Bipolar disorder symptoms

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects many children and adults today. It was known in the past as manic-depression and is still called that by a lot of lay people. This disease is well known for the change in moods. People with this illness cycle from one extreme type of mood to the other. The cycles may range in periods of time that may last weeks or months. The cycles will range where they run into the most high form or mania to the lowest of the low or extreme depression. According to research that has been done, bipolar disorder that is left untreated will only get worse. The suicide rate is very high in those who have bipolar disorder. However those who are treated for bipolar disorder can live a long healthy life.

The symptoms that are classic of bipolar disorder are the extreme change and the pattern of the change of moods which run from high to low. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and some people with this disorder can feel like that they have times when their life is not affected at all by this disorder.

Some of the symptoms of the manic phase of bipolar disorder include a sense of euphoria, rapid speech and repeating words, racing thoughts and even aggressive behavior, sometimes risky behavior or throwing all caution to the wind, extreme behavior such as driving too fast or going on spending sprees, having a hard time concentrating, feeling hyperactive or having a hard time sitting still, inability to sleep and having an increased sex drive.

Some of the symptoms of the depression phase of this disorder include being extremely anxious or sad, having thoughts of feeling worthless, being extremely tired, feeling guilty or irritable, having no appetite, inability to sleep or sleeping all the time, withdrawing socially, losing interest in daily activities or work, feeling hopeless or having suicidal thoughts, and having chronic pain for which there is no physical reason.

There are different types of bipolar disorder that need to be discussed. The first type of bipolar disorder is Bipolar I disorder. It is classified as a person who has had at least one manic episode without any depressive episodes. Bipolar II is classified as having at least one depressive episode and one hypomanic episode as well. People who are Bipolar II have much longer periods of depression than they do manic episodes. Cyclothymia is another form of bipolar disorder. This is a mild form of bipolar disorder where the person experiences both manic and depressive phases but they are not nearly as severe as in other forms. Rapid cycling bipolar disorder is another form of the disease. In this form of the mental illness the person goes from one extreme to the other in a very short period of time even as short as a few hours.

There are thought to be different causes of bipolar disorder. The first is that it can be hereditary. People who have a family history of bipolar disorder are more likely to have this problem themselves. Other studies show that there are chemical imbalances in the brain of those who have bipolar disorder. Scientists feel that hormonal influences or imbalances may be key to the cause of this problem. There are other studies that feel that even environment can play a big part in some people who have mental illness. This is very true of people who have bipolar disorder as well.

Treatment for bipolar disorder should be done by medical professionals such as psychiatrists who have a firm grasp of this disease. Some medications which can be used for this disorder include mood stabilizers such as Lithium. They have also found that the use of some anti-seizure medications can help to stop or slow down mood swings or changes. Depakote and Lamiktal have been used for this purpose. Other medications including anti-depressants have been used successfully for people with bipolar disease.

Last updated on Aug 9th, 2009 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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