Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar is a condition that stays with a person through their life; it can, however, be controlled. At one time bipolar was referred to as manic depression, now it is known as bipolar and there are a number of levels of this condition. The mood episode can be seen as a spectrum, at one end you have the high feelings and the other feelings low feelings. If you were looking at it on a scale with the high feelings at the top

/ Severe mania

Hypo mania

Normal balanced mood

Mild moderate depression

/ severe depression

Bipolar I- is manic or mixed episodes, they can last any amount of time ranging from one day upwards. The suffer will usually also experience periods of depression.

Bipolar II- episodes usually change between hypo-manic and depression, but the patient does not usually suffer from full manic or mixed episodes. Research has shown Bipolar II is more common in woman than men.

Rapid cycling-Some people suffer from this, patient may have four or more episodes of major depression, mania or mixed. Some sufferers can have more than one episode in a day or week, they will have at least four a year.

Cyclthymic disorder- is a very mild form of bipolar condition, symptoms may not meet the diagnostic requirements for the other types of bipolar.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

People suffering from mania or manic episodes may have periods of feeling overjoyed, or feeling highly productive. The behavior they display can be talking very fast, flitting from one idea to another. A common symptom is looking for pleasurable activities such as impulsive gambling, taking part in sexual conduct, spending spaces or making impulsive business ideas.

The symptoms of a depressive episode are quite the opposite, patient can show a change in moods, feeling of emptiness or constant worry. It is quite common to have a reduced sex drive, feel tried and have trouble concentrating

When bipolar sufferers have mixed episodes, they may feel sad, depressed, but at the same time full of energy.

Causes of bipolar disorder

Doctors are still not sure what causes bipolar disorder, they do believe it could be a number of things that can contribute to the condition. Research has shown it could be genetic and run in families, or it can be a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are three chemicals called noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are responsible for bodily and brain functions.

Bipolar Treatments

Bipolar is a condition that the patient may have to live with for the rest of their life, success of the treatment depends on a number of things. Medication is just one part, as alone this will not control the bipolar disorder. Having a good support network, a healthy lifestyle and psychotherapy are all important. Working along a therapist you can discuss what your triggers are, and how to control your emotions. Some of the more common triggers seem to be stress, substance abuse, changes in seasons and sleep deprivation. It is important for people with the bipolar condition to understand that they are not alone, at support groups so they can meet other sufferers and share their experiences.