Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar – /bai·po·lr/ – a condition where common emotions become intense and unpredictable. Individuals with bipolar disorder can move from extremes of happiness and energy to sadness and fatigue. Bipolar disorder is accompanied with manic episodes — abnormally elevated or irritable moods that last for significant periods of time.

Bipolar and related disorders may cause dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. People with bipolar experience high and low moods—known as mania and depression—which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience. Treatment can help control and manage the symptoms of many bipolar disorders.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms and their severity can vary. A person with bipolar disorder may have distinct manic or depressed states but may also have extended periods—sometimes years—without symptoms. A person can also experience both extremes simultaneously or in rapid sequence.

Severe bipolar episodes of mania or depression may include psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. Usually, these psychotic symptoms mirror a person’s extreme mood. People with bipolar disorder who have psychotic symptoms can be wrongly diagnosed as having schizophrenia.

The depressive symptoms that obstruct a person’s ability to function must be present nearly every day for a period of at least two weeks for a diagnosis.

Treatments

With early identification of symptoms and a thoughtful treatment plan, many people live well with this condition.

Treatments may include:

Psychotherapy

Medications

Adopting a healthy lifestyle and a regular schedule

You are not alone. We can help you or someone you love overcome bipolar disorder.

Information provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness

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