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When Do Bipolar Symptoms Start

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Bipolar Symptoms In Men

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Unfortunately, many people refuse to acknowledge the reality of the disorder in themselves or those close to them . Denial is common. In my experience, men may be more inclined to deny the problem, since it deals with emotional extremes and men are taught not to show emotion.

Gender norms additionally affect identification and treatment of the disorder. Women diagnosed as bipolar, for example, are far more likely to be prescribed anti-depressant medications and other forms of treatment. This raises the possibility that women are simply more willing to express their states of depression . There are, of course, other ways of identifying bipolar in men and women, but it is important to recognize this indication of gender before focusing on male symptoms, or symptoms more commonly seen with men.

While the illness and the symptoms are virtually identical in both genders, gender stereotypes sometimes incorrectly justify symptoms that would otherwise indicate the illness. For example, the manic state of euphoria translates to an ongoing and exaggerated feeling of well-being in men and women. Often for no apparent cause, the person just feels great. This can result in a type of extreme overconfidence, which might be harder to detect in men, as confidence is encouraged in men especially in American culture where confidence is synonymous with masculinity. As a result, it can become more difficult to see atypical behavior in a man.

Psychotherapy With A Doctor

Psychotherapy is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Psychotherapy can offer support, education, skills, and strategies to people with bipolar disorder and their families.

Therapy with family can also be beneficial as the symptoms of bipolar disorder can strongly affect the overall dynamics of a familys day-to-day function.

How To Help A Man Who May Be Struggling

Both men and women resist seeing themselves as suffering from a clinical disorder but men tend to be even more sensitive to the suggestion that they are mentally ill. ;An adolescent boy may be less antagonistic to the suggestion that they may be struggling with a mood disorder as teens are less rigidly circumscribed by gender roles. But teens must be handled with care as adolescents can be volatile and if they sense any attempt to be controlled by an adult, will likely reject an adults input.

If youre concerned about a male loved one, here are some tips to help you start a conversation:

  • Seek out a private or confidential setting for your discussion. This shows respect and consideration for their privacy and will help him to feel comfortable confiding in you.
  • Start by emphasizing your care and concern for him.
  • Try to avoid becoming emotional yourself.
  • Dont list erratic behaviors or questionable actions as that may antagonize him.
  • Point out that something beyond their control may be responsible for the concerning behaviors.
  • Explain that many mental health conditions can be treated effectively and you will assist in getting him the help he needs.

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National; Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1-800-273-TALK . Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential.;

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Psychosis In Bipolar Disorder

I have rapid cyclingbipolar II disorder with psychotic features. I experienced undiagnosed psychotic symptoms from age 19 to 31, when I was finally diagnosed. Ive had hallucinations and delusions all of my adult life. What scares me is that no oneand I mean no oneeducated me about psychosis when I was diagnosed. It was as if the symptoms didnt exist. When I learned the extent of my psychosis, I was appalled that I had lived with it for so long.

My symptoms were mostly visual hallucinations and paranoid delusions. I didnt know that others didnt have them as well! If you have bipolar I disorder, there is a 70% chance of full-on psychosis when you are in a full-blown manic episode. This psychosis can be very bizarre and mimic schizophrenia. The difference? People with bipolar disorder only have psychosis during a manic or depressed mood swing. There is no psychosis outside of depression or mania.

If a person experiences psychosis in between episodes, this is not bipolar disorder but another mental health condition. Do you or your loved ones have psychosis? If bipolar disorder is involved, psychosis could be involved as well.

Bipolar Disorder And Substance Abuse Can Go Hand In Hand

Bipolar disorder is 36 Jobs in 20 Years

Substance abuse often complicates the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. Substance abuse is bipolar disorder’s partner in crime. Some studies show that as many as 60% of people with bipolar disorder also abuse drugs or alcohol. Untreated substance abuse can make it virtually impossible to manage the mood symptoms of bipolar disorder if both disorders are present. It can also be hard to make a confident diagnosis of bipolar disorder when someone is actively abusing substances that cause mood swings.

Substances such as alcohol and cocaine can also cloud the picture in bipolar disorder. For example, people high on cocaine can appear manic when they’re actually intoxicated,Ã or have a depression “crash” when the drug wears off. Some people with bipolar disorder use drugs and alcohol as a part of the impulsivity and recklessness of mania. Others may have an independent substance use disorder, which requires its own treatment. Substance abuse may make bipolar episodes more frequent or severe, and medicines used to treat bipolar disorder are usually less effective when someone is using alcohol or illicit drugs.

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What The Research Says

A recent study looked at 114 people with bipolar disorder and stable moods. All of the study participants were being treated with mood stabilizers as opposed to antipsychotics or antidepressants.

The researchers found that people who took the anticonvulsants valproate or lamotrigine had better sexual function scores than people who took lithium or a combination of lithium and benzodiazepines.

In comparison with people who took anticonvulsants alone:

  • People who took lithium or a combination of lithium and benzodiazepines had worse sexual desire.
  • People who took lithium had worse sexual arousal.
  • People who took a combination of lithium and anticonvulsants, or lithium and benzodiazepines had worse sexual orgasm.

When Can It Be Diagnosed

According to several analyses, nearly 50 percent of individuals begin to show symptoms before the age of 21. Unfortunately, a review of more than two dozen surveys shows a lag of about 6 years from the onset of early symptoms of bipolar disorder and the start of treatment targeted to the disorder. So, while symptoms may start to appear in adolescence, the disorder often goes undiagnosed, meaning treatment is either not initiated or symptoms are treated as something else.

For example, as a 2019 study published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging noted, bipolar disorder is initially misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder in about 60 percent of individuals seeking mental health disorder diagnosis. Researchers said the two disorders share some symptoms, especially since bipolar disorder first often manifests in a depressive phase, and this can delay accurate diagnosis by up to 10 years. In addition, depression typically starts during adolescence, which could cloud a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Furthermore, a core problem in both major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder is emotion processing.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.

There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of symptoms.

Bipolar I And Bipolar Ii Are The Most Common Types With Two Main Differentiators:

What Is Bipolar Disorder?
  • Bipolar I: A person may experience a manic episode of extreme highs lasting around seven days or requiring hospitalization. This may or may not be followed by an extremely depressed period lasting around two weeks.
  • Bipolar II: A person may experience a less-intense version of mania called hypomania, which is not as severe as bipolar I. A depressive episode may occur before or after the hypomania. This depressive state can be severe and one condition of bipolar is not more or less serious than another.
  • Cyclothymic disorder. This type of disorder can occur when the mania or depression episode lasts longer than two years.
  • Other: This type of disorder could be rooted in substance use disorder affecting mood or other health concerns.

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Bipolar Disorder In Children And Teens

Does your child go through extreme changes in mood and behavior? Does your child get much more excited or much more irritable than other kids? Do you notice that your child goes through cycles of extreme highs and lows more often than other children? Do these mood changes affect how your child acts at school or at home?

Some children and teens with these symptoms may have bipolar disorder, a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and day-to-day functioning. With treatment, children and teens with bipolar disorder can get better over;time.

What To Do Before Diagnosis

Before your diagnosis, you may experience rapidly changing moods and confusing emotions. It can be hard to describe exactly how you feel, but you may know that something isnt right.

Bouts of sadness and hopelessness can become intense. It can feel as if youre drowning in despair one moment, and then later on, youre optimistic and full of energy.

Low emotional periods arent uncommon from time to time. Many people deal with these periods due to everyday stresses. However, emotional highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder can be more extreme. You may notice a change in your behavior, yet youre powerless to help yourself. Friends and family may also notice changes. If youre experiencing manic symptoms, you may not see the need to get help from a doctor. You may feel great and not understand the concerns of those around you until your mood shifts again.

Dont ignore how you feel. See a doctor if extreme moods interfere with daily life or if you feel suicidal.

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Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

If you spot the symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or someone else, dont wait to get help. Ignoring the problem wont make it go away; in fact, it will almost certainly get worse. Living with untreated bipolar disorder can lead to problems in everything from your career to your relationships to your health. But bipolar disorder is highly treatable, so diagnosing the problem and starting treatment as early as possible can help prevent these complications.

If youre reluctant to seek treatment because you like the way you feel when youre manic, remember that the energy and euphoria come with a price. Mania and hypomania often turn destructive, hurting you and the people around you.

How Can Bipolar Signs & Symptoms Affect Daily Life

14 Early Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

If left untreated, some side effects that come with bipolar may affect a persons daily life:

  • Job or education responsibilities
  • Inability to care for dependents or self
  • Financial stress, possibly bankruptcy, eviction, or car repossessed
  • Loss of social connections as friendships suffer
  • Dysfunctional family relationships displaying codependency, resentment, family estrangement, or divorce

If a person is diagnosed with a severe impairment that impedes their ability to work, it may make them eligible for disability benefits.

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Living With Bipolar Disorder

Teens normally face ups and downs with school, family, work, and friends. Dealing with bipolar disorder at the same time is a very difficult challenge. One 16-year-old reader who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 14 wrote to us about the experience:

“I had mood swings that were the worst anyone could have ever seen. My poor parents thought I hated them, but really I was sick and didn’t even realize it. But now I am on medications for my disorder and I live a pretty normal life. My family and friends support me, and they, along with my therapist, have helped me get to the point where I am today. I just want other teens to know that even though it is hard at times to be bipolar, things will get better.”

If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, taking your medications as prescribed, reporting any changes in how you feel or function, and participating in therapy will be key to living a successful life. In addition to treatment, making a few lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, eating well, and getting enough sleep and exercise can help someone who is living with the condition. And many teens find it helps to join a support network such as a local support group for people with bipolar disorder.

What Can I Expect After Treatment

For most people, a good treatment program can stabilize severe moods and provide effective symptom relief. Treatment that is continual has proven more effective in preventing relapses. Those who also have a substance abuse problem may need more specialized treatment.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/27/2018.


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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.

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms: SEE THEM IN ACTION!

Children and teens can work with their health care provider to develop a treatment plan that will help them manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. It is important to follow the treatment plan, even when your child is not currently experiencing a mood episode. Steady, dependable treatment works better than treatment that starts and stops.

Treatment options include:

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How Does Pregnancy Affect Bipolar Disorder

Women who have bipolar disorder are at risk for experiencing an episode after giving birth, especially a depressive episode. Women who experience a depressive or manic episode after giving birth are also more likely to have episodes after other pregnancies. Women with bipolar disorder are at high risk of developing ,;which is a medical emergency.

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant. Some medicines are not safe to take during pregnancy.

Which Teens Are At Risk For Bipolar Disorder

A teen is at higher risk for bipolar disorder if another family member has it. ;Researchers are still looking for the gene or genes that may cause the disorder.

The disorder often starts in the teen years or early adulthood. It affects boys and girls equally. But girls tend to have more symptoms of depression.

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Who Is At Risk For Bipolar I Disorder

Virtually anyone can develop bipolar I disorder. About 2.5% of the U.S. population suffers from bipolar disorder — almost 6 million people.

Most people are in their teens or early 20s when symptoms of bipolar disorder first appear. Nearly everyone with bipolar I disorder develops it before age 50. People with an immediate family member who has bipolar are at higher risk.

Can Bipolar Disorder Be Prevented

Understanding the two sides of bipolar disorder ...

There is no known method to prevent bipolar disorder. Because its exact cause has not yet been determined, it is especially important to know its symptoms and seek early intervention. Regular and continued use of medication can help reduce episodes or mania and depression. Some people who experience bipolar disorder may become suicidal. By knowing how to recognize these symptoms, there is 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 Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chronic or episodic mental disorder. It can cause unusual, often extreme and fluctuating changes in mood, energy, activity, and concentration or focus. Bipolar disorder sometimes is called manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, which are older terms.

Everyone goes through normal ups and downs, but bipolar disorder is different. The range of mood changes can be extreme. In manic episodes, someone might feel very happy, irritable, or up, and there is a marked increase in activity level. In depressive episodes, someone might feel sad, indifferent, or hopeless, in combination with a very low activity level. Some people have hypomanic episodes, which are like manic episodes, but less severe and troublesome.

Most of the time, bipolar disorder develops or starts during late adolescence or early adulthood. Occasionally, bipolar symptoms can appear in children. Although the symptoms come and go, bipolar disorder usually requires lifetime treatment and does not go away on its own. Bipolar disorder can be an important factor in suicide, job loss, and family discord, but proper treatment leads to better outcomes.

I Know Someone Who Is In Crisis What Do I Do

If you know someone who might be thinking about hurting themselves or someone else, get help quickly.

  • Do not leave the person alone.
  • Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or the toll-free TTY number at 1-800-799-4TTY . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.

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