What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme changes in mood. Symptoms may include a very elevated mood known as mania. They can also include episodes of depression. Bipolar disorder is also referred to as bipolar disorder or manic depression.
Individuals with bipolar disorder may have difficulty handling everyday life activities at work or school, or maintaining relationships. There is no treatment, however, there are lots of treatment options available that could help to manage the symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder Facts
Bipolar disorder is not a rare brain disorder. In fact, 2.8 percent of all U.S. adults — roughly about 5 million people — have been diagnosed with that. The average age when individuals with bipolar disorder begin to show symptoms is 25 years old.
Depression caused by bipolar disorder continues at least fourteen days. A high (manic) episode may last for many days or weeks. Some of us will experience episodes of fluctuations in mood several times per year, while others may experience them only infrequently. Here is what having bipolar disorder feels like for many people.
Bipolar Disorder symptoms
There are three chief symptoms that could occur with bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, and depression.
While undergoing mania, a person who has bipolar disorder may feel an emotional high. They can feel enthused, spontaneous, euphoric, and filled with energy. During manic episodes, they may also participate in behavior such as:
- Spending sprees
- unprotected sex
- medication use
Hypomania is usually connected with bipolar II disorder. It’s similar to mania, but it is not as severe. Unlike mania, hypomania may well not cause any trouble at work, school, or in social relationships. However, people with hypomania still detect changes in their disposition.
During depression you may experience:
- Deep sadness
- loss of energy
- lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- intervals of too small or too much sleep
- suicidal thoughts
Although it is not a rare condition, bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because of its diverse symptoms. Learn about the symptoms which often occur during low and high intervals.
Bipolar disorder symptoms in women
Men and women are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in equivalent amounts. On the other hand, the principal symptoms of the disorder may differ between the two genders. Oftentimes, a girl with bipolar disorder may:
- Be diagnosed later in life, in her 20s or 30s
- have milder episodes of mania
- experience more depressive episodes than manic episodes
- have four or more episodes of mania and depression in a year, which can be known as rapid cycling
- experience other conditions in the Exact Same time, including thyroid disorder , obesity, anxiety disorders, along with migraines
- have a greater lifetime risk of alcohol use disorder
Women with bipolar disorder may also relapse more frequently. This is believed to be brought on by hormonal changes related to pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause. If you’re a woman and believe you may have bipolar disorder, it’s important that you receive the facts.
Bipolar disorder symptoms in men
Men and women both experience frequent symptoms of bipolar disorder. However, men may experience symptoms differently than women. Men who have bipolar disorder may:
- Be diagnosed earlier in life
- experience more severe episodes, notably manic episodes
- have substance abuse problems
- behave out through manic episodes
Men with bipolar disorder are less likely than women to seek medical attention on their own. They are also more likely to die through suicide.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are three main types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.
Bipolar 1 am characterized by the appearance of at least one manic episode. You may experience hypomanic or major depressive episodes before and following the manic episode. This type of bipolar disorder affects men and women equally.
Individuals with this type of bipolar disorder experience one major depressive episode which lasts at least two weeks. They also have at least one hypomanic episode which lasts about four days. This type of bipolar disorder is supposed to be more common in women.
People with cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania and depression. These symptoms are shorter and less severe than the mania and depression caused by bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Many people with this illness simply experience a month or two at a time in which their moods are steady.
When talking your diagnosis, your doctor will be able to let you know exactly what sort of bipolar disorder you might have. Meanwhile, find out more about the types of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder in Children
Diagnosing bipolar disorder in children is still controversial. This is mainly because children do not always exhibit the same bipolar disorder symptoms as adults. Their moods and behaviors may also not follow the criteria doctors use to diagnose the disorder in adults.
Many bipolar disorder symptoms which exist in children also overlap with symptoms from a range of other disorders that can happen in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
But in the last few decades, doctors and mental health professionals have started to recognize the status in children. A diagnosis can help children get treatment, but attaining a diagnosis may require many weeks or months. Your child may want to seek special care from an expert trained to deal with children with mental health issues.
Like adults, children with bipolar disorder experience episodes of elevated mood. They could appear very happy and reveal indications of excitable behavior. These periods are then followed by depression. While all children experience mood fluctuations, changes caused by bipolar disorder are very pronounced. They are also generally more intense than a child’s typical shift in mood.
Manic symptoms in children
Symptoms of a child’s manic episode caused by bipolar disorder might include:
- Acting really silly and feeling too happy
- Talking quickly and rapidly changing subjects
- Having difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Doing insecure things or experimenting with risky behaviors
- With a very short temper that leads fast to outbursts of anger
- Having trouble sleeping and not feeling exhausted after sleep loss
Depressive symptoms in children
Symptoms of a child’s depressive episode caused by bipolar disorder might include:
- Moping about or behaving very sad
- Sleeping too much or too small
- Having little energy for normal activities or showing no signs of interest in anything
- Whining about not feeling well, including having regular headaches or stomachaches
- experiencing feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- eating too little or too much
- Thinking about death and possibly suicide
Other potential diagnoses
Some of the behavior problems you may see on your child might be the result of another condition. ADHD and other behavior disorders can occur in children with bipolar disorder. Work with your child’s doctor to document your child’s unconventional behaviors, which will help lead to a diagnosis.
Locating the correct diagnosis can aid your child’s doctor determine treatments that can help your child live a healthy life.
Bipolar disorder in teens
Angst-filled behavior is nothing new to the average parent of a teen. The shifts in hormones, in addition to the lifestyle changes that come with puberty, can make even the most well-behaved adolescent seem somewhat upset or too emotional from time to time. However, some teenage changes in mood may be the consequence of a more severe illness, such as bipolar disorder.
A bipolar disorder diagnosis is the most common during the late teens and early adult years. For teens, the common symptoms of a manic episode include:
- Being really Pleased
- “acting out” or misbehaving
- Taking part in risky behaviors
- abusing substances
- Thinking about sex more than usual
- Becoming too sexual or sexually active
- Having difficulty sleeping but not showing signs of exhaustion or being drained
- Having a very short temper
- Having difficulty staying focused, or being easily distracted
For teenagers, the common symptoms of a depressive episode include:
- Sleeping a lot or too small
- Ingesting too much or too little
- Feeling really sad and revealing little excitability
- Withdrawing from activities and friends
- Thinking about death and suicide
Diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder will help teens live a healthy life.
Bipolar Disorder and Depression
Bipolar disorder can have two extremes: up and down. To be diagnosed with bipolar, you must experience a period of mania or hypomania. People generally feel “up” in this phase of the disorder. If you are experiencing an “upward” change in mood, you may feel highly energized and be readily digestible.
Some people with bipolar disorder will also experience a major depressive episode, or a “down” mood. If you are experiencing a “down” shift in mood, you may feel lethargic, unmotivated, and sad. However, not all people with bipolar disorder who have this symptom feel “down” enough to be tagged depressed. For example, for many folks, once their mania is medicated, a standard mood may feel like depression because they enjoyed the “high” caused by the manic episode.
While bipolar disorder can cause you to feel depressed, it is not the same as the illness called depression. Bipolar disorder can cause highs and lows, but depression causes moods and feelings that are always “down.” Discover the differences between bipolar disorder and depression.
Cause of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a common mental health disorder, but it’s a bit of a mystery to physicians and researchers. It is not yet clear what causes some individuals to develop the status rather than others.
Potential causes of bipolar disorder include:
If your sister or parent has bipolar disorder, you’re more likely than other people to develop the condition (see below). But, it is important to keep in mind that most people who have bipolar disorder in their family history do not develop it.
Your brain structure may impact your risk for the disease. Abnormalities in the structure or works of your brain may raise your risk.
It is not just what is on your body which can make you more likely to develop bipolar disorder. Outside things may lead, too. These variables can include:
- Extreme Stress
- Traumatic experience
- Physical illness
Every one of these factors may affect who develops bipolar disorder. What is more likely, however, is that a combination of factors results in the development of the disease. Here is what you want to know more about the possible causes of bipolar disorder.
Is Bipolar Disorder hereditary?
Bipolar disorder can be passed from parent to child. Studies have identified a strong genetic link in people with the disorder. In case you have a relative with the disorder, your chances of also developing it are just four to six times higher than people with no family history of the condition.
However, this does not mean that everybody with relatives having the disorder will develop it. Additionally, not everybody with bipolar disorder has a family history of the disease.
However, genetics appear to play a substantial part in the incidence of bipolar disorder. In case you’ve got a relative with bipolar disorder, find out if screening may be a fantastic idea for you.
Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder that I entails either one or more manic episodes, or blended (manic and depressive) episodes. It may also include a significant manic episode, but it may not. A diagnosis of bipolar II entails one or more major depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania.
To be diagnosed with a manic episode, you must experience symptoms which last for at least one week or so that cause you to be hospitalized. You must experience symptoms almost all day every day in this time. Major depressive episodes, on the other hand, must last for at least two weeks.
Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because mood swings may fluctuate. It’s even more difficult to diagnose in children and teens. This age group often has greater changes in mood, behavior, and energy levels.
Bipolar disorder often gets worse when it’s left untreated. Episodes may occur more frequently or become more intense. But if you receive treatment for your bipolar disorder, it’s possible that you lead a healthy and successful life. Therefore, diagnosis is essential. Notice how bipolar disorder is diagnosed.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms test
One test result does not make a bipolar disorder diagnosis. Instead, your physician will use several evaluations and exams. These may include:
Physical examination. Your physician will perform a full physical examination. They may also order blood or urine tests to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.
Mental health test. Your physician may consult with a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychologist. These doctors diagnose and treat mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. Throughout the trip, they will evaluate your mental health and look for indications of bipolar disorder.
Mood journal. If your doctor suspects your behavior changes are the consequence of a mood disorder like bipolar, they may request that you chart your moods. The simplest way to do this is to keep a journal of how you are feeling and how long these feelings continue. Your doctor may also suggest that you record your eating and sleeping routines.
Diagnostic criteria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is an outline of symptoms for various mental health disorders. Doctors can adhere to this list to confirm a bipolar diagnosis.
Your doctor may use other tests and tools to diagnose bipolar disorder in addition to those.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Several remedies are available that can help you manage your bipolar disorder. These include drugs, counseling, and lifestyle modifications. Some natural remedies may also be helpful.
Recommended medications may include:
- mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid)
- antipsychotics, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- Antidepressant-antipsychotics, such as fluoxetine-olanzapine (Symbyax)
- Benzodiazepines, a Kind of anti-anxiety medication like alprazolam (Xanax) which may be used for short-term Therapy
Recommended psychotherapy treatments may include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a kind of talk therapy. You along with a therapist discuss ways to manage your bipolar disorder. They’ll help you understand your thinking patterns. They can also help you produce positive coping strategies.
Psychoeducation is a sort of counseling that helps you and your nearest and dearest understand the disorder. Knowing more about bipolar disorder will help you and others on your lifetime manage it.
Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) focuses on regulating daily customs, such as eating, sleeping, and exercising. Balancing these regular basics can help you handle your disorder.
Other treatment Option
Other treatment options may include:
- Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT)
- Sleep drugs
There are also some simple steps you can take right now to help manage your bipolar disorder:
- Keep a regular for sleeping and eating
- Learn to recognize mood swings
- Ask a friend or relative to support your treatment aims
- Talk to a doctor or accredited health care provider
Other lifestyle modifications can also help relieve depressive symptoms caused by bipolar disorder.
Natural Remedies for Bipolar Disorder
Some herbal remedies may be helpful for bipolar disorder. However, it’s important not to use these treatments without first talking with your physician. These treatments could interfere with drugs you are taking.
The following herbs and supplements may help stabilize your mood and alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder:
Fish Oil. A 2013 study shows that people who have a great deal of fish and fish oil are less likely to develop bipolar disease. You can consume more fish to acquire the oil obviously, or you can take an over-the-counter (OTC) supplement.
Rhodiola rosea. This research also shows that this plant may be a helpful treatment for moderate depression. It may help treat depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is an amino acid supplement. The research shows it could ease symptoms of big depression and other mood disorders.
Several other vitamins and minerals may also reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Strategies for coping and encourage
If you or someone you know has bipolar disorder, you are not alone. Bipolar disorder affects about 60 million people around the World.
Among the best things you can do is to educate yourself and people around you. There are many tools available. For instance, SAMHSA’s behavioral health treatment providers locator provides treatment information by ZIP code. You might also find additional resources in the website for the National Institute of Mental Health.
If you feel you’re experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, make an appointment with your physician. If you think a friend, relative, or loved one may have bipolar disorder, your understanding and support is a must. Encourage them to see a physician about any symptoms they’re having. And read how to help someone living with bipolar disorder.
People who are experiencing a depressive episode may have suicidal ideas. You must always take any talk of suicide seriously.
If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or damaging another individual:
- Call 911 or your local emergency number.
- Stay with the person until help arrives.
- Remove any firearms, knives, medications, or other things that may lead to harm.
- Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, seek help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 800-273-8255.
Bipolar Disorder and Relationships
If it comes to managing a relationship at the same time you live with bipolar disorder, honesty is the best policy. Bipolar disorder can have an impact on almost any relationship in your life, maybe especially on a romantic relationship. So, it’s essential to be open on your condition.
There is no right or wrong time to tell someone who you have bipolar disorder. Be honest and open after you’re ready. Think about sharing these facts to help your spouse better understand the condition:
- When you were diagnosed
- what to expect during your depressive phases
- things to expect during your manic phases
- how you typically treat your moods
- how they can be helpful to you
Among the best strategies to encourage and make a relationship successful would be to stick with your treatment. Treatment helps you reduce symptoms and scale back the seriousness of the changes in mood. With these aspects of the disorder under control, you can focus more in your relationship.
Your spouse may also learn methods to market a healthy relationship.
Living with Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. That means you’re live and cope with it for the remainder of your life. However, that does not mean you can’t live a happy, healthful life.
Treatment can help you manage your fluctuations in mood and cope with your symptoms. To get the most out of treatment, you may choose to create a maintenance team that will help you. Along with your primary doctor, you may want to discover a psychiatrist and psychologist. Through talk treatment, these doctors are able to help you deal with symptoms of bipolar disorder that medicine can’t help.
You may also need to seek a supportive community. Finding other men and women who’re also living with this disorder can provide you with a set of people that you can rely on and turn to for help.
Finding treatments that work for you requires perseverance. Likewise, you need to have patience with yourself as you learn how to manage bipolar disorder and also expect that your changes in mood. Together with your care team, you’ll figure out ways to maintain a normal, happy, healthy life.
While living with bipolar disorder can be a real challenge, it can help to maintain a sense of humor about life.