Bipolar disease, also called manic depressive illness, is a serious mood disorder characterized by major swings in mood. It was once known as manic depression. The bipolar disease can cause a mood swing from an extremely high to an extremely low upbeat state. The mood swings can be so severe that it disrupts the lives of those with bipolar disease. It is important that those who suffer from bipolar disease learn how to recognize the warning signs and how to deal with them.
Patients with bipolar disorder may experience severe changes in their mood without any identifiable cause. These mood changes can be very rapid and occur several times per day or several weeks per year. Patients with bipolar disorder can have an extremely pleasant ride and then have a rapid descent into depression and mania within a matter of minutes. A manic episode is often followed by extremely severe depression that can last for several days or even weeks.
The depression that can follow a bipolar disorder episode can be referred to as cyclothymia. Cyclothymia affects approximately 4% of the people who have bipolar disorder and has some of the same symptoms as major depression. Cyclothymia is often mild and can be treated quite well with medication. In fact, it is a major depressive episode that can be life-threatening if not properly managed.
The bipolar disease can be genetic or it can run in families. A recent study identified a gene that acts on brain cells that can trigger an episode of mania or depression. Individuals who have a family history of bipolar disorder are at much greater risk of developing bipolar disorder. Environmental factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise can also increase the risk of developing this condition.
There are two major types of bipolar disorder; Bipolar I disorder (BP-I) and Bipolar II disorder (BPS-II). The symptoms of each type of disorder are quite different, but they share some similar characteristics. Manic episodes are characterized by elevated mood changes (mania), delusions, rapid activity, irritability, and increased sexuality. The depression associated with bipolar disorder is severe and lasts for longer periods of time than the depression experienced by patients with BP-I. In addition, people with BP-II are at an increased risk of suicide attempts and of having psychotic or delusional mood changes.
Because of the complex symptoms of bipolar disorder and the many people that suffer from these symptoms, it is important that regular medication be prescribed. Oftentimes, the first drug prescribed is an anti-seizure medication. Because mood changes and psychosis can occur along with the mood-altering effects of this drug, many people with bipolar disorder choose to try other medications instead of a prescriber-prescribed medication. When considering medication as treatment, it is important to discuss the possible side effects with your doctor or mental health professional.
A significant number of people with bipolar disorder experience episodes of mania. This can range from feeling extremely happy and positive all the way through to feeling completely down and overwhelmed. For these episodes, the symptoms may require some type of medication in order to get the feeling back under control. However, many times these mania episodes are mild and subside within a few days. These milder episodes can lead to psychotic symptoms that can lead to negative thoughts about self-esteem and your own capabilities to function properly.
It is important to recognize the different types of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder so that you can seek the appropriate help for your personal situation. When you are feeling bipolar disorder symptoms, there are certain things you can do to try to treat the situation. You can choose to medicate yourself, but you should be aware that medication only masks the problem and does not actually treat the imbalance of chemicals in your brain. You may want to consider talking to a psychiatrist or mental health care professional. They will be able to offer you more advice on how you can start to treat the imbalance that is causing the manic depression, or what options you have to deal with it.