Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar-disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. People who have it experience dramatic mood swings. They may go from overly energetic, “high” and/or irritable, to sad and hopeless, and then back again.

• Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. People who have it experience dramatic mood swings. They may go from overly energetic, “high” and/or irritable, to sad and hopeless, and then back again. They often have normal moods in between. The up feeling is called mania. The down feeling is depression.
• Bipolar disorder can run in families. It usually starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. If you think you may have it, tell your health care provider. A medical checkup can rule out other illnesses that might cause your mood changes.
• Untreated, bipolar disorder can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. However, there are effective treatments: medicines and “talk therapy”. A combination usually works best.
• The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:
• Agitation or irritation
• Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
• Little need for sleep
• Noticeably elevated mood
• Hyperactivity
• Increased energy
• Lack of self-control
• Racing thoughts
• Over-involvement in activities
• Poor temper control
• Reckless behavior
• Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
• Impaired judgment
• Sexual promiscuity
• Spending sprees
• Tendency to be easily distracted

• These symptoms of mania are seen with bipolar disorder I. In people with bipolar disorder II, hypo manic episodes involve similar symptoms that are less intense.

• The depressed phase of both types of bipolar disorder includes the following symptoms:

• Daily low mood
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
• Eating disturbances
• Loss of appetite and weight loss
• Overeating and weight gain
• Fatigue or listlessness
• Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and/or guilt
• Loss of self-esteem
• Persistent sadness
• Persistent thoughts of death
• Sleep disturbances
• Excessive sleepiness
• Inability to sleep
• Suicidal thoughts
• Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed
• Withdrawal from friends
• There is a high risk of suicide with bipolar disorder. While in either phase, patients may abuse alcohol or other substances, which can make the symptoms worse.

• Sometimes there is an overlap between the two phases. Manic and depressive symptoms may occur together or quickly one after the other in what is called a mixed state.

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