Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Bipolar has developed and changed throughout the past 100 years, however now is becoming a disorder we are beginning to understand. Bipolar comes in many different forms, affects individuals in different ways, and also requires in depth treatment.
Types of Bipolar Bipolar I: Bipolar I is a severe form of bipolar disorder usually requiring constant care. An individual with bipolar I has been through least one manic and depressive swing once in their life. This swing would result in an elevated, god-like mood which then shifts to abnormal and disruptive behaviors, usually lasting about one week long. Behaviors during the manic stage consist of rapid speech, non-stop ideas, inflated self image, hypersexuality, and substance abuse. In the depressed stage, the individual is easily irritated and wants to be left alone. The person usually suffers from constant cycles between the manic-depressive states.
However, during the mania and depression, an individual can have an “In-between” stage where they can live a normal life. On rare occasions this stage can span throughout months or even years. Bipolar II: Bipolar II is another, but less severe form of bipolar disorder. “With bipolar II, the affected individual will have patterns of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes (persistent and euphoric or irritable moods) as opposed to full-blown episodes one would face with bipolar I.” (nimh.
nih.gov) BP-NOS/Cyclothymia (Bipolar Not Specified) These two forms of bipolar disorder are the most mild and least aggressive forms of the disorder. The person may have several symptoms from either bipolar I or II, however they don’t last long. The individual does not meet enough criteria to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II and their symptoms usually fade nearing two years. Even though BP-NOS is a slightly less significant form of bipolar, it still has potential to have an effect on the individuals career, relationships, or goals as a result of constant mood changes. Living with Bipolar “Living well with bipolar disorder requires certain adjustments.
Like recovering alcoholics who avoid drinking or diabetics who take insulin, if you have bipolar disorder, it’s important to make healthy choices for yourself. Making these healthy choices will help you keep your symptoms under control, minimize mood episodes, and take control of your life.” (Psychcentral) Bipolar Disorder can put a serious burden on the affected individual and his surroundings such as friends or coworkers. Many misconceptions are connected to the name bipolar, the most common being that the affected individual can’t live a normal life, although with proper treatment it is more likely possible than not. “Managing bipolar disorder starts with proper treatment, including medication and therapy.
” (Nimh.nih.gov) Every decision you make has an effect on how you feel. The decisions you make whether positive or negative decide your symptoms will be improving or decline and relapse into depression. Whether a friend, relative, or coworker is diagnosed with bipolar, it can have an effect on you as well says Brian Krans, bipolar I patient.
Worrying and trying to help the person in question can cause an extraordinary amount of stress and pressure on you. You have to learn to deal with their mood swings and the problems that come along with them. Men for example, are more prone to combine treatments for bipolar with other addictions such as alcohol or other drugs. (Nimh.nih.gov) However, setting an example to the affected is the key to making them improve.
Not only will it keep your stress levels down, but it also sets a guideline for the diagnosed individual. Those who have Bipolar Disorder, in their manic state, feel like they are almost ‘God-like’. It seems to them nothing can stop them. It’s the best moment of their lives. They feel optimistic about anything and everything and are constantly high energy. “You could crash a car through my house and I’d reply, “What a great time to build something new!” (Healthline.com) I’m my most creative during this process, so I’m doing as much as possible to capitalize on it. Artistic or constructive, I’m up for anything.” However in their depressed state, all they want to do is be alone. They don’t want to be near anyone, see anyone, but actually want everyone to disappear. No matter what they do they feel as if they are doing something wrong. Every small details annoy them meaning they can never enjoy anything they do.
In the middle of a manic and depressed stage, they can feel like everyone else. This stage doesn’t usually last long, however they can wake up and go to work without dreading their day such as anyone else would. Treatments “Bipolar disorder cannot be cured, but it can be treated effectively over the long-term.” (Nimh.nih.gov) Most of those with bipolar can sustain a proper and healthy life with proper treatment, no matter how severe the case.
Even with proper treatment there is still a slight chance that mood changes may occur, although the symptoms usually quiet down. Mood stabilizers combined with talk therapy are the most common forms of treatment. Lithium, the most popular of the stabilizers, satisfies 9/10 of users. (Nimh.Nih.
gov) Since each and every person reacts differently to each medication, a wide array of treatments should be sampled before a decision is made. Works Cited “Bipolar Disorder.” NIMH RSS. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.
“Do You Understand the Bipolar Spectrum? | World of Psychology.” Psych Central.com. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.
WebMD. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.