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Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

 

Did You Know?

Are Bipolar Disorder and Depression the Same ?   True/False

FALSE – Bipolar disorder and depression are mood disorders, but bipolar is not the same as depression. Although bipolar disorder does share many symptoms with depression, bipolar symptoms also include mood swings. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of high energy called mania. Manic depression, manic-depressive disorder, bipolar affective disorder, and bipolar mood disorder are all other names for bipolar disorder.

Are people with Bipolar Disorder safer when they are in their manic phase?   True/False

FALSE – Although people with bipolar disorder may experience increased energy and even feel very happy during a manic phase, they often make poor decisions and put themselves in danger. Bipolar symptoms of mania may include racing thoughts, trouble concentrating, risk taking, impulsive spending, sexual indiscretion, aggressive behavior, and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Can mood swings be normal?   True/False

TRUE – Mood swings between feeling happy and sad are normal for most people. The difference between normal mood swings and bipolar disorder is that bipolar symptoms are more severe. But even severe mood swings do not necessarily indicate bipolar disorder. Children and young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have troubling mood swings. Mood swings may also occur more frequently during pregnancy or peri-menopause.

Do children get Bipolar Disorder?   True/False

TRUE – Bipolar disorder may be harder to diagnose in children because their bipolar symptoms are different than those seen in adults. Children are more likely to have very rapid mood shifts along with irritability and high anxiety. It may be difficult for doctors to distinguish between bipolar disorder and ADHD or traumatic stress disorder in teens and children. Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder is treatablein children, just as it is in adults. Family involvement in treatment is very important.

Will you have Bipolar symptoms if it runs in your family?   True/False

FALSE – Genes play an important role, but other factors are involved as well. Studies of identical twins show that even if one twin has bipolar symptoms, the other may not. Researchers believe that in addition to a genetic link for bipolar disorder, other factors, such as environment and stressful life events, may be needed to trigger bipolar symptoms.

Can Bipolar Disorder be managed?   True/False

TRUE – There are many things you can do to make yourself better. One of the most important steps is learning as much as possible about the condition. Keeping a regular schedule for meals and sleep, avoiding stress, working closely with doctors and therapists, learning the warning signs of a mood swing, and joining a support group are just a few of the strategies that help people live well with bipolar disorder.

Are people with Bipolar Disorder dangerous?   True/False

FALSE – People who are diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder are rarely a danger to others. In fact, research shows that people with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of violence. Bipolar disorder is a treatable condition, and millions of people with bipolar disorder are living full, healthy, and productive lives.

 

How Common Are Bipolar Disorders?

According to statistics and research. In a given year, bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population 18 and older, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation estimates that at least three quarters of a million American children and teens may suffer from bipolar disorder, although many are not diagnosed. A recent study by researchers from Columbia University and elsewhere showed the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is up dramatically in children and teens and is also on the rise in adults.

 

What Are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorders?

Bipolar I Disorder is an illness in which people have experienced one or more episodes of mania. Most people diagnosed with bipolar I will have episodes of both mania and depression, though an episode of depression is not necessary for a diagnosis. To be diagnosed with bipolar I, a person’s manic episodes must last at least seven days or be so severe that hospitalization is required.

Bipolar II Disorder is a subset of bipolar disorder in which people experience depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but never a “full” manic episode.

Cyclothymic Disorder or Cyclothymia is a chronically unstable mood state in which people experience hypomania and mild depression for at least two years. People with cyclothymia may have brief periods of normal mood, but these periods last less than eight weeks.

Bipolar Disorder, “other specified” and “unspecified” is when a person does not meet the criteria for bipolar I, II or cyclothymia but has still experienced periods of clinically significant abnormal mood elevation.

 

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorders?

Symptoms can vary widely from individual to individual. While everyone feels happy at times and sad or depressed at others, people with bipolar disorder feel these emotions far more intensely, and their mood can change quickly. In fact, some people can go from over-happiness to extreme sadness in the same day.

The symptoms of this illness result from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. This imbalance causes people to have extreme shifts in mood, energy and ability to function. But the good news is that this imbalance can be treated and people with bipolar disorder can get back to their lives

 

What Are the Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorders?

Bipolar disorder is treated and managed in several ways:

Support Group – a forum for counseling and sharing experiences among people with similar conditions or goals

Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and family-focused therapy.

Medications, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications and, to a lesser extent, antidepressants.

Self-management strategieslike education and recognition of an episode’s early symptoms.

Complementary health approaches, such as aerobic exercise meditation, faith and prayer can support, but not replace, treatment.

The largest research project to assess what treatment methods work for people with bipolar disorder is the Systematic Treatment Enhancement for Bipolar Disorder, otherwise known as Step-BD. Step-BD followed over 4,000 people diagnosed with bipolar disorder over time with different treatments.

 

 

Sources

The Ryan Light Sang Bipolar Foundation
Available at: http://www.ryanlichtsangbipolarfoundation.org/site/c.ltJZJ8MMIsE/b.2107361/k.8F21/Did_You_Know.htm

WebMD
Available at: https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/features/8-myths-about-bipolar-disorder#1

Everyday Health
Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/bipolar-disorder-pictures/bipolar-disorder-facts-and-myths-0119.aspx#15