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:
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:
- understand your condition,
- think about the effect that your thoughts and behaviour have on your mood,
- monitor your mood, thoughts and behaviour,
- think about risk and distress,
- make plans to stay well,
- make plans to follow if you start to become unwell,
- be aware of how you communicate, and
- manage difficulties you may have in day to day life.
- support needs, and
What Is Bipolar Disorder
People who have bipolar disorder can have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and other periods of feeling very sad, hopeless, and sluggish. In between those periods, they usually feel normal. You can think of the highs and the lows as two “poles” of mood, which is why it’s called “bipolar” disorder.
The word “manic” describes the times when someone with bipolar disorder feels overly excited and confident. These feelings can also involve irritability and impulsive or reckless decision-making. About half of people during mania can also have delusions or hallucinations .
“Hypomania” describes milder symptoms of mania, in which someone does not have delusions or hallucinations, and their high symptoms do not interfere with their everyday life.
The word “depressive” describes the times when the person feels very sad or depressed. Those symptoms are the same as those described in major depressive disorder or “clinical depression,” a condition in which someone never has manic or hypomanic episodes.
Most people with bipolar disorder spend more time with depressive symptoms than manic or hypomanic symptoms.
Learning To Recognise Triggers
If you have bipolar disorder, you can learn to recognise the warning signs of an approaching episode of mania or depression.
A community mental health worker, such as a psychiatric nurse, may be able to help you identify your early signs of relapse from your history.
This won’t prevent the episode occurring, but it will allow you to get help in time.
This may mean making some changes to your treatment, perhaps by adding an antidepressant or antipsychotic medicine to the mood-stabilising medication you’re already taking. Your GP or specialist can advise you on this.
What Is Unipolar Depression
Unipolar depression is what we typically think of as depression: a mood disorder thats characterized by feeling sad or down for two weeks or more. Symptoms of unipolar depression can include:
- Constantly feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
- Changes in appetite and sleeping patterns
- Feeling fatigue or a lack of energy
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or like you are not enough
- Frequently having thoughts of death or suicide
- Losing interest or pleasure in your usual hobbies, or withdrawing from social activities
Unipolar depression does not include the manic behaviors that characterize bipolar depression, but like bipolar depression, its symptoms can be mild or severe, and can be disruptive to a persons everyday life. Learn more about depression and depressive disorders here.
What Have You Learned As A Result Of Your Experiences
Living with bipolar, often for years, teaches you a lot about yourself, mental health services, medicationand sadly, often about stigma, shame, and discrimination.
Id say for me, it was a key driver for learning about mebut also a red herring as I feel I vested too much of my own identity in clinging to the life-raft of the diagnosis as an explanation of my life in my early 20sagain though, there is a range of perspectives.
Recovery is possible despite what others may tell you or what you believe. I never thought I could be a worthwhile human being and have something meaningful to offer. That’s just illness speak and the effects of learned stigma. It doesn’t need to be that way.
I have learnt that I am more resilient than I could have ever imagined. I have discovered that there is more to life than getting a degree or a good job. I have learnt that I have amazing friends who never stopped believing in me, even when I couldn’t believe in myself.
I feel like I’m riding a constant rollercoaster of moods. There are people who are too scared to come to the theme park, those that will hop on rides with you, and those that watch sensibly in awe and sickness from a distance minding your bags. All of those people have a valid and useful part to play in your life.
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Bipolar Disorder And Other Conditions
Many people with bipolar disorder also have other mental disorders or conditions such as anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder , misuse of drugs or alcohol, or eating disorders. Sometimes people who have severe manic or depressive episodes also have symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the persons extreme mood. For example, someone having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may falsely believe they are financially ruined, while someone having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may falsely believe they are famous or have special powers.
Looking at symptoms over the course of the illness and the persons family history can help determine whether a person has bipolar disorder along with another disorder.
Bipolar I Vs Bipolar Ii
People with bipolar I disorder have manic phases for at least a week. Many also have separate depression phases, too.
Those with bipolar ll have bouts of major depression, but instead of full manic episodes, they have low-grade hypomanic swings that are less intense and may last less than a week. They may seem fine, even like the life of the party, though family and friends notice their mood changes.
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What Does A Person With Bipolar Disorder Experience
Bipolar disorder does not have a set pattern and differs from individual to individual. Patients may feel a particular emotion several times before switching to another state.
Symptoms of mania are:
- Patients may feel that they are on the top of the world
- Highly irritable
When medication therapy is ineffective, electroconvulsive therapy might be considered. During electroconvulsive therapy, an electric current is passed through the brain to treat the disorder. In some, talk therapy has proven to be beneficial in treating mood episodes. Another part of treatment is psychoeducation where patients and their families are educated regarding symptoms and importance of medication compliance.
What Is A Person With Bipolar Disorder Like
Bipolar disorder is a serious, persistent mental illness characterized by changes in mood, energy, and the ability to function. People with bipolar disorder frequently display extreme, intense, and disturbing emotional states known as mood episodes. Extreme happiness or excitement and melancholy are typical symptoms of mood episodes. People with bipolar disorder can also have normal moods occasionally.
Bipolar disorder is classified into:
- Bipolar I: Characterized by alternating severe depression and intense mania
- Bipolar II: It involves severe depression but a less intense mania
- Cyclothymic disorder: A less severe form of mania and depression
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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.
Cait Agrees With Tanya
For 13 years, I took medication, but I’ve been trying to cope without it for the past six months. 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.
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What Not To Do With Bipolar Disorder
- Patients: Don’t Hide Symptoms from Your Doctor. …
- Patients: Don’t Stop Taking Your Medications on Your Own. …
- Patients: Don’t Keep Toxic People in Your Life. …
- Patients: Stop Damaging Your Body. …
- Patients: Don’t Meddle With Your Medications.
Staying Active And Eating Well
Eating well and keeping fit are important for everyone. Exercise can also help reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder, particularly depressive symptoms.
It may also give you something to focus on and provide a routine, which is important for many people.
A healthy diet, combined with exercise, may also help limit weight gain, which is a common side effect of medical treatments for bipolar disorder.
Some treatments also increase the risk of developing diabetes, or worsen the illness in people that already have it. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising are an important way of limiting that risk.
You should have a check-up at least once a year to monitor your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
This will include recording your weight, checking your blood pressure and having any appropriate blood tests.
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What Are The Causes Of Bipolar Disorder
There is no single cause of bipolar disorder. Researchers are studying how a few factors may lead to it in some people.
For example, sometimes it can simply be a matter of genetics, meaning you have it because it runs in your family. The way your brain develops may also play a role, but scientists arenât exactly sure how or why.
Common Signs & Symptoms Of Depression
- Feeling very sad or hopeless
- Feeling lonely or isolating themselves from others
- Eating too much or too little
- Having little energy and no interest in usual activities
- Sleeping too much
Teens and young adults with bipolar disorder symptoms may think and talk about self-harm or suicide. If someone you know is expressing these thoughts, seek help immediately.
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Who Does Bipolar Disorder Affect
Bipolar disorder can affect anyone. The average age of onset is 25 years, but, more rarely, it can start as early as early childhood or as late as in your 40s or 50s.
Although bipolar disorder affects people assigned female at birth and people assigned male at birth in equal numbers, the condition tends to affect them differently.
People AFAB with bipolar disorder may switch moods more quickly. When people with bipolar disorder experience four or more manic or depressive episodes in a year, this is called rapid cycling. Varying levels of sex hormones and thyroid hormones, together with the tendency for people AFAB to be prescribed antidepressants, may contribute to the more rapid cycling in this population.
People AFAB with bipolar disorder may also experience more periods of depression than people AMAB.
How Doctors Diagnose It
A key step is to rule out other possible causes of extreme mood swings, including other conditions or side effects of some medicines. Your doctor will give you a checkup and ask you questions. You may get lab tests, too. A psychiatrist usually makes the diagnosis after carefully considering all of these things. They may also talk to people who know you well to find out if your mood and behavior have had major changes.
Brain Structure And Function
Research shows that the brain structure and function of people with bipolar disorder may differ from those of people who do not have bipolar disorder or other mental disorders. Learning about the nature of these brain changes helps researchers better understand bipolar disorder and, in the future, may help predict which types of treatment will work best for a person with bipolar disorder.
What Are 5 Signs Of Bipolar
Understanding the Difference Between Depression and Bipolar Disorder Bipolar Sign 1: Abnormal or Excessive Elation or Energy. Bipolar Sign 2: Racing Thoughts and Speech. Bipolar Sign 3: Grandiose Thinking. Bipolar Sign 4: Decreased Need for Sleep During Manic Episodes. Bipolar Sign 5: Hypersexuality.
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Unraveling Auger Recombination In Bipolar Devices Under High Carrier Injection
High-voltage and high-power devices are critical for more efficient and sustainable high-power operations. One candidate for such next-generation devices is bipolar silicon carbide . SiC devices have already found commercial applications, with SiC semiconductor field effect transistors and Schottky barrier diodes outperforming their silicon alternatives due to lower on-resistance and higher breakdown voltage. However, current industrial standard SiC devices are unipolarthey conduct electricity using only electrons.
Bipolar devices, which use both electrons and holes for electrical conduction, have lower on-resistance as a rule of thumb. Thus, SiC bipolar devices are expected to be the next big step in high-power devices. But, bipolar SiC device efficiency depends on the carrier lifetime, which is in turn determined by several electronhole recombination processes, namely the Shockley-Read-Hall , surface, radiative, and Auger recombination processes.
While the effects of the SRH, surface and radiative processes can be well predicted and minimized by controlling the surface structure, polishing, and reducing the number of recombination centers, the factors leading to Auger recombination have proven more difficult to pinpoint. Current discussions on the subject suggest that carrier concentration and recombination traps are dominant forces in Auger recombination.
How Do I Get Help If I Think I Have Bipolar Disorder
The usual first step to getting help is to speak to your GP.
It can help to keep a record of your moods. This can help you and your GP to understand your mood swings. Bipolar UK have a mood diary and a mood scale on their website. You can find their details in the Useful contacts section at the bottom of this page.
Your GP cant diagnose bipolar disorder. Only a psychiatrist can make a formal diagnosis. Your GP may arrange an appointment with a psychiatrist if you have:
- depression, and
- ever felt very excited or not in control of your mood or behaviour for at least 4 days in a row.
They might refer you to a psychiatrist at your local NHS community mental health team .
Your GP should make an urgent referral to the CMHT if they think that you might have mania or severe depression. Or there is a chance that you are a danger to yourself or someone else.
Your GP should refer you to your local NHS early intervention team if you have an episode of psychosis and its your first one.
Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it affects everyone differently. Also, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be experienced by people who have other mental illness diagnoses. It can take a long time to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
You can find more information about:
- NHS mental health teams by clicking here.
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Bipolar Disorder And Relationships
Bipolar disorder can affect any of your relationships. But these effects might show up most clearly in your closest relationships, like those with family members and romantic partners.
When it comes to managing a relationship while living with bipolar disorder, honesty can always help. Being open about your condition can help your partner better understand your symptoms and how they can offer support.
You might consider starting with a few basic details, including:
- how long youve had the condition
- how episodes of depression usually affect you
- how episodes of mania usually affect you
- your treatment approach, including therapy, medication, and coping strategies
- anything they can do to help
Want more tips on maintaining a healthy relationship when you or a partner has bipolar disorder? Our guide can help.