Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are three main types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.
Bipolar I is defined by the appearance of at least one manic episode. You may experience hypomanic episodes, which are less severe than manic episodes, or major depressive episodes before and after the manic episode. This type of bipolar disorder affects people of all sexes equally.
People with bipolar II experience one major depressive episode that lasts at least 2 weeks. They also have at least 1 hypomanic episode that lasts about 4 days. According to a , this type of bipolar disorder may be more common in women.
People with cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania and depression. These episodes involve symptoms that are shorter and less severe than the mania and depression caused by bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Most people with this condition only experience no mood symptoms for 1 or 2 months at a time.
Your doctor can explain more about what kind of bipolar disorder you have when discussing your diagnosis.
Some people experience distinct mood symptoms that resemble but dont quite align with these three types. If thats the case for you, you might get a diagnosis of:
- other specified bipolar and related disorders
- unspecified bipolar and related disorders
Symptoms Of Manic Episodes
Episodes of mania and hypomania are prevalent features of bipolar disorder. While the signs of mania may at first be a pleasant diversion from the dark depressive episodes, the manic phase can also be destabilizing and self-destructive.
- Racing thoughts and difficulty staying focused, easily distracted
- Rapid speech
- Impulsive behaviors, using poor judgment
- Risky behaviors, such as substance use or sexual promiscuity
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.
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Coping With Manic Depression/bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can create challenges in your life, but there are steps that you can take that can help you cope and manage your condition effectively. In addition to seeking help from a healthcare professional and adhering to your treatment, steps that can help:
- Track your mood: Keep a journal where you track your mood and factors that tend to impact how you feel. This might include sleep habits, medication, stressful events, or other triggers.
- Practice good sleep habits: Getting adequate rest is important for mental health, particularly if you have bipolar disorder. Create a restful sleep environment and strive to got to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
- Manage stress: Because stress can often trigger mood episodes, keeping stress levels low is important. In addition to making modifications to your life that can help reduce your stress levels, practicing relaxation techniques may also be beneficial.
- Get regular exercise: Research has found that exercise can be beneficial for some individuals with bipolar disorder. However, some people may experience worsening of manic symptoms, so using caution, going slow, and referring to your doctor if you have any concerns is important.
The Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder And Sex Drive
During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder may engage in certain impulsive behaviors. For some people, this kind of behavior can involve a preoccupation with sex and a heightened sex drive, leading to unprotected sex or risky sexual situations with potentially damaging consequences, both physical and emotional. Hypersexuality, or an increased interest in sex, is known to be a symptom of bipolar disorder, though the research on the subject is limited.
Learn More About Bipolar Disorder and Sex Drive
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Bipolar Disorder
Theres no blood test or medical test for bipolar disorder. To diagnose bipolar, a mental health doctor meets with you. They ask questions about your moods, thoughts, feelings, and health. They ask about how youre doing in your life and problems youre having. They listen and talk with you, and with your parent. They also check for other conditions that can cause mood symptoms. This can take a few visits.
If a doctor finds that you have bipolar, they will talk more about it with you. They will explain the treatment plan that can help you.
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.
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What Is The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder And Manic Depression
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
It’s also been argued that the older term carries a stigma in popular culture and that both “manic” and “depression” are now used to describe everyday feelings and emotions. As a result, bipolar disorder is now the preferred term and the one that healthcare professionals use in diagnosis.
Are There Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are a few types of bipolar disorder, including:
Bipolar I disorder: With this type, you have extreme erratic behavior, with manic âupâ periods that last at least a week or are so severe that you need medical care. There are also usually extreme âdownâ periods that last at least 2 weeks.
Bipolar II disorder: With this type, you also have erratic highs and lows, but it isnât as extreme as bipolar I.
Cyclothymic disorder: This type involves periods of manic and depressive behavior that last at least 2 years in adults or 1 year in children and teens. The symptoms arenât as intense as bipolar disorder I or bipolar disorder II.
“Unspecified” or “other specified” bipolar disorder is now used to describe conditions in which a person has only a few of the mood and energy symptoms that define a manic or hypomanic episode, or the symptoms may not last long enough to be considered as clear-cut “episodes.”
Rapid cycling is not a type of bipolar disorder, but a term used to describe the course of illness in people with bipolar I or II disorder. It applies when mood episodes occur four or more times over a 1-year period. Women are more likely to have this type of illness course than men, and it can come and go at any time in the course of bipolar disorder. Rapid cycling is driven largely by depression and carries an increased risk for suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
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Resources For Managing Bipolar Depression
Living with bipolar disorder comes with a variety of challenges for both you and your loved ones. Fortunately, there are a number of good sources of accurate information on the condition, as well as organizations that provide emotional support and suggestions for seeking financial assistance if needed.
Whether you’re decoding the symptoms, looking for the right treatment , or dealing with the prognosis, Harvard University experts help you understand when its time to call a professional and get help.
Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder
In diagnostic terms, bipolar disorder is divided into four categories. Unfortunately, individuals with the condition may fluctuate in criteria, and misdiagnosis is common. That is why it is essential to see a professional if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms:
- Bipolar I: Bipolar I requires that the person experience at least one manic episode each day for seven days or greater to be diagnosed with this condition. Depression is not necessary for a Bipolar I diagnosis.
- Bipolar II: Bipolar disorder II can be identified by depressive episodes interchanged with hypomanic episodes but no full manic episode.
- Cyclothymia: Those with cyclothymic disorder experience mood shifts ranging from mild depression to hypomania. The average length of time a person has this syndrome is two years, but episodes last less than eight weeks.
- Bipolar disorder unspecified: People who do not meet the criteria for bipolar disorder can still experience periods where their moods change significantly. These are called bipolar episodes, and they may be more common than we think, even if you dont have a history or symptoms consistent with this illness.
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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.
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What Is Rapid Cycling
Some people with bipolar disorder develop rapid cycling where they experience four or more episodes of mania or depression within a 12-month period. Mood swings can occur very quickly, like a rollercoaster randomly moving from high to low and back again over a period of days or even hours. Rapid cycling can leave you feeling dangerously out of control and most commonly occurs if your bipolar disorder symptoms are not being adequately treated.
The different faces of bipolar disorder
Bipolar I Disorder This is the classic manic-depressive form of the illness, characterized by at least one manic episode or mixed episode. Usuallybut not alwaysBipolar I Disorder also involves at least one episode of depression.
Bipolar II Disorder In Bipolar II disorder, you dont experience full-blown manic episodes. Instead, the illness involves episodes of hypomania and severe depression.
Cyclothymia Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder that consists of cyclical mood swings. However, the symptoms are less severe than full-blown mania or depression.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder
Certain medications can help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder. You may need to try several different medications, with guidance from your healthcare provider, before finding what works best.
Medications healthcare providers generally prescribe to treat bipolar disorder include:
- Mood stabilizers.
- Second-generation neuroleptics .
If youre taking medication for bipolar disorder, you should:
- Talk with your healthcare provider to understand the risks, side effects and benefits of the medication.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or supplements youre already taking.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if youre experiencing concerning side effects. They may need to change your dose or try a different medication.
- Remember that medication for bipolar disorder must be taken consistently, as prescribed.
Mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder
People with bipolar disorder typically need mood-stabilizing medication to manage manic or hypomanic episodes.
Types of mood stabilizers and their brand names include:
Thyroid gland and kidney problems can sometimes develop when taking lithium, so your healthcare provider will monitor the function of your thyroid and kidneys, as well as monitor the levels of lithium in your blood, as levels can easily become too high.
However, other medications, such as olanzapine , risperidone and aripiprazole , are commonly prescribed as well.
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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.
How Lifestyle Changes Can Help
While medication and psychotherapy have shown the most promise in treating bipolar disorder, lifestyle changes can be incredibly effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of symptoms.
- Good nutrition: Eating whole, unprocessed foods and plenty of dark leafy greens give your brain and body the necessary nutrients to function.
- Drinking enough water: The human body is around 60% water and needs water for essential functioning. Not drinking enough water leads to low energy, sluggish brain activity, and decreased motivation.
- Keeping a journal: Recording manic and depressive episodes helps identify triggers and gives you insight into how the disorder is affecting your life.
- Exercise: Move your body daily as much as you can. For example, walking is a simple activity that can reap numerous rewards, such as lowering blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight.
While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, help is available. With the right combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes, individuals with bipolar disorder can live full and happy lives.
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The Keys To Bipolar Disorder Self
Get educated. Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder. The more you know, the better youll be at assisting your own recovery.
Get moving. Exercise has a beneficial impact on mood and may reduce the number of bipolar episodes you experience. Aerobic exercise that activates arm and leg movement such as running, walking, swimming, dancing, climbing or drumming may be especially beneficial to your brain and nervous system.
Keep stress in check. Avoid high-stress situations, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
Seek support. Its important to have people you can turn to for help and encouragement. Try joining a support group or talking to a trusted friend. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. In fact, most friends will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only strengthen your relationship.
Stay closely connected to friends and family. Nothing is as calming to the nervous system as face-to-face contact with caring supportive people who can just listen to you talk about what youre experiencing.
Make healthy choices. Healthy sleeping and eating habits can help stabilize your moods. Keeping a regular sleep schedule is particularly important.
Monitor your moods. Keep track of your symptoms and watch for signs that your moods are swinging out of control so you can stop the problem before it starts.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Bipolar Disorder
Researchers aren’t sure what exactly causes bipolar disorder, but there appears to be an association between the condition and genetics, brain structure, and brain function.
Nature GeneticsClinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
Studies using brain-imaging tools, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography , have attempted to reveal how the brains of people with bipolar disorder differ from the brains of healthy people or those with other mental disorders.
Dialogues of Clinical NeuroscienceJournal of Affective Disorders
People with a history of other mental health disorders including anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder appear to be at an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder, though these links are still being studied.
A number of symptoms or situations that result from bipolar disorder can also be triggers for the disorder. Changes in sleep patterns, blowout arguments with coworkers or loved ones, high stress or traumatic events, alcohol abuse, certain medication interactions, shifts in season, and the hormonal changes of pregnancy can all put you at a greater risk of a manic or depressive episode.
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