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Bipolar Condition Facts

Bipolar condition used to be referred to as "manic depressive", people who suffer can have "extreme mood" swings even suicidal thoughts. For people who live with Bipolar condition it can cause significant shifts in mood, energy and thoughts. Ordinary mood swings are quite different to the ones experienced with someone who suffers from the bipolar condition. Bipolar disease can be extremely intense and interfere with the ability to function. During a manic episode, it can cause a person to act impulsively "for example" not sleeping properly or quit a job irrationally. This is an extremely serious condition which may cause the sufferer act out risky behavior. If someone with bipolar is suffering from a depressive episode it can cause them to feel a sense of self loathing, or have problems to get out of bed.

Types of Bipolar Condition

Bipolar I- episodes of "severe mood" swings ranging from mania to depression

Bipolar II- is a milder form, involves milder episodes of hypo mania (is the upper range of the mood spectrum) that can alternate with depression.

People can have mixed bipolar and can experience both mania and depression at the same time. They can include racing thoughts and be irritable, angry, upset as well as feeling bad all at the same time.

Woman and Bipolar

Woman tend to experience periods of depression more than men, research has shown woman are more likely to suffer with the bipolar condition bipolar II. Bipolar II is milder episodes of hypo mania that can alternate with depression. If four or more mood episodes occur within twelve months this is known as rapid cycling, woman are more prone to this than men. Rapid cycling often occurs later in bipolar disorder, some people can experience multiple episodes in shorter spaces of time. Researchers believe that the possible causes of bipolar condition is due to activity in the thyroid gland and levels of hormones changing that can contribute to rapid cycling. The Increase in rapid cycling can suggest a more serious depression or even suicide attempts.

Causes of Bipolar Condition

The causes of bipolar disorder are still unclear it is still not entirely understood by doctors. Over time experts have gained a better understanding of the Bipolar Condition some experts believe it is genetic and can run in families. There is also evidence to support the claim that your lifestyle can have a role in the bipolar condition severity. Alcohol, drug abuse and traumatic events in life can make bipolar disorder more difficult to be treated.

The balance of the brain chemicals called neurotransmitters may also by an underlying problem, experts believe this could be part of the cause for bipolar disorder. Noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine are three chemicals used in both bodily and brain functions. Noradrenaline and serotonin have been linked to specific mood disorders as depression and bipolar condition. Dopamine, which maybe referred to as the chemical in the brain which produces pleasurable feelings, is thought to be connected to psychosis and schizophrenia.

Bipolar Condition Symptoms

The complex bipolar condition have many different symptoms,they can be subtle and easily overlooked, the main symptom is dramatic unpredictable mood swings. Depending on the nature of bipolar disorder, the mood swings can vary from very mild to extreme.

The mood episodes of the bipolar condition can be broken down into four main types

  • Mania
  • Hypo mania
  • Depression
  • Mixed episodes
  • Each type has its own individual symptoms, depending on which part of the bipolar condition spectrum you are suffering from.

    At one end you have severe mania and the other end of the spectrum there is severe depression.

    Severe mania

    Hypo mania

    Normal balanced mood

    Mild moderate depression

    A severe depression

    Symptoms of Mania

    During the phase referred to as mania you may have feelings of euphoria, excess energy and hyperactivity. You may also feel invincible, talk extremely fast and have the feeling you are destined for greatness. While at first they may feel great it can easily spiral out of control, during this phase of the bipolar condition, it can cause you to act recklessly for example make poor decisions or gambling. It can also cause you to become irritable, aggressive or even blaming people who criticize your decisions.

    Symptoms of Bipolar depression

    The symptoms for bipolar depression and depression are very similar, this makes bipolar disorder diagnosis more difficult. Depression and bipolar condition depression need to be treated in different ways. Bipolar depression symptoms are more likely to be feelings of guilt, unpredictable mood swings and being restless. Sufferers of bipolar condition are far more likely to develop a psychotic depression, where they have lost touch with reality which results in a disability in work and social functions.

    Bipolar Treatments

    Bipolar is a "life long" condition, success of the treatment depends on a number factors. Medication is just one part, its beneficial to talk to your doctors and therapists along with a dependable support system. Try and understand what triggers off an episode and with the help of medication and therapy learn to help manage your condition. Certain triggers can for bipolar include

  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse
  • Medication
  • Seasonal Changes
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Bipolar treatments include:

    Medication- They found even though the symptoms for the bipolar condition were similar to depression antidepressants rarely was the right treatment for someone with bipolar. They found taking mood stabilizers can help reduce the highs and lows and help to keep the symptoms under control.

    Healthy lifestyle - A structured sleeping pattern combines with exercise, avoiding alcohol and drugs and having exposure to sunlight all year round helps to keep your lifestyle regulated.

    Support system - Having people around to support you can make an enormous difference, there are support groups set up where you can talk and share experiences. The support of family and friends is also great.

    Psychotherapy Therapy is one of the key elements in dealing with your bipolar disorder. Working with therapist, they can help you understand more about your condition and teach you how to cope with certain feelings.

    We must remember Bipolar Condition is not an illness but is a condtion, it can be with a person for life but with the right treatment it can be controlled.