What Are The Signs And Symptoms
A person with bipolar disorder will go through episodes of mania and at other times experience episodes of depression . These aren’t the normal periods of happiness and sadness that everyone experiences from time to time. Instead, the episodes are intense or severe mood swings, like a pendulum that keeps arcing higher and higher.
Symptoms of mania include:
- anger, worry, and anxiety
- thoughts of death or suicide
In adults, episodes of mania or depression usually last for weeks or months, although they can be shorter in length. In children and adolescents, though, these episodes can be much shorter, and a kid or teen can even go back and forth between mania and depression throughout the day.
Episodes of mania or depression may happen irregularly and follow an unpredictable pattern or they may be linked, with a manic episode always following a period of depression, or vice versa. Sometimes episodes have a seasonal pattern. Mania in the spring, for example, may be followed by depression in the winter.
Between episodes, someone with bipolar disorder usually returns to normal functioning. For some people, though, there is little or no “break period” between their cycles. These mood swing cycles can change slowly or rapidly, with rapid cycling between mania and depression being much more common in women, children, and adolescents.
How Long Can Bipolar Mood Episodes Last
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how long bipolar mood episodes last. Often, Dr. Potash says, people experience major depressive symptoms for several weeks or months, then move into a period of mania or hypomania for several weeks or months. “It’s typically a slow change process,” he says.
Some people with bipolar disorder experience rapid cycling, in which they shift from high to low mood quickly over the course of days or even hours. According to Dr. Elmashat, rapid cycling involves one episode of either depression or mania or hypomania four times in 12 months, and it can occur in both bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. Most often, Dr. Potash says, rapid cycling with bipolar affects younger people, like teenagers, and it requires more intensive treatment than typical mood cycling.
Medications For Bipolar Disorders
One of the most commonly used types of medication for bipolar disorder is mood stabilizers. Mood stabilizers include lithium, valproic acid, and divalproex sodium. These can help control manic or hypomanic periods.
Along with mood stabilizers, antipsychotics are another class of drug that may treat symptoms of bipolar disorder if other medicines didnt work. Doctors might use a mood stabilizer along with an antipsychotic too.
Antidepressants can trigger mania but may be used to help with depression in bipolar disorder, mainly when theyre prescribed with an antipsychotic or mood stabilizer.
It can take time to find the right medicine or combination of medications a doctor will usually only make one change at a time until they get it right.
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What Are Your Treatment Options
Treatment will depend on which type of bipolar disorder you have, and what your symptoms are. Most of the time, youll need medication to manage your symptoms, along with therapy. Medications that may be used include:
Antidepressants Antipsychotics Mood stabilizers Anti-anxiety medications
Sometimes traditional medication therapy isnt enough. At Boston MindCare, our doctors offer a unique treatment option when nothing else has worked. Ketamine infusion therapy can help the symptoms of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. It works by inhibiting glutamate in your brain to stabilize your mood.
Like many of the other medications used to treat this disorder, ketamine comes with some side effects, so its important to talk to our doctors to see if this treatment is right for you.
You dont need to deal with bipolar disorder on your own. If youre looking for help, call our office at 701-207-9841 or book an appointment online today.
Bipolar Disorder Vs Major Depression
You may have heard of people who were first diagnosed with depression but later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and this can be confusing. How can you tell the difference? Keep in mind that the hallmark of bipolar disorder is the presence of episodes of mania or hypomania. These are not present in major depression.
Another common question that’s asked is “Can depression turn into bipolar disorder?” The answer to that question is no, depression doesn’t transition into bipolar disorder later on.
However, it is possible for someone to be diagnosed while they are in the depressive phase, which may result in a diagnosis of depression. At the time, they may not recall or be asked about symptoms of mania or hypomania that would lead to a bipolar diagnosis. Later on, with more careful questioning, or with the occurrence of a manic or hypomanic episode, the diagnosis of bipolar may become clear.
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What Causes Bipolar Disorder
Doctors and scientists don’t know the exact cause of bipolar disorder, but they think that biochemical, genetic, and may all be involved. It’s believed this condition is caused by imbalances in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. If the neurotransmitters aren’t in balance, the brain’s mood-regulating system won’t work the way it should.
Genes also play a role. If a close relative has bipolar disorder, a person’s risk of developing the condition is higher. This doesn’t mean, though, that if you have a relative with bipolar disorder you will automatically develop it! Even in studies involving identical twins raised in the same home, one twin sometimes had bipolar disorder whereas the other did not. Researchers are now working on identifying the gene or genes involved in bipolar disorder.
Environmental factors may play a role in bipolar disorder. For some teens, stresses such as a death in the family, their parents’ divorce, or other traumatic events could trigger a first episode of mania or depression. Sometimes, going through the changes of puberty can set off an episode. In girls, symptoms can be tied to their monthly menstrual cycle.
Mental Health Treatment Locator
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this online resource for locating mental health treatment facilities and programs. The Mental Health Treatment Locator section of the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator lists facilities providing mental health services to persons with mental illness. Find a facility in your state at . For additional resources, visit www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.
There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of symptoms.
Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder
Diagnosis of Bipolar I, a person must have had symptoms manifest to that in at least seven days, or if the symptoms are extreme and dreadful enough for hospitalization.
Diagnosis of Bipolar II, a person must have had at least one cycle of hypomania and depression.
Diagnosis of Cyclothymia, a person must have had many periods of uplifted mood or hypomania symptoms and periods of depression for at least two years, one year for children and teenagers. Their stable moods usually last for just less than two months.
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Brain Structure And Function
Researchers are learning that the brain structure and function of people with bipolar disorder may be different from the brain structure and function of people who do not have bipolar disorder or other psychiatric disorders. Learning about the nature of these brain changes helps doctors better understand bipolar disorder and may in the future help predict which types of treatment will work best for a person with bipolar disorder. At this time, diagnosis is based on symptoms rather than brain imaging or other diagnostic tests.
What Are The Long
Bipolar disorder is a life-long and often recurring illness. You may need long term support to help manage your condition.
What medication options are there?
Your doctor will look at what medication worked for you during episodes of mania or depression. They should ask you whether you want to continue this treatment or if you want to change to lithium.
Lithium usually works better than other types of medication for long-term treatment. Your doctor should give you information about how to take lithium safely. If lithium doesn’t work well enough or causes you problems, you may be offered:
- Olanzapine, or
Your doctor should monitor your health. Physical health checks should be done at least once a year. These checks will include:
- measuring your weight,
- checking your liver and heart, and
- checking your pulse and blood pressure.
What psychological treatments are recommended?
You should be offered a psychological therapy that is specially designed for bipolar disorder. You could have individual or group therapy.
The aim of your therapy is to stop you from becoming unwell again. This is known as relapse. Your therapy should help you to:
If you live with your family or are in close contact with them, you should also be offered family intervention.
Family intervention is where you and your family work with mental health professionals to help to manage relationships. This should be offered to people who you live with or who you are in close contact with.
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Patterns Of Depression And Mania
If you have bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of depression more regularly than episodes of mania, or vice versa.
Between episodes of depression and mania, you may sometimes have periods where you have a “normal” mood.
The patterns are not always the same and some people may experience:
- rapid cycling where a person with bipolar disorder repeatedly swings from a high to a low phase quickly without having a “normal” period in between
- mixed state where a person with bipolar disorder experiences symptoms of depression and mania together for example, overactivity with a depressed mood
If your mood swings last a long time but are not severe enough to be classed as bipolar disorder, you may be diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.
How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated
A psychiatrist can prescribe medication to help you manage your moods and feel like yourself again.
Medications include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and sleep medicines.
Talk therapy also helps many people with bipolar disorder. You and your provider will decide what treatment plan works best for you.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255. It is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Calls are private.
: National Institute of Mental Health
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Bipolar Disorder Is Sometimes Referred To As Manic Depression People Who Are Afflicted Experience Mood Swings From Depression To Full Manic Episodes Known As Hypomania
Symptoms include impulsive, excessive risky behavior, intense lows or highs, being more talkative, pleasure seeking, risky sexual encounters, as well as an inflated self esteem or sense of ability. Those afflicted may experience a decreased need for sleep and have racing thoughts. People affected by the disease are easily distracted.
Some are less extreme than a full manic episode. But other signs associated with the malady are sadness, loss of interest, changes in weight and restlessness. Those suffering from the illness may also struggle with substance abuse.
Approximately half of all patients with bipolar disorder are affected before age 25. Some were seeing symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25, but the disorder can begin at any age. Bipolar disorder now affects 12.3 million people in the United States, and 60 million worldwide.
While there is no cure for the disorder, the symptoms sometimes can be controlled with treatment. The problem is that many times patients does not want to take their medication. They like the high, explained a psychiatrist associated with a patient formerly treated at the Veterans Administration facility in Ann Arbor. This behavior can severely affect family members and friends who interact with the patient.
As a result, his drivers license was revoked. While at the VA hospital he saw a psychiatrist on a regular basis, both as an inpatient and later as an outpatient. But his driving days were over.
Key Points About Bipolar Disorder In Teens
Bipolar disorder is a type of depression. A teen with this disorder often has abnormal mood swings that shift between depression and mania.
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. But it tends to run in families.
A teen must have both depressive and manic symptoms to a varying degree to be diagnosed with the disorder.
A mental health provider makes a diagnosis after a mental health evaluation.
Treatment may include medicine and talk therapy.
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Bipolar Disorder Causes & Risk Factors
Theres no known single cause of bipolar disorder. However, there are many factors including genetics, medical history and environment that can contribute to bipolar. Some risk factors include:
- Family history of bipolar or other mood disorders
- Previous diagnosis of a mood disorder like depression
- Trauma, stress or major life changes
- Physical illness or use of certain medications
How Is Nimh Addressing Bipolar Disorder
The National Institute of Mental Health conducts and supports research on bipolar disorder that increases our understanding of its causes and helps develop new treatments. Researchers continue to study genetics and bipolar disorder, brain function, and symptoms in children and teens who have bipolar disorder, as well as family history in health and behavior.
Learn more about NIMHs research priorities and current studies.
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Symptoms Of A Mixed Episode
A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.
Sometimes We All Get A Little Lazy With Our Language
We say, Hey, guys, to a group made up of more than one gender. We say, He has less apples than he needs for that pie, when we mean fewer apples. And we say, I literally exploded after eating that whole pie, when, of course, we did not literally explode.
The point is this: imprecise language can lead to confusion and misunderstanding in a whole range of situationsincluding in conversations about mental health.
Take, for example, the word depression. It is common to hear it used as a synonym for sad or as a catchall term to describe a variety of mental health disorders. But the word depression is not precise enough to give a true picture of what someone might be going through.
Similarly, the term manic depression can be imprecise and cause misunderstanding about the condition better known as bipolar disorderwhich itself can be easily misunderstood without knowing the specific types of bipolar disorder and how they are unique.
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What Is A Manic Episode
During a manic episode, people with bipolar disorder find it hard to focus at home, school, or work. They may feel like their mind is racing. People may also feel jumpy or “high,” talk fast, and do risky things. Psychotic symptoms are common with manic episodes, and may lead to a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia.
What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms
You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.
What lifestyle changes can I make?
Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.
Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.
Your healthcare professionals should offer you a combined healthy eating, exercise and sleep programme.
You can find more information about wellbeing any physical health at:www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/wellbeing-physical-health/.
What are support groups?
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. The charity Bipolar UK have an online support group. They also have face to face support groups in some areas of the country. Their contact details are in the Useful contacts at the bottom of this page.
What are recovery colleges?
Unfortunately, recovery colleges arent available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google.
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I Allow Myself To Feel All Emotions
I accepted my diagnosis of bipolar disorder years ago.
This acceptance gives me the confidence to battle my illness. I have lived, and survived, through both poles of bipolar disorder and everywhere in between. These experiences have shown me that I can live through those situations. It merely takes time.
I used to fight my emotions like sadness and irritability. Now, I give myself permission to feel those emotions and know it will pass.
It is just part of bipolar disorder.
Do Not Consume Drugs And Alcohol
These two can affect how your medications work. They also can turn your bipolar disorder into a worse and unbearable one, it is very triggering and overall really damaging. Not to mention that it can also worsen and harden the treatment of your condition.
If you are struggling to quit, always seek professional help. Keep this always, in your mind.
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