What is Bi-polar Disorder?
Have you ever experienced periods in your life where your moods, energy levels, sleep hygiene and/or your cognitive abilities were impaired to the point that they interfered with your normal daily functioning?
Did your symptoms prevent you from going to work? Were your relationships negatively impacted by your behaviors? Could you make safe, rational decisions and think clearly?
Bipolar Disorder Effects 1% of the population, which translates into 1 out of every 100 people will experience an episode(s) of extreme highs and lows which will require medical attention and/or hospitalization.
You may be wondering, “What does extreme highs and lows mean”?
Bipolar 1 Disorder, also referred to as Manic Depression, is a mood disorder. Individuals experience abnormal, exaggerated mood swings. The severe “highs” are called mania. Symptoms often include: Extreme Euphoria, racing thoughts, rapid flow of ideas, poor judgement, grandiosity, irritability, a decreased need for sleep and an increased libido/ sexual drive.
Hypomania is the moderate form of high episodes with elevated moods. It is easy for these symptoms to rapidly change in severity, going from hypomania into a manic episode.
Depression/ Depressive Episodes is the term used to describe severe episodes of low moods. People often describe it as overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness that are paralyzing. Depressive episodes can range from mild to severe, impairing people’s ability to eat, sleep and function.
Severe periods of depression may provoke anxiety, a decreased interest in sex, poor concentration, suicidal ideation, urges to self-harm, and feelings of worthlessness.
What if I experience both depressive and manic symptoms?
A Mixed Episode is characterized by rapidly alternating moods every day for a long period of time. People experience severe lows and extreme highs. This may result in hallucinations, delusions, insomnia, poor personal hygiene, suicidal thoughts/ acts, agitation and irritability, euphoria and sadness.
What is the difference between Bipolar 1 Disorder and Bipolar 2 Disorder?
Bipolar 2 Disorder is the diagnosis given when a person experiences full-blown depressive episodes and hypomania with mild-moderate symptoms. Rarely does it manifest into full-fledged mania.
Short periods of stable moods, mild-moderate depression, hypomania and/or a mix of both, is known as Cyclothymic Disorder.
Rapid Cycling refers to frequent mood swings cycling between highs, lows, and back to normal moods. Patients who experience more than 4 episodes of depression, hypomania, and mania, separated by normal, stable moods are said to be Rapid Cycling. Patients with Bipolar 1 and 2 Disorder often experience rapid cycling.
Is there any help for my symptoms?
Yes! Professional and medical care is available. It is important to be correctly diagnosed so you can begin exploring the various treatment options that are available to you. Only a psychiatrist, medical doctor, or a skilled Mental Health Professional should be assessing your symptoms and determining the proper diagnosis.
Medication is available to help you in reducing symptoms and enhancing mood stability. Medication Management combined with mental health therapy is recommended for effectively treating Bipolar Disorders.
Krave Lyfe! Mental Health Counseling can help you figure out the appropriate diagnosis and what course of treatment will be the most effective and beneficial for you.
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