Bipolar Disorder

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Definition:

A brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and ability to carry out day-to-day tasks

Symptoms:

Mood Episodes- includes mania and depression
Extreme changes in activity, energy, sleep, and behavior; these go along with the mood changes
Long period of feeling high or in an overly happy or outgoing state
Extremely irritable mood, agitation, feeling jumpy or wired
Behavior includes: Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts, and being easily distracted

Causes:

It is both genetic and environmental
Children with a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder are 4 to 6 times more likely to develop the illness
Some traits and patterns run in families such as:
  • Age of first manic episode
  • Number and frequencies of manic episodes
1/3 of adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder reported abusive/traumatic experiences in their childhood

Treatment:

Medicine:
  • Mood Stabilizers: They keep your moods balanced and make sure lows and highs are not so extreme
  • Antidepressants: They increase the amount of dopamine in your brain making you feel content
  • Anti psychotics: For those who have lost touch with reality they stop racing thoughts, rapid speech, and over activity associated with mania

Anecdote:

"To me, bipolar is a constant struggle with moods, keeping things straight, being in crowds, and having too many tasks to do at once."
"To me, bipolar is relying on meds in an attempt to keep my nasty edge under control; to help me sleep (too much); and to prevent highs as well as terrible nightmares and mild hallucinations."
"To me, having bipolar is living with suicide thoughts every day, pain in my mind, and knowing I will have this forever."

Sources:

  1. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml

  2. http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com/article/53/bipolar-disordermanic-depression\
  3. http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=pleasant_valhs&tabID=T003&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=1&contentSet=GALE|CX3406000086&&docId=GALE|CX3406000086&docType=GALE&role=
  4. http://bipolar.about.com/od/bipolaris/a/whatis_short1.htm

Recommended Best Source:

  1. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml