Bipolar disorderBipolar disorder is technically a type of depression, but it is quite different from the mental image that can be typical of depressive symptoms. Bipolar disorder, depression, as the name suggests, consists of two opposite behaviors that somehow coexist in the same person. There is no cure for this disease, but respond well to treatment.
The essential feature of bipolar disorder is severe mood swings from deep depression to mania. The experienced casualties are very similar to major depression. Depressive episodes typically last about 14 days. A quick upward shift in mood marks the beginning of a manic episode. Along with this improvement in mood it comes increased energy, decreased need for sleep and a burst of productivity. This can be accompanied by a feeling of euphoria. Sufferers of bipolar disorder rarely seek treatment for manic episodes.
However, although the patient may sense of productivity and strong activity, while others see it as dangerous and out of control. Manic episodes usually include increasingly talkative, very excitable and active to the point of exhaustion. There is also a tendency to engage in risky behaviors.
Bipolar disorder is a complex condition that is difficult to diagnose. People often endure this condition for years before being properly diagnosed. Although the cause is related to brain chemistry, the disorder tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. The disorder is recurrent – meaning that once a person suffers a manic episode, there is a 90 percent chance that another experience.
The primary treatment for bipolar disorder is medication. A combination of drugs seems to be the most effective treatment. The antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and mood stabilizing agents anti-convulsants are commonly prescribed to end the wide mood swings that characterize this disorder. During a lifetime of treatment, it is expected that the drugs will have to be adjusted or changed completely. A unique recipe is unlikely to work the same way all the time. Psychotherapy is used in some cases, but rarely effective without medication.
If left untreated, bipolar disorder can be particularly dangerous. From 15 to 17 percent of untreated cases end in suicide (compared to about 10 percent of untreated suffer major depression).
Like most forms of depression, there is nothing that the individual has made to merit or cause of bipolar disorder. There should be no shame or stigma attached to having the condition. The most important thing is to seek treatment and management of disease begin as soon as possible.