What is Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes severe changes to an individual’s mood. Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is responsible for causing extreme changes in mood – in most cases for no logical reason at all. These sudden mood swings often come with a mixed bag of feelings and emotions – from periods of high energy to moments of depression which will include unusual mood swings, right back to a stage where the individual is normal again. While it may be normal for all of us to experience changes in mood, for those suffering with bipolar disorder, their moods will change almost instantaneously. Lots of research has been done by medical professionals to try to pinpoint what actually causes bipolar, however their attempts have not been met with much success.

The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The symptoms of this mental illness will differ time after time. It could be mild or it could be bad. Even the individual incidents of bipolar disorder will range between few or many. There are usually two stages of symptoms that may be experienced, namely manic and depression, each causing the individual to experience various effects. For example, during the manic stage, the individual may be overly confident and hyperactive. The person may even begin to rest very little, without showing any signs of exhaustion and will start to make poor decisions such as driving above the speed limit or spending massive amounts of money at once. However, during the depression stage, the individual may feel as if they are hopeless and nobody can help them and will lose interest in things that he or she once enjoyed.

Here are some of the symptoms of depression, taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR):

  1. “Depressed mood most of the day.
  2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
  3. Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
  4. Insomnia or sleeping too much.
  5. Agitation or psychomotor retardation noticed by others.
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death.”

However, due to the fact that bipolar disorder can be confused with other medical conditions, many of the above symptoms have to be diagnosed, so if you are able to link several of them to a loved one, then it’s a clear sign that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Bipolar Disorder Treatment

If your loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder, then the earlier treatment is received, the better, as it may help reduce the effects it has on the life of the individual. There is no cure for this mental illness and those suffering with bipolar disorder will need to learn how to live with it, which can be stressful for not only themselves but also for those closest to them. However, with good quality treatment, it allows those with bipolar disorder to have better control over their mood swings and the other symptoms we mentioned above.

For access to a top quality bipolar clinic near you, call us now and let one of our qualified counsellors find the best treatment available for your loved one.

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