Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by recurrent mood swings, sometimes very rapid as well as severe. It’s important to note that this disorder lies on a spectrum meaning that person A with bipolar disorder most likely won’t have the same experience as person B with this illness. On this page you will become acquainted with this mental illness, also known as manic depression, through a brief overview as well as links to more specific topics covered on Two Parts Health pertaining to this illness.
Start reading our latest articles about bipolar disorder now.
There are four basic types of bipolar disorder according the that National Institute of Mental Health:
- Bipolar I Disorder (full blown mania)
- Bipolar II Disorder (mostly depressive with hypomania)
- Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS)
- Cyclothymia (mild form of bipolar disorder)
Bipolar disorder is far from unheard of (some might even suggest it’s quite prevalent) and affects roughly 5.7 million American adults in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Unfortunately, as with any other mental illness there is still a strong stigma attached to bipolar disorder and its sufferers. However, if you happen to be someone who suffers from bipolar disorder or are simply someone interested in learning more about this mental illness it is important to realize that just because someone happens to suffer from bipolar disorder does not mean that they are crazy, volatile, sub human, weak, and so on. An individual does not choose to have this illness and this illness does not fully dictate how one lives their life.
It’s true that living with this illness can be tricky and very difficult at times. It’s usually most difficult to cope with bipolar disorder when the illness is undiagnosed. During this time an individual may be living a chaotic and many times unmanageable life. They may think that they are crazy and suffer from deathly confusion causing them to resort to unhealthy solutions such as drugs and self harm to name a few. However, with trial, error, and perseverance (money also doesn’t hurt) it is very much possible to get the symptoms of bipolar disorder under control. And this is what is most important when it comes to this disorder. It’s not about quelling “bipolar” as much as it is about getting a handle on the symptoms caused by bipolar disorder.
The most common symptom of this mental illness are mood swings but it is far from the only one. A person with bipolar disorder may experience depression, mania, or even a mixture of the two. Remember, this is a mental illness on a spectrum so it’s important to note that there are differing levels of mania and depression. For example, there is a form of mania known as hypomania which is essentially “mania lite”. Apart from mood swings some of the other symptoms of this illness include varying levels of energy, altered cognition and thinking, and altered perception and decision making skills.
As far as treatment goes the most popular approach to tackling symptoms is to use a mood stabilizer such as Depakote or Lithium. There are numerous other mood stabalizers but these are two of the most prevalent. Of course, you’ll want to visit a doctor, specifically a psychiatrist, before even considering medication but if you are in fact diagnosed by a licensed professional then you will most likely need to take medication. People with bipolar disorder also sometimes take atypical antipsychotics such as Risperdal in conjunction with a mood stabalizer. Some even take an anti-depressant although that is a risky venture for many considering that most anti-depressants send folks with bipolar disorder into a tail spin via violent mood swings and mania.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bipolar disorder. If you would like a more detailed look at this mental illness then start navigating below for the latest articles on Two Parts Health.
- What is someone to do if they can’t make up their mind? How can they achieve their daily goals, much long term one’s? Learn how to tackle this symptom through practical positive actions. There are no bounds to the irony of this cognitive symptom as it hits individuals during the worst of times, the times when one needs to act and make decisions.