Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bipolar Disorder - A Cyclic Illness

Bipolar disorder is a cyclic illness where people periodically exhibit manic (elevated) and depressive episodes. Categories of Bipolar disorder include; Type I, where an individual experiences full-blown mania, or Bipolar Type II, in which the "highs" do not go to the extremes. Bipolar disorder will generally manifest in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, case of bipolar disorder manifesting in late life are well documented.

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder which consists of shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Due to the complex nature of the disorder it is often difficult to diagnose. Although the exact cause of bipolar disorder is not apparent, it is known to run in families and it is believed that genetics play a significant role.

Manic Phase

Manic episodes are periods where a person affected with bipolar disorder will exhibit elevated moods, which can manifest as rapid thought processes, irritability, and/or reckless behavior. These manic episodes are frequently very hard on the person and their relationships. A person in a manic phase of bipolar disorder will have symptoms of high energy and accelerated states. Manic episodes appear in stark contrast to major depressive episodes, which are an equal and opposite component of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Depressive Episodes

A depressive episode may include feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, inability to concentrate, thoughts of death or suicide, change in appetite or weight, and fatigue or loss of energy. Depressive symptoms will frequently include physical complaints such as headaches, tiredness, lack of interest in activities, or social isolation. These depressive episodes can last six to twelve months if untreated. Depressive episodes are more common in the winter and fall, while manic episodes are more likely to occur during spring and summer.

Bipolar Treatment

People with bipolar disorder can live healthy lives if treated. Typical treatment will include medication and psychosocial therapies. There is no cure for bipolar disorder, so the main goal of treatment is to stabilize mood and control of symptoms. Treatments during an episode of mania are mostly concerned with managing symptoms and patient safety. During the bipolar depression, an antidepressant is normally the best option for treatment. Treatment is can be very effective so there is no reason to suffer this debilitating disorder.

In closing, bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. Defined as a psychiatric condition, bipolar disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of significant disturbance in mood. Bipolar disorder is usually treated with medications and/or therapy or counseling. A person afflicted with bipolar disorder will experience dramatic mood swings. Bipolar disorder (also known as "manic depression") is often not recognized by the patient, relatives, friends, or even physicians.

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