Bipolar disorder is a condition in which people go back and forth between periods of a very good or irritable mood and depression. The “mood swings” between mania and depression can be very quick.
Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It usually starts between ages 15 – 25. The exact cause is unknown, but it occurs more often in relatives of people with bipolar disorder. Chances of offspring developing bipolar are around 5 – 14 percent and can go up to 30 percent if both parents are bipolar
Types of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar disorder type I : have had at least one manic episode and periods of major depression. In the past, bipolar disorder type I was called manic depression.
Bipolar disorder type II : have never had full mania. Instead they experience periods of high energy levels and impulsiveness that are not as extreme as mania (called hypomania). These periods alternate with episodes of depression.
Cyclothymia involves less severe mood swings. People with this form alternate between hypomania and mild depression. People with bipolar disorder type II or cyclothymia may be wrongly diagnosed as having depression.
In most people with bipolar disorder, there is no clear cause for the manic or depressive episodes. The following may trigger a manic episode in people with bipolar disorder: Life changes such as childbirth, Medications such as antidepressants or steroids, periods of sleeplessness, or recreational drug use.
Mania may last from days to months. Symptoms of mania: easily distracted, little need for sleep, poor judgment ,reckless behavior and lack of self control, binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use, poor judgment , sex with many partners (promiscuity), spending sprees, very elevated mood, excess activity (hyperactivity), increased energy, racing thoughts, talking a lot, very high self-esteem (false beliefs about self or abilities),very involved in activities, very upset (agitated or irritated)
The depressed phase of both types of bipolar disorder includes the following symptoms: Daily low mood or sadness, difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, eating problems, loss of appetite and weight loss overeating and weight gain,fatigue or lack of energy, feeling worthless, hopeless, or guilty,loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed, loss of self-esteem, thoughts of death and suicide, trouble getting to sleep or sleeping too much, pulling away from friends or activities that were once enjoyed.
There is a high risk of suicide with bipolar disorder. Patients may abuse alcohol or other substances, which can make the symptoms and suicide risk worse.
Diagnosing bipolar disorder: Obtaining family history, asking about recent mood swings, lab tests to rule out other medical possibilities such as thyroid problems, or drug use
Treatment: Many people with bipolar disease live “normal” productive lives. Most important is that they recognize their symptoms and continue to take medication even when feeling well. Eating well and getting enough sleep.
People with Bipolar:
The following people are thought to have suffered from bipolar disorder:
Abraham Lincoln (leader) Adam Ant (musician) Agatha Christie (writer) Axl Rose (musician) Buzz Aldrin (other) Drew Carey (actor) Carrie Fisher (actor) Edgar Poe (writer) Gordon Sumner (Sting) (musician) Hans Christian Andersen (writer) Heinz Prechter (entrepreneurs) Isaac Newton (other) Jane Pauley (other) Jean-Claude Van Damme (actor) Jim Carey (actor) Jimi Hendrix (musician) John Dally (sporting stars) Jonathan Hay (sporting stars) Kay Redfield Jamison (other, writer) Kurt Cobain (musician) Liz Taylor (actor) Ludwig Boltzmann (other) Ludwig Van Beethoven (musician) Marilyn Monroe (actor) Mark Twain (writer) Maurice Benard (actor) Mel Gibson (actor) Micheal Slater (sporting stars) Napoleon Bonaparte (leader) Ozzy Osbourne (musician) Patricia Cornwell (writer) Patrick Joseph Kennedy (leader) Patty Duke (actor) Plato (other) Ralph Waldo Emerson (writer) Rene Rivkin (entrepreneurs) Robert Sinead O’Connor (musician) Sophie Anderton (other) Stephen Fry (actor) Ted Turner (entrepreneurs) Tim Burton (writer, other) Vincent Van Gogh (other) Virginia Woolf (writer) Winston Chruchill (leader)Wolfgang Armadeus Mozart (musician)
And many more. With treatment, those affected by bipolar disease go to college and become Drs. And attorneys. Bipolar is not a life sentence. Like any other medical problem it can be treated and individuals can lead healthy life’s with the same expectations as others.