Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, affects about 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6 percent of the population age 18 and older. It is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function.

Bipolar disorder is a serious disease that affects the brain of a person. The effect of having this disorder is having extreme moods which can be very disturbing at times to other people. Suffering from this kind of disorder means that the way you feel, act and think will be affected.

The three kinds of bipolar disorder is bipolar I bipolar II and cyclothymia. In the last kind of bipolar type, both earlier types are present with rapid cycling of swinging of moods in between the two earlier types. The bipolar disorder usually develops during late adolescence. This is around the age of eighteen, more or less a few years. Some older adults and young children can exhibit signs of the disorder but these are rare cases.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The high and low shifts of moods of a person affected by this disorder are called mania and depression. Mania symptoms are quite varied and may be readily recognizable due to the state of almost manic energy or excitement. Some of bipolar disorder's manic symptoms are an increase in the individual's energy, his activity and he may also be restless.

More manic symptoms are a euphoric or very high mood, irrational extreme irritability, a rapid succession of ideas and thoughts which disable the individual from communicating well due to excitable explanation of the ideas. Other bipolar symptoms of the manic mood are the person needs little sleep, he gets easily distracted from this train of thought, he believes he can do many things which are unrealistic, the individual may exhibit poor judgment, may also have an elevated sexual drive, may behave provocatively or aggressively and will deny that anything is wrong with him.

The depressive episode of an individual suffering from bipolar disorder may have the following symptoms; a very lengthy sad or empty mood, a pessimistic view of things, a constant feeling of hopelessness, loss of interest in things he previously enjoyed, feeling slow or fatigued most of the time, restless or irritable, may have ideas of suicide or may even try it, may gain or lose weight and may have difficulty thinking or concentrating on things.

A person suffering from bipolar disorder will need to be diagnosed properly by certified professionals before any medication or treatment will commence. Sometimes, symptoms may be overlooked because bipolar disorder usually develops during late adolescence or early adulthood. During these times, teen-agers are usually angry, full of angst or depressed. Parents need to be concerned when the feeling of their children does not go away soon or if they exhibit any of the symptoms of a bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some people have their first symptoms during childhood, and some develop them late in life. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout one's life.

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