We Used To Have High Hopes For You
From a mother at a support group: My son was going to be a doctor and have a wonderful family, but now he has bipolar disorder. Such a statement is not healthy, because it does not convey unconditional love. What you say does matter. Remember that we are all human beings, not human doings; the more you acknowledge our being, the more we can end up doing. There is no need to squash hope or diminish dreams.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
The symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary. An individual with bipolar disorder may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or mixed episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two or sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are intense and happen along with changes in behavior, energy levels, or activity levels that are noticeable to others.
|Symptoms of a Manic Episode||Symptoms of a Depressive Episode|
|Feeling very up, high, elated, or extremely irritable or touchy||Feeling very down or sad, or anxious|
|Feeling jumpy or wired, more active than usual||Feeling slowed down or restless|
|Racing thoughts||Trouble concentrating or making decisions|
|Trouble falling asleep, waking up too early, or sleeping too much|
|Talking fast about a lot of different things||Talking very slowly, feeling like you have nothing to say, or forgetting a lot|
|Excessive appetite for food, drinking, sex, or other pleasurable activities||Lack of interest in almost all activities|
|Thinking you can do a lot of things at once without getting tired||Unable to do even simple things|
|Feeling like you are unusually important, talented, or powerful||Feeling hopeless or worthless, or thinking about death or suicide|
Refusing To Take Medication Because The Medication Isnt Working
Refusing to take medication that doesnt work is understandable. Weve all been there and weve all seen the futility of taking some medications. But, the thing is, you have to get through the medication that doesnt work to find the medication that does and going off of medication is not the way to do this. If the medication isnt working, its time to work with a psychiatrist to find better medication that does work for the patient.
In this case a loved one might want to approach the case logically and say that without treatment, the mentally ill patient cant get better. Stopping the treatment was understandable, but now its time to assert some control over treatment and find something that works.
Take Care Of Yourself And Set Boundaries
Loving someone with bipolar disorder is trying, but you can’t rescue your loved one with bipolar disorder. You cannot control them or make them take responsibility for getting better. You can offer support, but ultimately recovery is in the hands of the person with the illness. Because you too are coping with the effects of this disorder and are focused on your loved one, it is easy to forget about your own health. Take time for yourself and take care of your health. Join a support group or dedicate an hour each week to doing something you enjoy. If not, you could become depressed and even turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Before you know it, you will require our addiction treatment in Boca as well.
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.
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Everyone Has Mood Swings
Everyone has mood swings. This is absolutely true – everyone does have mood swings. We all have bad days, and we all have those days where we impulse spend on things we really dont need, however these would not equal a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, whereas spending an entire student loan in a couple of days and claiming to be the president of Mensa would come closer.
How Is Nimh Addressing Bipolar Disorder
The National Institute of Mental Health conducts and supports research on bipolar disorder that increases our understanding of its causes and helps develop new treatments. Researchers continue to study genetics and bipolar disorder, brain function, and symptoms in children and teens who have bipolar disorder, as well as family history in health and behavior.
Learn more about NIMHs research priorities and current studies.
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Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are three basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely up, elated, and energized behavior or increased activity levels to very sad, down, hopeless, or low activity-level periods . People with bipolar disorder also may have a normal mood alternating with depression. Four or more episodes of mania or depression in a year are termed rapid cycling.
- Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least seven days or when manic symptoms are so severe that hospital care is needed. Usually, separate depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least two weeks. Episodes of mood disturbance with mixed features are also possible.
- Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
- Cyclothymic Disorder is defined by persistent hypomanic and depressive symptoms that are not intense enough or do not last long enough to qualify as hypomanic or depressive episodes. The symptoms usually occur for at least two years in adults and for one year in children and teenagers.
- Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders is a category that refers to bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match any of the recognized categories.
Bipolar 1 Disorder Vs Bipolar 2 Disorder
There are three types of bipolar depression. Bipolar 1 Disorder is characterized by manic episodes lasting seven days or more and depressive episodes lasting two weeks or more. Manic episodes may be severe enough to require hospitalization. For people who have Bipolar 1, its also possible for them to experience a mix of depressive and manic symptoms in rapid succession.
With Bipolar 2 Disorder, depressive episodes are broken up by episodes of hypomania. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. Symptoms are milder and last for several days instead of a week or more.
Cyclothymic disorder is a rare mood disorder that causes emotional highs and lows that may go on for months at a time, but are not as severe as what happens with Bipolar 1 Disorder or Bipolar 2 Disorder.
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How To Help A Loved One With Bipolar Disorder
Caring for someone with bipolar disorder can be very hard, whether youâre a partner, parent, child, or friend of someone who has this condition. Itâs stressful for everyone it touches.
Itâs tough to strike a balance. You want to be supportive and empathetic, because you know the person with bipolar disorder isnât to blame for their illness. But their behavior may affect you, and you have to take care of yourself and your needs, not just theirs.
Although there’s no easy solution, these tips may help.
Learn. Read information from reputable websites, books, and articles that explain the condition. The more you know, the better.
Listen. Pay attention to what your loved one has to say. Don’t assume that you know what they are going through. Donât dismiss all of their emotions and feelings as signs of their illness. Someone with bipolar disorder may still have valid points.
Notice their symptoms. They may not be able to see it as clearly as you do when their bipolar symptoms are active. Or they may deny it. When you see the warning signs of mania or depression, you can try to make sure they get help ASAP.
Take care of yourself. As intense as your loved oneâs needs may be, you count, too. Itâs important for you to stay healthy emotionally and physically.
Patterns Of Depression And Mania
If you have bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of depression more regularly than episodes of mania, or vice versa.
Between episodes of depression and mania, you may sometimes have periods where you have a “normal” mood.
The patterns are not always the same and some people may experience:
- rapid cycling;;where a person with bipolar disorder repeatedly swings from a high to a low phase quickly without having a “normal” period in between
- mixed state;;where a person with bipolar disorder experiences symptoms of;depression and mania together; for example, overactivity with a depressed mood
If your mood swings last a long time but are not severe enough to be classed as bipolar disorder, you may be diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.
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Supporting Someone With Bipolar
Cliches and platitudes usually aren’t much help to someone who is depressed. Being depressed is not the same thing as just being sad about something. This list, compiled from a Usenet group, offers some useful statements you can make to a friend or loved one who is depressed.
It is most tempting, when you find out someone is depressed, to attempt to immediately fix the problem. However, until the depressed person has given you permission to be their therapist, , the following responses are more likely to help. Acknowledge the depression for what it is, and give permission for them to feel depressed.
APA ReferenceGluck, S. . Best Things to Say to a Person With Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, August 31 from https://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-support/best-things-to-say-to-a-person-with-bipolar-disorder
Is It Cured Are You Cured
An Oxford don asked me this once in an interview. I didnt even know what to say in response to it cos I was flabbergasted how somebody with such a big study and so many books could be so stupid.
Its fine not to understand an illness. It is fine to ask questions, but one would hope that most people realise that mental illness cannot be cured. Just for the record, bipolar disorder cannot be cured. It is a lifelong illness. Some people feel that they are in remission, however. The goal to aim for is to maintain a healthy stability, usually through a combination of medication and lifestyle choices . But, yeah, its pretty much there for life.
Conditions That Can Co
Many people with bipolar disorder also may have other mental health disorders or conditions such as:
- Psychosis. Sometimes people who have severe episodes of mania or depression also have psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the persons extreme mood. For example:
- Someone having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may falsely believe that he or she is famous, has a lot of money, or has special powers.
- Someone having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may believe he or she is financially ruined and penniless or has committed a crime.
Some bipolar disorder symptoms are like those of other illnesses, which can lead to misdiagnosis. For example, some people with bipolar disorder who also have psychotic symptoms can be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid disease, can mimic the moods and other symptoms of bipolar disorder. Street drugs sometimes can mimic, provoke, or worsen mood symptoms.
Find What Works For You
King finds relief through self-reflection, frequent exercise, multiple hobbies, and having creative outlets. For Ayetoro, journaling and deep breathing practices help to bring her peace. Most people we interviewed are thankful for taking medication.
But what works for one person may not work for the next.
Howard encourages folks to try different things and not be afraid to fail. Every failed coping skill attempt gets you closer to what will work.
Consider combining these approaches for a more holistic treatment plan. Speak with a mental health professional to figure out what might work best for you.
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Things Not To Say To Someone Whos Bipolar
You may consider dealing with bipolar people to be extremely difficult. Maybe you dont understand their behavior or why they say or do certain things, but thats why communication is so important. Although mental illness can affect everyone in the individuals life, its important always to be considerate of the persons struggles. If youre struggling to communicate with your loved one about their condition without hurting their feelings, below is a list that you should keep in mind of what not to say to someone with bipolar disorder.
When Someone Your Love Has Bipolar Disorder
If your loved one is struggling with bipolar disorder, you will notice certain symptoms. During mania, your loved one may have increased energy, be overly confident, speak rapidly, get distracted easily, and engage in riskier behavior. During the depression stage, your partner may experience extreme sadness, loss of energy, feelings of being worthless, social withdrawal, and suicidal thoughts.
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Bipolar Disorder: What Does It Feel Like
Bipolar disorder is an illness that produces dramatic swings in mood . A person with bipolar disorder will alternate between periods of mania and periods of depression . In between these two extremes, a person will have periods of normal mood. To help gain a better understanding of what it feels like, mania and depression are described below.
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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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Information For Family Carers And Friends
How can I get support?
You can speak to your GP. You should be given your own assessment through NHS mental health services to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.
These are some other options for you:
- Join a carers service
- Join a carers support group
- Ask your local authority for a carers assessment
- Read about the condition
- Apply for welfare benefits for carers
Rethink Mental Illness run carers support groups in some areas. You can also search for groups on the Carers Trust website:
- Rethink Mental Illness: www.rethink.org/about-us/our-support-groups
- Carers Trust: www.carers.org/search/network-partners;
How can I support the person I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with bipolar disorder if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills.
You should be aware of what you can do if you are worried about their mental state. It can be helpful to know contact information for their mental health team or GP.
You could find out from your relative if they have a crisis plan. You could help your relative to make a crisis plan if they dont have one.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. But you dont have a legal right to this. The medical team should encourage the person that you care for to allow information to be shared with you.
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Oh Yeah Im A Bit Like That
Ive had plenty of people say this to me after finding out that I have bipolar disorder. Its meant kindly, as a means of finding common ground. Except often it comes across like Russia battering a flag into a bit of the Arctic she doesnt own.
Everyone has ups and downs as a natural course of life; this is why people who are permanently smiley are irritating. Ditto those who seem to look to Grumpy Cat as a role model. The difference with bipolar disorder is the extremities of the moods .
Someone without bipolar might go through a bit of a giddy spell: go mad and exit Pret with two bags of popcorn at lunchtime, despite an initial intent to purchase just the one. A person with bipolar, however, during a manic phase, might sweep into Pret and announce forthwith that they are taking over the chain, because boy, they have so many great ideas. Have you heard all these great ideas though? Listen to these ideas.
Similarly, feeling down and miserable sucks, and it is something we all feel at times. Grief is a normal process. Feeling fed up is normal. Clinical depression, however, , is a devil that chews on bones and gorges on souls and should never be underestimated or undermined.
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