Bipolar disorder information is an area where there is a great deal of confusion. People will often say that someone is “bipolar” when they mean that they have various changes of moods. It is a phrase that is over abused and often not used properly. People may have major depression or a different diagnosis. Sometimes there are specific family dynamics which causes extreme emotional reactions which is a different situation than a diagnosis of manic-depressive disorder.
It is also known as manic-depressive illness. This disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, activity levels, energy, and a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Sometimes symptoms are severe. Changes in mood and energy are not the normal ups and downs that everyone experiences at some point in life. This illness can cause damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and hospitalizations. Many people diagnosed with manic-depressive illness who have sought treatment can have productive lives.
Can you recognize the symptoms? Armed with some background and correct bipolar disorder information, yes you can. Individuals affected by the illness experience unusually intense emotional states. These states occur in marked periods that are called “mood episodes.” A manic episode occurs when the person is in an overly joyful or excited state. A depressive episode occurs when an individual is extremely sad or feels relentless hopelessness. In some cases, a mood episode includes both depression and mania symptoms. This is referred to as a “mixed state.” Some individuals may have a dominance of the sense of hopelessness or sense of being excited. People affected by bipolar disorder can be irritable or explosive during a mood episode and may seem irrational.
Along with specific mood changes, those suffering with this illness experience extreme changes in sleep, energy, activity, and behavior. In some cases, instead of mood episodes, they will experience a long-lasting period of unstable moods. Symptoms can surface for most of the day, almost each day, or for a week or two before a break period occurs. There are instances where symptoms are so severe that the affected person is unable to function normally at home, work, or school. This can lead to hospitalizations.
Proper treatment through medication and counseling helps most individuals gain various degrees of control over symptoms. Insight is also gained so that one can understand when the episodes are beginning to help manage the inner states and prevent episodes.