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Bipolar Disorder

Basics

Bipolar Disorder Basics

What is bipolar disorder?  

Bipolar disorder 

– also called manic depressive disorder or manic depression or depressed bipolar disorder or BMD or simply manic depressive illness – is a serious brain illness that is associated with mood swings and that can cover a wide range, that is, from depression to mania. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder ups and downs Bipolar disorder is quite different from the normal ups and downs that everybody experiences from time to time in their lives. Bipolar disorder symptoms can make you adopt a dangerous comportment and ruin completely not only your relationships in general, but also the relationship with your family members who can hardly come along with your frequent mood swings. Bipolar disorder can also be the reason for bad school performance or for ruining a career within short. At times, your bipolar disorder can make you feel extremely sad and you lose interest in the activities you used to enjoy or found pleasure in before. Then, suddenly your mood changes radically and you feel full of energy. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder normal moods A person who experiences bipolar disorder may also exhibit “normal moods” between the episodes. Mood shifts that are associated with bipolar disorder are unpredictable; they can occur a few times a day or a few times a year. _________________________________________ Diagnosing bipolar disorder is fairly complicated, due to both the complexity and the particular pattern adopted by the disease for each individual. In some cases, the duration of the bipolar disorder may last for several weeks or months. In other rarer cases, bipolar disorder is experienced as a series of dramatic mood episodes. Not every person who suffers from bipolar disorder would qualify their mood change as “dramatic”; they manage it very well and even succeed in being extremely productive during the manic periods. However, when the mania worsen, that is, when it increases,  the people suffering from bipolar disorder become restless, do not value their possession any longer, start spending money without thinking, take sexual risks, etc.  When the depressed phase of the bipolar disorder is initiated, the worst part is still to come: the person suffering from bipolar disorder experiences recurrent thoughts of suicide. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder is extremely difficult to acknowledge Bipolar disorder is a condition that is extremely difficult to acknowledge for the family of a person suffering from the illness. When a person – who usually behaves normally and is very productive at times – suddenly shows irrational behaviour, it is very difficult for the family to realize that the reason for the problem is a serious and dangerous mental illness, and not a sign of bad behaviour. In case of doubt, the best advice to handle the problem is to consult a psychiatrist to find out if the person really suffers from bipolar disorder or from another mental illness. _________________________________________ A specially designed treatment plan for bipolar disorder A specially designed treatment plan can get along with bipolar disorder and keep the moods shifts under control. Bipolar disorder is a so-called long-term condition that can be treated with medications and psychotherapy. _________________________________________

Definition of terms associated with

bipolar disorder

“Mood episode” in bipolar disorder Mood episode is the term used to describe the unusual intense and severe emotional states that a person experiences in distinct periods. _________________________________________ “Manic episode” in bipolar disorder According to Medi Lexicon - Stedman's Medical Dictionary, manic episode  is the term used to describe a manifestation of major mood disorder involving enduring periods of persistent and significant elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and associated symptoms including decreased sleep, psychomotor speeding, racing thoughts, flight of ideas, grandiosity, and poor judgment leading to behaviour that may later be regretted. _________________________________________ “Mixed mood episode” in bipolar disorder According to the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV- TR), mixed moods are only present in bipolar disorder type 1 as mixed moods require the presence of mania. _________________________________________

Symptoms and types of bipolar

disorder

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious and dangerous illness that can exhibit various kinds of symptoms and types. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are very characteristic: mood swings that are unpredictable and dramatic at the same time. The illness bipolar disorder covers a wide range of disorder types, that is, from depression to mania. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder  also called manic depressive disorder or manic depression or depressed bipolar disorder or BMD or simply manic depressive illness – is a most serious brain illness. _________________________________________ When do the cyclical periods of bipolar disorder occur? Typical symptoms of bipolar disorder are periods of happiness and euphoria, along with deployment of high energy that alternate with periods of despair and extreme low energy. The cyclical periods of bipolar disorder do not have a regular pattern.  They may occur as often as a few times a year but also after a few years of normal functioning. In some rarer cases, bipolar disorder occurs only one time in a person’s life. A depressive episode usually lasts longer and is more frequent than the manic one. _________________________________________ Prevalence of bipolar disorder Approximately three per cent of American citizens suffer from bipolar disorder every year. Bipolar disorder can affect men and women alike and a certain percentage of the illness is thought to be inherited. From the many people suffering from bipolar disorder, up to one in five of them is likely to commit suicide – mostly in the middle of a severe depression, when they imagine that their hopelessness can only worsen and will never stop. In the last years, huge improvements could be achieved in treating professionally this disruptive disorder, with the result that the severe symptoms of bipolar disorder can – in most cases – be controlled with medications and appropriate psychotherapy. _________________________________________   Types of bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder occurs in three distinct forms, known as “bipolar disorder type I”, “bipolar disorder type II”, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified” (BP-NOS) and “cyclothymic disorder”, whereby each of these disorders shows a different pattern of symptoms. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder - long-lasting illnesses ! Bipolar disorder belongs to the long-lasting illnesses that can usually be treated effectively to ensure a ‘normal’ enjoyable life. However some people sometimes still experience recurrent symptoms of bipolar disorder after having received professional treatment.  The most important types of bipolar disorder include: _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder type I Bipolar disorder type I is characterized by manic or mixed episodes that people experience during a period of minimum seven days, or by the occurrence of manic symptoms that are so intense and severe that an immediate hospitalisation of the person suffering from bipolar disorder is required. The mood swings that are experienced with bipolar disorder I are severe in both phases and generate huge problems in your work and your relationships. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder type II  Bipolar disorder type II is characterized by a combination of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes. Bipolar disorder type II does not cause full-blown manic or mixed episodes, but hypomania which is a milder form of mania. In bipolar disorder II, the periods of depression are usually experienced for a longer time than those of hypomania. Women tend to be more affected by bipolar disorder type II. The people suffering from this disorder may be more irritable and show an elevated mood but they can – in most cases- assume their usual daily work or routine. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP- NOS) Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is diagnosed when the symptoms of the illness are detected but still do not meet all required criteria to be diagnosed for either bipolar disorder type I or type II. However, the symptoms experienced by the person are already a clear indication that the person's behaviour can no longer be qualified as “normal”. _________________________________________ Cyclothymic disorder. Cyclothymic disorder – also called cyclothymia – is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People suffering from cyclothymia usually have both episodes of hypomania and mild depression for a period of time of minimum two years. The symptoms can be disruptive, but are less severe than they are usually with the other types of bipolar disorder. They also do not meet the requirements to be diagnosed with any other type of bipolar disorder. _________________________________________ Bipolar disorder type II is sometimes associated with “seasonal affective disorder”,  a disorder characterised by depression triggered in late autumn/fall or winter, lessening of pain during springtime and slowly increasing to mania or hypomania during summertime. _________________________________________

When do bipolar disorder occur?

Approximately twenty per cent of all bipolar disorder cases occur as early as in late childhood or beginning of adolescence – they are called “early- onset bipolar disorder”. These young people are more likely than grown up to experience more frequently mood swings, mixed episodes and even relapses. They also run a greater risk to be misdiagnosed and that their early-onset bipolar disorder remains undiagnosed. The illness usually occurs before age 25. Men and women experience their first episode quite differently: men usually suffer from a manic episode while women suffer from a depressive episode. Before a woman experiences a manic episode, she has usually had a number of depressive episodes. When men and women get older, both bipolar disorder I and bipolar disorder II increase in frequency and duration. Bipolar disorder is believed to be caused by a malfunction of the brain circuits and by heredity. _________________________________________

Bipolar symptoms

The predominant symptoms of the illness bipolar disorder are their intensive mood swings that are both unpredictable and dramatic. These predominant symptoms of bipolar disorder are characterized by unusually high and optimistic feelings or extremely irritable mood that are associated with spectacular growth in energy in general, but also in activity and thinking. The illness bipolar disorder is characterised by two phases that are extremely contrasting, a phase usually referred to as “bipolar mania” or “hypomania”, and another one called “depression”. _________________________________________

Manic phase – or bipolar mania or

hypomania – of bipolar disorder

The signs and symptoms of the manic or hypomanic phase of the illness bipolar disorder usually include – according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)(1) _________________________________________ Mood Changes in bipolar disorder - A long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood - Extremely irritable mood, agitation, feeling "jumpy" or "wired." _________________________________________ Behavioural Changes in bipolar disorder Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts Being easily distracted Increasing goal-directed activities, such as taking on new projects Being restless Sleeping little Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities Behaving impulsively and taking part in a lot of pleasurable, high-risk behaviours, such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive business investments. _________________________________________

Depressive phase of bipolar disorder

The signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of the illness bipolar disorder usually include – according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): _________________________________________ Mood Changes in bipolar disorder A long period of feeling worried or empty Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex. _________________________________________ Behavioural Changes in bipolar disorder Feeling tired or "slowed down" Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions Being restless or irritable Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide _________________________________________

Bipolar disorder and depression

symptoms

The people suffering from bipolar disorder are incapable of making plans since their mood episodes do not follow any pattern. All they can expect is that the next mood episode of bipolar disorder will be as dramatic as the last ones. As the disorder does not follow a regular pattern, a mania must also not be followed by a depression and the intensity of the mood episodes can be experienced differently by each individual.  It is also not unusual for a person suffering from bipolar disorder to have the same recurrent mood state for a very long time. _________________________________________
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Duration of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder The duration of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder can be as dramatic as the manic one and has a serious impact on all activities and relationships. Without professional help, an untreated depression of bipolar disorder can only worsen. Appropriate medications and adequate therapy usually empower people suffering from this kind of bipolar disorder to enjoy a ‘normal’ life.   _________________________________________ If you realize that you experience almost every day and for the major part of the day, at least five of the following symptoms during a period of at least 7 to 10 days, you may be suffering from an episode of depression of bipolar disorder: _________________________________________ Mood changes in bipolar disorder Mood changes during the depressive phase in bipolar disorder A long period of feeling worried or empty Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex. _________________________________________ Behavioural Changes in bipolar disorder Feeling tired or "slowed down" Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions Being restless or irritable Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide _________________________________________ Major depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder People suffering from major depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder may also develop irritability and find it extremely difficult tom take ‘normal’ decisions. When the episodes of depression experienced by a person suffering from bipolar disorder remain untreated, the probability that will recur in shorter intervals is very high. They are then not only much more difficult to treat professionally but they may also cause a mania. Appropriate medications and adequate therapy usually empower people suffering from this kind of bipolar disorder to enjoy a ‘normal’ life.   _________________________________________

Hypomania and mania in bipolar

disorder

The typical symptoms of bipolar disorder are bipolar mania, hypomania and depression. The people suffering from bipolar disorder are incapable of making plans because their mood episodes do not follow regular pattern. All they can expect is that the next mood episode of bipolar disorder will not be as dramatic as the last ones. As the disorder does not follow any regular pattern, a mania must also not be followed by a depression and the intensity of the mood episodes can be experienced quite differently by each individual.  It is therefore not unusual for a person who suffers from bipolar disorder to have the same recurrent mood state for a very long time. Not being as severe as mania, hypomania – or more precisely its symptoms – is not diagnosed and the person who has this bipolar disorder can in fact feel perfectly fine. For some patients suffering from bipolar disorder type I, the disorder “hypomania” can however develop into “mania” or even into a most serious depression. _________________________________________ If you realize that you experience almost every day and for the major part of the day, at least three of the following symptoms(1) during a period of at least 7 to 10 days, you may be suffering from a manic episode of bipolar disorder: _________________________________________ period of feeling "high" period of feeling "high", or an overly happy or outgoing mood Extremely irritable mood, agitation, feeling "jumpy" or "wired." _________________________________________ Become psychotic in bipolar disorder In certain rarer cases, people suffering from bipolar disorder may also become psychotic.   They experience hallucinations and delusions, that is, they experience a so-called break from reality and see things or hear voices that are not there. These false beliefs in irrational things are very meaningful to them.
Anxiety attack symptoms, addictions, psychosomatic disease” - Educational video 1/8 Language: German          soon with subtitles in Englisch
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