What is a bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood,
energy, thinking, and behavior–from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the
lows of depression on the other.Cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months.
The mood changes of bipolar disorder
are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.
By; Mya Pelletier.
When talking about biological causes, the first issue is whether bipolar disorder
can be inherited. This question has been researched through multiple family,
adoption and twin studies. In families of persons with bipolar disorder,
first-degree relatives (parents, children, siblings) are more likely to have a
mood disorder than the relatives of those who do not have bipolar disorder.
Studies of twins indicate that if one twin has a mood disorder, an identical
twin is about three times more likely than a fraternal twin to have a mood
disorder as well.
In bipolar disorder
specifically, the concordance rate (when both twins have the disorder) is 80
percent for identical twins, as compared to only 16 percent for fraternal
twins. (Identical twins occur when one fertilized egg splits in two, so they
share the same genetic material; fraternal twins come from separate fertilized
eggs, so the mixtures of genetic material are different.) There is overwhelming
evidence that bipolar disorder can be inherited and that there is a genetic
vulnerability to developing the illness.
Signs and symtoms;
The Symtoms can be subtle,severity,frequency and confusing. Frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only few over a lifetime.
There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder:mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed
episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of
In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, feelings of heightened energy, creativity,
and euphoria are common.People experiencing a manic episode
often talk a mile a minute, sleep very little, and are hyperactive. They may
also feel like they’re all-powerful, invincible, or destined for greatness. Behave recklessly during a manic episode:gambling away savings, engaging in inappropriate sexual activity, or making
foolish business investments, for example. They may also become angry,
irritable, and aggressive–picking fights, lashing out when others don’t go
along with their plans, and blaming anyone who criticizes their behavior. Some
people even become delusional or start hearing voices.
People in a hypomanic state feel euphoric, energetic, and productive, but they are
able to carry on with their day-to-day lives and they never lose touch with
reality.However, hypomania can result in bad decisions that harm relationships, careers, and
reputations. In addition, hypomania often escalates to full-blown mania or is
followed by a major depressive episode. Common Signs inlude:
-Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
-Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
-Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
-Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
bipolar depression was lumped in with regular depression. There are significant differences between the two. Most people with bipolar depression are not helped by antidepressants. In fact, there is a risk that antidepressants can make bipolar disorder worse–triggering mania or
hypomania, causing rapid cycling between mood states, or interfering with other
mood stabilizing drugs.
certain symptoms are more common in bipolar depression than in regular depression. For
example, bipolar depression is more likely to involve irritability, guilt,
unpredictable mood swings, and feelings of restlessness. People with bipolar
depression also tend to move and speak slowly, sleep a lot, and gain weight. In
addition, they are more likely to develop psychotic depression. symtoms include:
-Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty
-Fatigue or loss of energy
-Appetite or weight changes
-Concentration and memory problems
#4 Mixed episode.
A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania
and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined
with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing
thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly
high risk of suicide.
-Bipolar I Disorder (mania or a mixed episode)
-Bipolar II Disorder (hypomania and depression)
-Cyclothymia (hypomania and mild depression)
The best prevention strategy is for people who have already experienced an episode of mania
or depression to stay on medication to avoid recurrence. The better you become at identifying the symptoms of bipolar disorder, the faster you can get help to prevent a full-blown episode.
Most people know certain feelings that indicate when a mood
change is developing. Small changes in mood, sleep, energy, sexual intrest, concentration,
motivation, thoughts of doom and even changes in hygiene and dress may be early
signs of an episode. If a person has had two or three episodes, he or she
should remain on medication for the rest of his or her life. A person also may
receive a recommendation for lifetime medication if he has had just one or two
severe episodes that were considered life threatening or required a significant
period of hospitalization.
-Bipolar disorder requires long-term treatment
-There is more to treatment than medication.
-It’s best to work with an experienced psychiatrist
-Keep stress in check
-Make healthy choices
-Monitor your moods
Causes and Triggers;
External environmental and psychological factors are also believed to be involved in the
development of bipolar disorder. These external factors are called triggers.
Social and Culteral view;
Thereare widespread problems with social stigma, stereotypes, and prejudice against individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. As people have mood swings people don't know why, they assume their bi polar and stay away from them because if you are assioated with someone that is diagnosed with bi polar disorder, they can have the affect on you to be a tad bi polar as much as you spend time with them.
- Social Cultrure- Wikipedia 2009.
- Bipolar disorder: Signs, Symtoms and manic depression treatment,
Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: October
- Genetic Factors; From Kimberly Read,Updated October 07, 2012
of Bipolar Disorder. Psych
Central. Retrieved on November 2, 2012,