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Bipolar Disorder

We all experience mood swings. One day we feel happy, the other we might feel irritable and frustrated. However, people with bipolar disorder experience severe mood swings that impair their daily life and negatively affect their relationships.

Individuals with bipolar disorder also referred to as manic-depression, suffer from mood swings. Depressive periods are experienced as, depression, whereas when their mood swings, the individual feels euphoric and on top of the world. These periods are marked by excessive spending, excessive activity level, and often distorted thoughts. It can be treated successfully with both medications and therapy.

Facts about Bipolar Disorder

  • Approximately 2.6 percent of American adults have bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression and manic-depressive disorder)
  • It used to be known as manic-depressive illness.
  • It is an episodic illness. In between episodes of bipolar mania and/or depression, there will usually be periods of stable or “normal” moods and wellness.
  • The usual age of onset is late teens to early twenties.
  • It must be controlled by mood stabilizing medication. This is one of the most unpalatable but important bipolar disorder facts.
  • Despite being a life-long illness, it is very manageable.
Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as depression in women or schizophrenia in men.

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Possible Causes of Bipolar Disorder

According to Psych Central:

There is no single cause; it is a complex condition with multiple contributing factors, including:

  • Genetic
  • Biological
  • Environmental

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

From WebMD.com:

  • Depressed mood and low self-esteem
  • Excessive crying spells
  • Low energy levels and an apathetic view of life
  • Sadness, loneliness, helplessness, feelings of guilt
  • Slow speech, fatigue, and poor coordination and concentration
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Thoughts of suicide or dying
  • Changes in appetite (overeating/not eating)
  • Unexplainable body aches and pains
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in usual activities
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