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Bipolar Disorder

Formerly called Manic Depressive Disorder, symptoms of bipolar disorder relate to mood instability. There are more than one disorders of mood stability.

What are the symptoms?

Disruptive mood changes leading to mania/hypomania “highs” or depression “lows”, described below.

Symptoms of manic or hypomanic phase - the "highs" of bipolar disorder:

  • Increased physical and mental activity and energy
  • Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence
  • Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
  • Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
  • Grandiose delusions, inflated sense of self-importance
  • Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
  • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, distractibility
  • Reckless behavior
  • In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations

Symptoms of depression - the "lows" of bipolar disorder:

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Do you think you might have Bipolar Disorder?

Take a free and anonymous screening here to find out more information for yourself.

It is critical to seek help for Bipolar Disorder as it is a lifelong disorder and is likely to worsen without treatment. Without treatment, manic and depressive episodes tend to occur more frequently ("rapid-cycling") and are more severe. Fortunately, effective treatment can greatly assist the individual with Bipolar Disorder to lead a healthy, productive life.

Treatment options for bipolar disorder

A combined treatment of medication and psychotherapy. Often, thinking of optimum performance can be helpful.

It is important that a psychiatrist, who is an expert in psychiatric medication, be prescribing and closely monitoring medication for management/prevention of side effects or any kind of mood disorder as anti-depressant medications may trigger a manic or hypomanic episode in an individual with a genetic predisposition to Bipolar Disorder.

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