
A mental health provider makes a diagnosis after a mental health evaluation.
Treatment may include medicine and talk therapy.
Read Also: What Are The Statistics Of Eating Disorders
Bipolar Symptoms In Teens
Symptoms of a manic episode are very different from those of a depressive episode. Although teens with bipolar disorder experience mood changes in much the same way as adults, one difference is that teens tend to be more irritable than elated during their manic episodes.
A teen with bipolar disorder whos having a manic episode may:
- have a very short temper
- talk excitedly and quickly about a lot of different things
- be unable to focus
- rapidly jump from task to task
- be unable to sleep but not feel tired
- feel incredibly happy or act silly in an unusual way
- do risky things like drinking while driving
- do compulsive things like binge shopping
- become overly sexual or sexually active
During a depressive episode, a teen may:
- feel worthless, empty, and guilty
- feel very down and sad
- complain about stomachaches, headaches, or other aches and pains
- sleep too much or too little
- have little to no energy
- have a loss of concentration
Doctors are unsure of what causes bipolar disorder. Its believed that a mix of family genes, brain structure, and the environment contributes to this disorder.
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.
Recommended Reading: Is Bipolar The Same As Schizophrenia
When Should I Call My Teens Healthcare Provider
Feels extreme depression, fear, anxiety, or anger toward him or herself or others
Feels out of control
Hears voices that others dont hear
Sees things that others dont see
Cant sleep or eat for 3 days in a row
Shows behavior that concerns friends, family, or teachers, and others express concern about this behavior and ask you to seek help
Bipolar Relationships: What To Expect
Ups and downs are natural in any romantic relationship, but when your partner has bipolar disorder it can feel like youre on an emotional rollercoaster. Not knowing what to expect each day is stressful and tiring. Over time, it wears on the relationship.
Understanding why your partner acts out sometimes or becomes withdrawn is the first supportive step you can take in strengthening your relationship. Learn exactly what a bipolar diagnosis means, how it could affect your partners behavior and what you can do to foster a healthy, stable relationship.
You May Like: Can You Get A Medical Card For Anxiety In Florida
Who Is A Candidate For Diagnosis
Mood episodes are the main characteristic of bipolar disorder, and everyone experiences these a little differently. Most people who live with bipolar disorder experience manic episodes and depressive episodes .
These episodes can last for several days, weeks, or more. People with bipolar disorder tend to fluctuate rapidly between mania and depression. Some people with bipolar disorder have long periods of time with neutral moods as well.The way people experience manic episodes varies from one person to another, but the episodes are
Signs Of A Bipolar Disorder Depressive Episode
Its important to note the difference between depression as a mental illness and a depressive episode as part of bipolar disorder.
Depressive episodes in bipolar oftentimes coincide with manic episodes. However, there are a variety of forms of bipolar disorder in which the levels and balance between manic and depressive episodes are different.
A depressive episode, according to the DSM-5, includes being in a depressed mood and loss of interest, alongside symptoms that occur nearly every day for about 2 weeks, such as:
These signs of bipolar disorder should be documented so that you can present them to your doctor when trying to diagnose whats going on with you.
Read Also: What Are All The Different Phobias
How Does Bipolar Disorder Affect People
At times, people with bipolar disorder go through depression. Other times, they go through manic moods. They may have normal moods in between.
When they go through depression, people with bipolar will:
- have a sad or irritable mood that lasts for at least 2 weeks
Added to that, they may:
- feel hopeless or worthless
- use poor judgment, do things they shouldnt do
- try risky behaviors
- think of themselves in inflated ways or think they have superpowers
Going through these two types of extreme moods is hard on a person. Bipolar moods can make it harder to get along well with others. It can be a challenge to succeed at goals.
Bipolar can cloud peoples judgment and lead them to take unsafe risks. It can cause problems they didnt expect and didnt intend. Some people might be more likely to self-harm or try suicide. They may drink alcohol or use drugs.
Thats why it matters to get the right diagnosis and treatment for bipolar moods. It can help reverse or prevent problems like these.
Moods dont have to run a persons life. With treatment, people with bipolar can learn to manage their moods and symptoms. This helps them feel and do better in things that matter to them.
What If Im Not Happy With My Treatment
If you arent happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
How can I speak to my doctor about my treatment options?
You can speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you arent given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it isnt suitable for you.
Whats a second opinion?
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
What is advocacy?
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. NHS complaints advocates can help you if you want to complain about the NHS.
Read Also: Can Ptsd Cause Personality Disorder
What Causes Bipolar Disorder
Experts dont know for sure why some people experience bipolar disorder. Your genetics can play a part and your experiences too.
If any of your family members have experienced bipolar disorder, youve more change of developing it too. But scientists say no single gene can be linked to bipolar disorder.
Someone in your immediate family might live with bipolar disorder, like a parent, brother, or sister. If they do, theres a 13 in 100 chance you will develop it too. The risk is higher if both of your parents or your twin live with the condition.
For some people symptoms of bipolar disorder can be triggered by stressful things in their lives. These things can include:
- relationship problems,
- being in debt or money issues.
You can find more information about Does mental illness run in families by clicking here.
Symptoms Of Pediatric Bipolar At School
Bipolar disorder will sometimes look a little different at school, where your child is around peers and adults to whom they are not related. During a manic phase, symptoms at school might include:
- Appearing at times to be a social butterfly making new friends easily and charming adults with a precocious personality
- Acting overly bossy with friends getting irrationally upset over slight disagreements or friends not taking orders
- Disobeying teachers and other authority figures acting out of control exhibiting excessive hyperactivity
- Behaving inappropriately removing clothing in the classroom or singing loudly during class
- Being unable to sleep during naptime or settle down to quietly read
- Being unable to make transitions becoming upset or violent when unwelcome change occurs
- Difficulty focusing on schoolwork often seeming unable to sit still
- Jumping between acting goofy even when other students arent playing along to being angry and aggressive, often with seemingly no provocation
- Acting in ways that are dangerously impulsive throwing themselves off the jungle gym, climbing the highest tree, or trying to escape from school, for instance
During a depressive phase, you might see signs at school like:
Recommended Reading: How To Write A Character With Ptsd
What Are The Types Of 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.
Recognizing Bipolar Disorder In Loved Ones
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that frequently goes undiagnosed because the symptoms can be so hard to identify. Educating yourself about bipolar disorders will make it easier to figure out whether or not a loved one might have it. If you suspect that a friend or family member may be dealing with bipolar disorder, keep reading to learn more about recognizing bipolar disorder in loved ones. Bipolar disorder treatment in Holly, MI provides relief.
Read Also: How To Help Someone With Ptsd Sleep
Bipolar Disorder Or Manic Depression Can Make It Difficult To Carry Out Day
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual and dramatic shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, ranging from high-highs and low-lows. This mental instability can make it difficult for an individual to carry out day-to-day tasks.
According to the NIMH, an estimated 4.4% of American adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.
If untreated, bipolar disorder often worsens and can have an ultimately devastating impact on an individual’s life. However, proper diagnosis and treatment can help people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and active lives.
Here are 13 signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder.
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.
You May Like: What Kind Of Disorder Is Ptsd
Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is a general category for a person who only has symptoms of bipolar disorder that dont match the three other categories. The symptoms are not enough to make a diagnosis of one of the other three types.
The signs of bipolar disorder can generally be divided into those for mania, and those for depression.