Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental illness. People with bipolar disorder experience dramatic mood swings. They experience an overly energetic high as well as a lightening-fast crash to hopeless, depressing lows — and then back again. The high feeling is called mania. The down feeling is depression.
Unfortunately, bipolar disorder can can be inherited. It usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. If you think you may have it, tell your health care provider. A medical checkup can rule out other illnesses that might cause your mood changes.
If left untreated, bipolar disorder can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide; however, there are effective treatments: medicines, therapy, and even natural supplements that can help. A combination usually works best.
If you have bipolar disorder, you just don’t feel it, you absolutely know it. A person with bipolar disorder will, more often than not, act on this feeling, embarking on new adventures that very often either are out of his grasp, or are quickly abandoned as he experiences the down side of the bipolar syndrome.
Those in a manic episode are much more likely to act recklessly or take chances not normally characteristic of the person. Aggressive behavior is a symptom of a manic episode, as is the inability to concentrate.
And the down side of the syndrome is the depression – agonizing lows where suicidal thoughts can creep in. A person with bipolar experiencing a depressive episode very often has trouble with the daily functioning of his life.
Additionally, an individual in the depressive episode experiences disturbances in both his sleep patterns and appetite. He may also have an apathetic attitude toward his daily routine along with unexplained fatigue. Chronic unexplained pain is also a signal of the depressive episode of bipolar.
In fact, bipolar disorder can be classified into several categories depending on the severity of the symptoms. Bipolar I disorder is the most severe, and involves mood swings with the widest of emotions separating them. Bipolar II disorder is a milder form. The intensity of the manic and the depression are less stark. Cyclothymic disorder represents the mildest of the three yet.
There are still two more varieties of the disorder. One is called mixed bipolar disorder in which the symptoms of the mania and the depression are present at the same time. While the person experiences feelings that are clearly grandiose, underlying that energy is an irritable angry mood.
The other is called rapid-cycling bipolar disorder and it’s exactly as the name implies. With this mental health problem, the episodes of mania and depression recur four or more times in a twelve-month period. Some individuals, in fact, experience multiple episodes within a single week and some within a single day.
Usually these characteristics develop later in the course of the initial bipolar disorder and seldom emerge on their own overnight. Women are more affected by rapid cycling bipolar disorder than men.
This particular kind of bipolar also places a person at an increased risk for severe depression as well as attempts at suicide. Some professionals claim that the use of antidepressants actually trigger this rapid cycling as well as prolong its presence.
The individual episodes of bipolar – the highs and the lows – may last for several weeks or several months. These episodes cause a disturbance not only in the life of the individual afflicted, but also for the entire family. Medical specialists say that the younger the individual is when the disorder is diagnosed, the more treatable it is. Unfortunately, those individuals who do not have this disorder diagnosed when the symptoms first appear are more likely to self medicate through alcohol and illegal drugs.