What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness in which people experience episodes of mania and depression throughout their life. A person with Bipolar disorder will not be able to function properly when they are in a manic phase, which can last anywhere from a day up to a month. The individual may feel invincible and have an overly inflated image of themselves.
Types of bipolar disorder
There are different variations of Bipolar disorder, ranging from Type 1 to Type 4. There is no real difference between the types, divided only by the severity of symptoms and the time intervals that occur between episodes.
Type 1 - This type is generally described as one manic episode followed by one depressive episode occurring within two weeks. This bipolar disorder presents the highest risk to the individual.
Type 2 - This type is generally described as one manic episode followed by one or more depressive episodes within a two-week time period. However, the depressive episodes last longer between four and eight weeks. This bipolar disorder also presents a high risk to individuals.
Type 3 - This type is generally described as one manic episode followed by one or more depressive episodes within a six-month period. The depressive episodes last longer than eight weeks, but not as long as four months. This bipolar disorder also presents a high risk to individuals
Type 4 - This type is generally described as the same symptoms of Type 3, minus the manic episode.
Types 1 and 2 are considered to be the most severe, whereas Type 3 and 4 are generally more manageable. However, they are still not something that individuals with this disorder should take lightly.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
The severity of symptoms for Bipolar disorder varies from person to person. There is no "typical" case of bipolar disorder, meaning that each person is going to have a different set of symptoms. Some common symptoms of Bipolar disorder include:
- Euphoria or irritability
- Change in sleeping patterns, some individuals experiencing both insomnia and hypersomnia at different times
- Racing thoughts and fast talking
- Lack of concentration on tasks that would normally take priority
- Inappropriate speech for the setting, such as talking loudly or quickly
- Urgent or grandiose plans and ideas (may be unrealistic)
- Heightened sex drive at inappropriate times
- Spending sprees, which can include money and other possessions
- Increased energy followed by fatigue. This is part of the extreme mood swings that people with Bipolar disorder experience.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
There are several different kinds of treatment available to individuals with this disorder. The first stage is the "Manage" phase, where people learn how to recognize their symptoms and make lifestyle changes that will help them live a healthier life. This includes learning stress management techniques, making regular exercise a priority, changing eating habits, and forming healthy relationships with friends and family.
Since Bipolar Disorder requires constant vigilance to stay in balance, it's important for people to seek treatment or therapy regularly. This will help them learn how to manage their disorder better so they can continue to function normally in society. If an individual is having problems managing their symptoms on their own, they may need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, so their symptoms can be closely monitored.
Bipolar disorder is not something that should ever be taken lightly. It's important for people to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent serious repercussions from occurring. If you have been diagnosed with this disorder and are interested in seeking treatment, please contact a doctor or therapist as soon as possible.
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