People with bipolar disorder usually experience strange intense emotional states that occur in different periods called "mood episodes." An overexcited or overly joyful state is called a manic episode, while an extremely sad, helpless or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. There are times when a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This state is called a mixed episode.
People with bipolar disorder may be volatile and irritable during a mood episode. But manic depression is not just mood swings. More complex features of manic depression include the following:
o Mixed episodes - Mixed episodes happen when a person experiences aspects of both depression and mania at the same time. Sometimes mania is prominent but sometimes it's the depression.
o Rapid cycling - Rapid cycling happens when four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypo mania, or mixed symptoms occur within a year. It affects more women than men.
Bipolar has very frightening characteristics of psychosis, a loss of contact with reality. These may include:
o Paranoia - highly exaggerated mistrust believing that a person or group is actively working to harm them.
o Hallucinations - A profound distortion in a person's perception of reality such as hearing or seeing things that are not there.
o Delusions - The persistent beliefs in things that are not true.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of manic depression is the suicidal tendency. Study shows that the suicide rate among people with manic depression has been estimated to be five to fifteen percent. An astounding number of people make unsuccessful or repeated attempts on their own lives.
There are some myths and fact about bipolar disorder
They say that people with bipolar disorder can't lead a normal life. Being Bipolar myself I beg to differ.
The truth is many people with bipolar disorder have successful careers and satisfying relationships including happy family lives.
They say that the disorder only affects mood.
The truth is bipolar disorder also affects your physical and energy level. It also affects judgment, concentration, memory, sleep patterns, appetite, sex drive, and self-esteem. Furthermore, bipolar disorder has been associated to substance abuse, anxiety, and health problems such as diabetes, migraines, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
They say that there is nothing you can do to control bipolar disorder aside from taking medication.
The truth is, while medication is the basis of bipolar disorder treatment, therapy and self-help strategies also play significant roles. You can also help control your symptoms by exercising regularly, eating right, getting enough sleep, monitoring your moods, relax to keep stress to a minimum, and if you are surrounded with supportive people, it really help a lot.
People with manic depression are often highly intelligent and extraordinarily gifted and talented. They have made the highest contribution to our society while they themselves are struggling every day to function to survive, and to stay alive.