Monday, June 11, 2012

Bipolar Disorder

Do you know someone with Bipolar Disorder? Do you know what the signs and symptoms of bipolar and manic depression are? Would you know what to look for in friends or family members in order to get them the help they would need?

According to The US National Library of Medicine the definition of Bipolar is:
"Bipolar disorder is a condition in which people go back and forth between periods of a very good or irritable mood and depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very quick."
There are different types of bipolar disorder:
  • People with bipolar disorder type I have had at least one manic episode and periods of major depression. In the past, bipolar disorder type I was called manic depression.
  • People with bipolar disorder type II have never had full mania. Instead they experience periods of high energy levels and impulsiveness that are not as extreme as mania (called hypomania). These periods alternate with episodes of depression.
  • A mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia involves less severe mood swings. People with this form alternate between hypomania and mild depression. People with bipolar disorder type II or cyclothymia may be wrongly diagnosed as having depression.

Some of the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder include but are not limited to: 
The manic phase may last from days to months. It can include the following symptoms:
  • Easily distracted
  • Little need for sleep
  • Inability to determine fact from fiction
  • Poor temper control
  • Reckless behavior and lack of self control
    • Poor judgment
    • Spending sprees
  • Very elevated mood
    • Excess activity (hyperactivity)
    • Increased energy
    • Racing thoughts
    • Talking a lot
    • Very high self-esteem (false beliefs about self or abilities)
  • Very involved in activities
  • Very upset (agitated or irritated)
    These symptoms of mania occur with bipolar disorder I. In people with bipolar disorder II, the symptoms of mania are similar but less intense.
The depressed phase of both types of bipolar disorder includes the following symptoms:
  • Daily low mood or sadness
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Eating problems
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, or guilty
  • Loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Thoughts of death and suicide
  • Trouble getting to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Pulling away from friends or activities that were once enjoyed
There is a high risk of suicide with bipolar disorder. Patients may abuse alcohol or other substances, which can make the symptoms and suicide risk worse.
Sometimes the two phases overlap. Manic and depressive symptoms may occur together or quickly one after the other in what is called a mixed state.
If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, please contact your health care provider or your naturopath or homeopath for help in managing this disease.

1 comment:

  1. My husband is Bipolar. He cycles rapidly so half the day he might sulk and have no energy and the next half he's bouncing off the walls and irritating me. But I love him and we deal with his moods with vitamins and medication.

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