Bipolar disorder is known for its ups and downs. But does it go beyond the typical person's up-and-down feelings during life, and how far? This disorder, which is also referred to as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes the characteristic ups and downs, according to the National Institute of Mental Health Web site.
Those who have the disorder may have mood swings and extreme changes in energy and activity levels. This might seem like a severe case of PMS to some, but it’s not. Thankfully there are many treatment options out there, though people can suffer with the disorder throughout a lifetime. Most develop the disorder in late teen years or adulthood, according to NIMH.
There are two parts of bipolar disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Web site. There is mania and depression. Mania is the more energetic part of bipolar disorder, which includes risk taking, impulsive activities (like sex, shopping and alcohol/drug abuse), quick speech and thoughts, superior strength and brain activity, sleep deprivation with no fatigue, etc.
Besides mania, there is the depression aspect of bipolar disorder. This includes the common symptoms of lack of energy, fatigue, inconsistent sleeping patterns, feelings of loss and uselessness, suicidal thoughts, irritability, guilt, lack of concentration and decreased interest in previously enjoyable activities, among other symptoms.
The mania and depression phase of bipolar disorder can either happen separately or together. When the phases happen together, this is called a mixed state. That is where the popular definition of bipolar disorder stems from.
There are four types of bipolar disorder, according to www.kidshealth.org. These four types are Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic Disorder or Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. The sad thing is that many people with bipolar disorder are not diagnosed properly or are never treated, according to the Web site.
Before diagnosing a patient, doctors need to be completely sure that they are treating a patient for the correct mental illness. If not, symptoms can get worse. This is just like when a person is treated for one disease but really has a different disease. Obviously, the results would not be satisfactory.
If you think you exhibit several of the above symptoms, see a doctor ASAP to talk about a possible diagnosis. It’s better to find out now than suffer unnecessarily for many years, as there are medications and counseling available for those with bipolar disorder, which can allow those who suffer to live a fuller life.