Bipolar Disorder

Affecting more than 3 million people in the United States, Bipolar Disorder is a very serious mental health issue.

Bipolar Disorder is a psychological disorder that causes significant and unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and general ability to function. People with Bipolar Disorder usually develop the symptoms for the first time in late adolescence or early adulthood.

Bipolar Disorder is significant for the high (manic) and low (depressive) mood swings with intermittent ‘normal’ periods. Often times these mood swings are dramatic in that the patient experiences a complete turn around in his/her feelings, outlook and disposition. These high and low periods are abnormally intense and can last for days, weeks, or even moths at a time. It is important to know that not all Bipolar patients experience manic episodes, but most experience depressive episodes.

One factor of the Bipolar patient is impulsivity which can be experienced in both the manic and depressive episodes. This impulsivity can include but is not limited to:

Let's think on a scale of 1-10. If we say that 1 is a depressive episode, than 10 would be a manic episode and 5 would be “normal”. On this scale, the Bipolar patient often goes from the extremes of 1 to 10 and without experiencing the middle range of “normalcy” very often.

Sometimes, there are variations of Bipolar Disorder. For example, a Bipolar patient may experience what is known as hypomania, which is a mild to moderate mania episode as opposed to a full-blown manic episode. Also, some patients may experience both mania and depression feelings at the same time, known as a Mixed Bipolar state.

Like other psychological disorders, Bipolar Disorder can be crippling. However, with ongoing psychotherapy and medication treatment it can be successfully managed.

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