What is Bipolar disorder? This question has been asked and answered by millions of people. The Bipolar definition is that it is an illness that is treatable but can’t be cured It will affect a person’s ability to have normal moods. Instead they will have extreme mood changes. Thought, energy and behavior will also be affected. This illness is not a character flaw or a personal weakness like so many people think it is.
There are more than two million adult Americans that are affected by Bipolar disorder. This illness will usually start in late adolescence. For a lot teen’s is can appear like they are depressed. However, Bipolar disorder in children is a concern for parents to because if there is a family history of Bipolar disorder then there is a very real possibility that their child could have this disease. It can also show up when you get older.
Men and women alike are prone to this illness. Men are known to start with a manic episode. Women will tend to get the depressive episode. This disease is found among people of all ages, races, ethnic groups and social classes. It is known to run in families and may have a genetic link. One problem that people who live with this illness deal with is the negative affect it can have on spouses or partners, family members, friends and coworkers.
There are three types of Bipolar disorder that you need to be aware of. The patterns and severity of the symptoms or episodes, highs and lows will determine which Bipolar type you have.
Bipolar i disorder is characterized by you having one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes, which are when there are symptoms of mania and depression that will last for a week or more and will happen every single day, and one or more of depressive episodes that are extreme. Bipolar 1 disorder is known as being the most severe form of this disease that comes with extreme manic episodes.
Bipolar ii disorder is when you have one or more episodes of depression that comes with at least one hypomanic episode. The Hypomanic episode symptoms are similar to the manic episodes but are more mild. For some people the hypomanic episodes are not extreme enough to disrupt their lives but for others it can be very difficult to have a normal life.
Cyclothymic disorder is when there is chronic mood fluctuating that will involve periods of time where there will be hypomania and depression. The times of these two symptoms will be short, less severe and they don’t happen at regular intervals like you would experience with Bipolar i and Bipolar 2.
Bipolar disorder was known as manic depression in the past and it still is by some people. Manic depression is similar to Bipolar disorder because a person’s mood can swing between mania and depression. The mood swings can last for hours, days, weeks or months. When you experience any symptoms that last for a week it will be known as an episode. When you experience four or more episodes of mania and/or depression in a year it is known as rapid cycling Bipolar disorder.
If you are having any symptoms of Bipolar disorder than you need to do some research about it and learn all you can. You can also find a Bipolar test/Bipolar quiz that you can take. This will give you more of an idea of whether you have this disease or not. The best thing you can do is to go to your doctor and have them test you to see if you have this illness.