Bipolar disorder is one of several medical conditions commonly called depressive disorders or manic depression. This is a mental disorder that often affects thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and behavior. It also affects how a person feels physically and it's clinically known as psychosomatic presentations.
Most of the time, a person with manic-depression experiences mood swings that shift from high to low and back again in different degrees of severity. The two extremities of bipolar disorder are mania and depression.
The following are signs of depression:
* Sleeping much more than usual
* Tired all the time but unable to fall sleep
* Refusing to get out of bed for days
* Having series of uncontrollable crying
* No longer interested in things they once enjoyed
* Not paying attention to daily responsibilities
* Feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless for a prolonged period of time
* Not able to make simple decisions
* Suicidal tendency
The following are signs of manic disorder:
* "High" feeling that you can do anything, even something very risky
* Sleeping little and yet never feeling tired
* Talking very fast and jumping from one idea to another
* Increasing sexual desires and getting into risky sexual behavior
* Having an unrealistic belief, experiencing hallucinations or delusions
* Very goal oriented and behaving impulsively such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive business investments.
Hypo mania is a less extreme form of manic episode. Hypo mania does not include hallucinations or even delusions, but a hypo manic person still might exhibit some inappropriate behavior.
If you are not aware of the extremities, you may think that you have finally gotten over your depression when you become manic, only to realize later that this exaggerated state is also part of being bipolar.
The four basic types of bipolar disorder:
1. Bipolar I - It is mainly characterized by manic or mixed episodes that last at least a week. Severe manic symptoms need immediate hospital care. The symptoms of depression or mania must be a major change from the person's normal behavior.
2. Bipolar II - It is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes that shift back and forth with hypo manic episodes, but this stage has no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
3. Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) - This stage is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of bipolar that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II and most of the time the symptoms don't last long enough.
4. Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia) - This is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who suffer cyclothymia have episodes of hypo mania that often shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. But the symptoms do not meet the indicative requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is not a sign of a character flaw or weakness; this is a serious medical condition that requires medical treatment, just like any other condition. Understanding the true reason behind this illness is a big help to our loved ones or to other people who suffered the same condition.
Hope this helps