Bipolar Disorder

July 7th, 2008 - 1:22 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

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Bipolar disorder, at times called “manic depression”, affects around six million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Some patients do get diagnosed and spend years or decades, switching therapists before getting a right treatment.
The term bipolar means “two poles,”. People with bipolar experience periods of depression interspersed with periods of mania, when their thoughts race and they behave impulsively and often irrationally.

“Bipolar disorder gets you to commit acts of excess that nobody outside of Congress can get away with.”

Antidepressants can be ineffective or even damaging in people with bipolar disorder. In particular, antidepressants given to a person with bipolar disorder can trigger a manic episode unless the person is also taking a mood-stabilizing drug.

Symptoms

Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings, from feeling overly energetic (mania) to feeling very sad or having low energy (depression).
Mania may cause a person to:

* Feel extremely happy or very irritable.
* Have a very high opinion of himself/herself.
* Not need as much sleep as usual.
* Talk more than usual.
* Be more active than usual.
* Have difficulty concentrating because of having too many thoughts at once.
* Be easily distracted by sights and sounds.

Depression may cause a person to:

* Feel sad/anxious for a significant time.
* Feel hopeless or pessimistic.
* Have slowed thoughts and speech because of low energy.
* Have difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions.
* Have changes in eating and sleeping habits leading to too much or too little eating or sleeping.
* Have decreased interest in usual activities, including sex.
* Have suicidal thoughts.
* Not enjoy things he or she normally would.

The best therapy programs for bipolar includes:

* Providing a solid structure for each day
* Avoiding overstimulation and getting enough sleep
* Resolving any family conflicts that contribute to symptoms
* Learning to recognize the warning signs of manic and depressive episodes

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