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Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is divided into two types, Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Type one bipolar disorder is a disorder in which an individual will experience alternating episodes of mania and depression. The second type of bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating episodes of depression and hypomania (a less extreme form of mania). A related disorder is cyclothymic disorder, which features alternating episodes of hypomania and very mild depression. People with bipolar disorder may experience social difficulties as a result of their mood being unstable and unpredictable. If you experience any of the following, you may have a form of bipolar disorder.

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About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder affects approximately four percent of the overall population. The disorder generally starts when a person is in his or her twenties. Bipolar disorder affects an equal number of men and women. Women experience episodes of depression more often than men, while men experience more episodes of mania than women. The depression is characterized by a lack of energy and feelings of worthlessness, while the mania is characterized by a significant overabundance of energy and self-confidence. Manic episodes may be marked by unusual talkativeness, flights of ideas, inflated self-esteem, a short attention span, and an unhealthy degree of involvement in pleasurable activities with no regard for consequences. People with bipolar disorder can become violent during manic episodes. It is not unheard of for bipolar disorder patients to go on spending sprees or commit crimes during manic episodes. Seasonal bipolar disorder is a type of bipolar disorder that only manifests in a patient during a certain time of the year. Postpartum bipolar disorder is a disorder characterized by manic and depressive episodes in new mothers within the first month following childbirth.

Treatment Of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness with no cure, and it is a notoriously difficult disorder to treat. Treatment is focused on helping the patient to control their mood. Counselling sessions may continue for several years. In order for therapy to be effective, it must continue for the long-term. Bipolar disorder treatment often includes both psychological therapy and medication. Treatment usually takes place on an outpatient basis, unless a hospital stay is required in order to prevent suicide attempts or treat psychotic behaviour. Several different medications may be used in treatment, including mood stabilizers such as lithium or valproic acid, antipsychotic medications such as olanzapine or risperidone, or antidepressants. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a popular and effective form of treatment. Family-focused therapy and psycho-education can help patients to build coping and problem-solving skills and recognize early warning signs of relapse. Establishing a solid daily routine with a regular sleeping pattern can help to reduce the frequency of manic episodes. Using multiple simultaneous treatment strategies usually results in better outcomes than using individual, standalone treatments. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) combined with lithium treatment has proven to be highly effective in regulating mood and reducing symptoms. It is important to note that because of its many side effects and the fact that the exact mechanism by which it works is unknown, the psychiatric community generally recognizes ECT as a last-ditch effort when all prior treatment attempts have failed.

Post Rehabilitation Of Bipolar Disorder

The post-rehabilitation prognosis for bipolar disorder is usually mixed. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, the average bipolar disorder patient will experience eight to ten manic or depressive episodes over the course of his life. Patient adherence to medication schedule is typically a challenge, and relapse is not uncommon. Bipolar patients with strong social support networks usually have better treatment outcomes than those without social support.


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Click to take our test, if any of the following questions relate to your Bipolar Disorder then you may be in need of help.
This test is intended to be used as a guidline only, please use our contact form or call us direct to speak to a specialist for further advice.
Do you often experience feelings of elatedness and sadness at the same time?
Do you sometimes accelerate your speech or talk more than usual?
Do you sometimes become far more productive than normal?
Does your self-confidence increase and decrease frequently?
Do you often experience major changes in your sex life, such as a much greater or much lesser interest in having sex than usual?
Do you sometimes lose interest in things you previously enjoyed?
Do you struggle with suicidal thoughts?
Does your appetite change greatly, from not feeling hungry at all to having an insatiable hunger?
Do you have frequent and extreme mood swings? If so, do you often feel much more confident, creative, generous, motivated, and carefree when in a good mood?
Do you often feel angry, disconnected, depressed, and lazy when in a bad mood?
Do you experience sleep disturbances that alternate between an inability to fall asleep and feelings of fatigue in spite of sleeping for more than 8 hours per night?
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