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What Does High Functioning Bipolar Look Like

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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Bipolar And Narcissism

‘High-Functioning’ Bipolar? Appearance Can Be Deceiving | HealthyPlace

Perhaps the one identifiable distinction is that the bipolar individual is usually experiencing strongly elevated energy along with elevated mood whereas the grandiose narcissist will experience their inflation on a psychic level, but he or she may not feel like they have three times their normal amount of physical

Does bipolar turn into schizophrenia? While bipolar disorder cannot develop into schizophrenia, its possible to experience symptoms of both. Before you consult a mental health professional, here are a few things you should know about the two conditions.

Does bipolar shorten your lifespan?

Conclusions: Life expectancy in bipolar disorder is decreased substantially, but less so than previously reported. Patients start losing life-years during early and mid-adulthood.

Can add be mistaken for bipolar? There are some similarities and overlap in the symptoms of ADD/ADHD and bipolar disorder. 1 Both may include hyperactive or restless behaviors, distractibility, poor concentration, impulsivity, and racing thoughts. Both are also thought to have a strong genetic link.

How Does This Type Differ From Other Types Of Bipolar Disorder

While high functioning bipolar disorder identifies those who can effectively manage their symptoms, its not recognized as an actual type of bipolar disorder.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition , there are four types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I disorder. This involves having manic episodes that last at least 1 week or longer. Some also have depressive episodes than can last up to 2 weeks.
  • Bipolar II disorder. This involves having depressive episodes that can last for 2 weeks, while experiencing less severe manic episodes, aka hypomania for up to 4 days.
  • Cyclothymic disorder. This involves having frequent shifts between depressive symptoms and hypomania. These symptoms are less severe than in either bipolar I or II disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder not elsewhere classified . This includes all other forms of bipolar disorder that dont fall into either of the other categories.

Each type of bipolar disorder has its own unique set of symptoms and treatment options. You could have any type of bipolar disorder and still be considered high functioning, based on how you cope with your condition.

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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High Functioning Bipolar Disorder

High Functioning Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder diagnosed when an individual experiences manic highs and depressive lows in succession. These manic and depressive states will depend on the person who experiences them. High Functioning Bipolar Disorder describes someone who is naturally able to manage their symptoms well it does not describe the severity of their disorder. Someone with High Functioning Bipolar Disorder is still living with changes in mood and energy levels.

For instance, some people experience an intense high of productivity for 7-10 days, then fall into a depressive episode, characterized by difficulty even getting out of bed in the morning. Others have milder symptoms, with a week or two of improved mood and positivity, followed quickly by a week or two of depressed mood and increased negativity.

Bipolar disorder only qualifies as such if the highs and lows are beyond the scope of what would be considered a normal shift in perspective from week to week or day today. And, episodes are outside of the patients control. If, for instance, you find yourself experiencing these shifts in mood, but you are effectively able to reason yourself into a more neutral middle ground, you might have High Functioning BD.

Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: M M D D

What High

Like other areas of medicine, psychiatry is constantly undergoing changes in the face of new treatments and new ideas.

The basic concept of a bipolar spectrum is more than a century old, having been proposed by the original founders of modern psychiatry. It gained new life in the 1970s after a leading psychiatrist proposed classifying mood symptoms as follows:

  • Upper-case “M”: Episodes of full-blown mania
  • Lower-case “m”: Episodes of mild mania
  • Upper-case “D”: Major depressive episodes
  • Lower-case “d”: Less-severe symptoms of depression

Under this proposed classification, people are described by the combination of their manic and depressive symptoms. This system has not entered mainstream or standard use, however. This past decade has been a period of renewed interest by some psychiatrists in exploring whether the bipolar spectrum may exist as a scientifically valid diagnostic concept. Whether a bipolar spectrum exists and how important it might be continue to be examined by researchers and, meanwhile, debated among psychiatrists.

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What It’s Like To Have Bipolar By People Who Have Bipolar

Around 1% of us will develop bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression.

People with bipolar experience both episodes of severe depression, and episodes of mania overwhelming joy, excitement or happiness, huge energy, a reduced need for sleep, and reduced inhibitions.

The experience of bipolar is uniquely personal. No two people have exactly the same experience.

Bipolar disorder has been associated with genius and with creativity. It is certainly true that a number of contemporary high achievers and creatives have spoken of their experiences, and throughout history it is possible to recognise bipolar type traits in the artistic, political and academic spheres. But what is it actually like?

I was diagnosed with bipolar in my late teens, in my first year at university. The diagnosis have shaped my adult identity and experiences.

This week I have been collecting answers to four simple questions from a range of people who have bipolar, to demonstrate the range of experiences out there, and some of the things that help.

Living With A Bipolar Spouse: Patterns Realities Support

Bipolar I: A person with bipolar I experiences at least one episode of mania or elevated mood.They will most likely experience depression as well. Bipolar II: In bipolar II disorder, hypomania and depression are present. Cyclothymic disorder: This is diagnosed when symptoms of depression and hypomania persist for at least two years, but do not meet the criteria …

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Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder

Each type of bipolar disorder is identified by the pattern of mania and depressive episodes. The treatment that is best for you may differ depending on the type.

Common symptoms of a manic episode include three or more of these symptoms:

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired
  • Increased activity, energy or agitation
  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence
  • Loss of interest in activities that the person typically enjoys
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

The Question Of Intensity For People With Bipolar Spectrum Disorder

What does High Functioning Depression look like?

The aim of this article is not to suggest that everyone has bipolar disorder. But like most things in nature, this may exist on a spectrum, and present to varying degrees in various people. Appropriately, most things in psychiatry are not considered to be a problem, until they impact our daily lives and ability to function. This is worth bearing in mind as we test when something is beyond normal and problematic.

Road rage once a year is less concerning than when it happens with every drive to work. It is also worth noting that the above findings are observational, based on patterns of patient experience, and not yet backed by research. There are existing, validated scales that can be used to screen for bipolar disorder.

The Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Scale developed by Dr. Nassir Ghaemi and the Mood Disorder Questionnaire are two excellent resources to start putting the symptoms of bipolar together.

One issue with both of these questionnaires is that, while they cover essential symptoms for the diagnosis of bipolar, they may miss the finer symptoms that are far less pathological, but very common and often missed or never connected as a whole. To this end, we are developing a Rockstar Bipolar Questionnaire, to shed light on the softer nuances of this condition . We plan to validate the Rockstar questionnaire in our practice and hope to share the questionnaire and outcomes soon.

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How Does Bipolar Disorder Affect Caregivers And Families

Caring for a child or teenager with bipolar disorder can be stressful for parents and families. Coping with a childs mood episodes and other problemssuch as short tempers and risky behaviorscan challenge any caregiver.

It is important that caregivers take care of themselves, too. Find someone you can talk to or consult your health care provider about support groups. Finding support and strategies for managing stress can help you and your child.

The Burden Of Maintaining Function

For many, high-functioning bipolar disorder isnt simply a natural state, but the result of hard work. Maintaining functionality is not necessarily a comment on the severity of your symptoms, but on the fact that you have created mechanisms for yourself to suppress them, work around them, or compensate for them, even in deeply painful moments. Often, these mechanisms are targeted toward one area of your life and developed not to alleviate the distress of your symptoms, but to power through them for the sake of functionality itselfthey allow you to keep the job you need to support yourself, do what you need to do to care of your family, or keep your illness hidden from view.

If my colleagues knew I was bipolar, I fear that I would never again be taken seriously, that I would be viewed as the impaired physician who, at the display of passion or emotion, would be seen as having an episode, writes Dr. Flala, who can count on one hand the number of people to whom shes disclosed her illness outside of her family. My right to express even normal anger or irritability, happiness, or my effervescent sense of humor would be suspected as pathological. I would lose the right to just have a bad day. She exhausts her emotional resources in order to keep not just the professional reputation she has earned, but her basic dignity.

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What Is A Person With Bipolar Disorder Like

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by changes in mood, energy, and the ability to function. People with bipolar disorder often display extreme, intense and disturbing emotional states known as mood episodes. Extreme happiness or excitement and melancholy are typical symptoms of mood episodes.

How Does Hfbd Differ From Other Types

What Does High Functioning Bipolar Disorder Look Like ...

The term high functioning bipolar disorder” is not identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . It is instead a categorization created to identify any form of BD that is managed by the person with the condition somewhat effectively. Someone with Bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2 could be considered high functioning, as can people with Bipolar Disorder NEC and Cyclothymic Disorder. Conversely, people whose illnesses fall into these categories can also be considered low functioning. Each of these forms of disorder is marked by a series of manic and depressive episodes. What makes someone high functioning is their ability to cope with and adapt to the onset of an episode.

While the term high functioning carries with it a connotation of being better or healthier, this is not necessarily the case. Many people with high-functioning bipolar disorder have simply learned how to cope by hiding their condition and keeping themselves together as long as possible. People with high functioning BD might actually experience more stress and symptoms of anxiety because they feel they must constantly be on and ready to pretend that their symptoms are not affecting them as intensely as they are.

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Can You Be Suicidal While Manic

Affective disorders contribute to 15-25% of deaths due to suicide attempts. Depression is the most likely cause of the patients attempt on his life. Contrary to popular opinion, manic episode can also increase the risk of suicide, especially if the patient dominates by productive symptoms in the form of delusions.

Treatment Of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders

Another implication of non-bipolar-disorder conditions falling within a broader bipolar spectrum is the possibility that medicines used to treat bipolar disorder might have value in other disorders. Psychiatrists have long known that mood stabilizers, such as lithium, may be effective to some degree in people with conditions other than bipolar disorder. That includes conditions such as major depressive disorder, impulse control disorders, or some personality disorders.

Psychiatrists may sometimes prescribeà bipolar disorder treatmentsà for people believed to have bipolar spectrum disorders. These medications are typically anti-seizure medications or antipsychotic medications. Examples include:

  • Lithium
  • Abilify
  • Risperdal

In bipolar spectrum conditions, these mood stabilizers are generally used as add-on therapies after treating the main mental condition. However, because these types of medicines have not been as well-studied for conditions other than bipolar I or II disorder, some experts caution against presuming that they will be helpful, and question the appropriateness of their widespread use until appropriate large-scale studies are done to establish their safety and efficacy in non-bipolar conditions.

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Acknowledging That You Need Help

It is possible that you really are leading a functional life. It is also possible that you are simply trying to pretend you are not experiencing symptoms when you are actually using a tremendous amount of energy trying to push them away. There is even the possibility that if you believe you are fine, you are actually experiencing mania or hypomania.

Treatment of bipolar disorder includes both medication and talk therapy. Therapy provides a safe and healthy place to discuss your experiences, struggles and successes on a regular basis.

Entering a treatment program may offer you the help you need to really get your bipolar symptoms under control. Through an individualized treatment plan at an outpatient treatment facility you will learn better coping skills, so you can better lead a more functional and comfortable life, rather than just pretending that all is well if it really isnt.

If you or a loved one need treatment for high-functioning bipolar disorder, call us at or submit the form below.

What Is High Functioning Bipolar Disorder


I wish I could say that I didnt have any personal experience with bipolar disorder. Not only does it run on my Moms side of the family, but I for the last 10 years have been diagnosed with Bipolar II, one of the four different types of Bipolar Disorders.

The first symptoms that I can remember noticing were as an early adult around 20 years old. I had days on end where I simply just couldnt go to sleep for the life of me and it felt like I had electricity coursing through my veins all through the night.

My grades began to suffer dramatically as a result of my mania up until I finally landed myself inside of a psychiatric hospital.

It was there where I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I cant explain the relief in not only finally discovering what in the world was wrong with me, but also in learning that there would be a potential solution that would dramatically improve the rest of my life.

Bipolar Disorder manifests by creating periods of mania in which a person will fluctuate back and forth between abnormally high levels of energy, followed by a period of intense depression.

The intensity levels of the two extremes of emotion vary depending on which type of bipolar a person might have.

There are four major types of Bipolar Disorder that can potentially be high functioning bipolar disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder is basically a lesser of Bipolar with the manic episodes and depression both shorter in duration and lower in intensity.

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How Can I Help My Child Or Teen

Help begins with the right diagnosis and treatment. Talk to your family health care provider about any symptoms you notice.

If your child has bipolar disorder, here are some basic things you can do:

  • Be patient.
  • Encourage your child to talk, and listen to your child carefully.
  • Pay attention to your childs moods, and be alert to any major changes.
  • Understand triggers, and learn strategies for managing intense emotions and irritability.
  • Help your child have fun.
  • Remember that treatment takes time: sticking with the treatment plan can help your child get better and stay better.
  • Help your child understand that treatment can make life better.

What Is Bipolar Disorder Like There Are A Number Of

And theres nothing fun about bipolar disorder. Rollercoaster. A rollercoaster is perhaps the most common metaphor for bipolar disorder. It improves on the playground equipment analogy some. A rollercoaster, like bipolar, can be scary, especially the first time you experience it. It does involve up and down motions of unequal length.

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