We are back for another blog post and today’s entails mental health. Today will be about being bipolar, what it means to be diagnosed with bipolar, the types of treatment they recommend, and some other odds and ends. If you know someone who is bipolar, or if you, yourself has been diagnosed with being bipolar, do not be ashamed of it, and do not feel as though every case is the same. I realize this information will be vague, so please fill us in with more information, experiences, stories, etc in the comment section and share this post with others so I can help bring awareness.
What does being bipolar mean?
Good question! The bipolar disorder is having mood swings that range from depressive lows to maniac highs. In other words, going from a very low state to a very high state in your moods. Each individual has some differences.
There are different forms of bipolar: bipolar 1 disorder, bipolar 2 disorder, cyclothymic disorder. Now this is 2017 and things might have changed, but from my knowledge these are the main groups but this doesn’t mean there are not others written somewhere.
Maniac episodes that last atleast seven days and/or manic episodes that are severe enough to have a person end up in the hospital. Some people will experience depressive episodes as well that can last up to two weeks.
A pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes but NOT full blown maniac episodes.
Numerous periods of hypomanic episodes and depressive symptoms that are known to last two years (and 1 year for children and adolescents).
- Manic episode (signs/symptoms)
- Feeling very “high” or elated
- Usually has a lot of energy
- Increased activity levels
- “jumpy” or “wired”
- sometimes have issues with sleeping
- Talk really fast
- could be agitated, irritable or touchy
- feel as though their thoughts are going really fast
- Usually believe they can manage a lot of things at once
- Do risky things that aren’t always wise decisions
2. Depressive episode (signs/symptoms)
- Feeling of sadness, empty or loneliness
- very little energy
- decreased activity levels
- may sleep too much or too little
- don’t feel as though they can enjoy anything
- feeling much worry
- tend to forget things a lot
- Eating too much or too little
- feeling tired
- sometimes thinks of death or suicide
It possible for some to have symptoms of both, called “mixed features” (they may feel very sad and hopeless but at the same time have tons of energy).
Many people with bipolar disorder may even have mood swings that are less extreme and can still manage to function, feel good, highly productive (the person may not feel as if anything is wrong) but normally family and friends can see the difference in their moods and actions. If these people don’t seek help they could end up with severe mania or depression.
Some have bipolar along with other mental health conditions and some have symptoms of other illnesses, so it makes it difficult for one to diagnose someone with this disorder. People with bipolar disorder are said to be at higher risk of thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
There are cases where someone with bipolar may have psychotic symptoms as well (hallucinations, and/or delusions).
Anxiety is usually also diagnosed with those with bipolar disorder.
A higher chance of possible substance abuse, perform poorly at work/school, relationship problems.
- Family history
- brain structure and functioning
- Electroconvulsive therapy
Keep in mind that bipolar disorder is a life long illness. Also remember to speak with a specialist and/or doctor who can be of more assistance to yourself and others. Thank you for reading!