Bipolar Disorder

By: Brooke C TB: 2

What is it?

Bipolar disorder is a depressive disorder that affects the way a person´s brain functions. Someone who is Bipolar will go through episodes of mania (highs) and episodes of depression (lows).

Signs or Symptoms

Symptoms of Bipolar disorder vary.

Manic Symptoms

  • racing speech and thoughts
  • increased energy
  • decreased need for sleep
  • elevated mood and exaggerated optimism
  • increased physical/ mental activity
  • excessive irritability, aggressive behavior, and impatience
  • poor judgement
  • reckless behavior (example: erratic driving)
  • difficulty concentrating
  • inflated sense of self importance

Depression Signs and Symptoms

  • loss of interests in usual activities
  • prolonged sad or irritable mood
  • loss of energy or fatigue
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • sleeping too much or inability to sleep
  • drop in grades and inability to concentrate
  • inability to experience pleasure
  • appetite loss or overeating
  • anger, worry, and anxiety
  • thoughts of death or suicide

How does it affect someone?

Bipolar disorder affects both men and women. It affects the way a person thinks, acts, and feels. For example kids who are Bipolar may experience rapid mood changes and high levels of anxiety.

Other Names for Bipolar Disorder

Medical terms are:

  • manic depression
  • manic-depressive disorder
  • manic-depressive illness
  • bipolar mood disorder
  • bipolar affective disorder

How is it diagnosed?

Bipolar disorder is diagnosed by a mental health professional, psychologist, or psychiatrist. There are four different types a doctor can diagnose you with- Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic disorder, or Bipolar disorder. These four types are based on different symptoms a person receives with this disorder. It is difficult to diagnose since there are no lab tests available to tell.

How is it treated?

Bipolar disorder has no cure. However, a medical professional can help organize a treatment plan to try and control the disorder with mood stabilizers. A counselor or psychologist can provide therapy, and doctors will keep track of a person's symptoms.

Interesting Fact

About 1 in 7 people have a depressive disorder.