Bipolar disorder is a crippling mental illness. It affects people in very serious ways. With bipolar disorder you can experience extreme ups and downs in your emotional health. This isn’t anyone’s fault. The brain simply is out of balance and couldn’t fix itself. You may have heard about bipolar disorder before but did you know that there are three different kinds of bipolar disorder? There is type 1, type 2, and cyclothymia. There is also a wide range of unidentified bipolar disorders known as NOS (not otherwise specified). It is important to know about the different forms that bipolar disorder can take so that you can help yourself or the people around you get better.
The Three Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are three known types of bipolar disorder. These are type 1, type 2 and cyclothymia. A small fraction of people are NOS (not otherwise specified). Type 1 is the most common bipolar disorder that is acquired genetically. Children born with type 1 often have parent or parents with bipolar type 1 as well. Type 2 is just as common in the population. However, it is not usually genetically transferred. This means a child with type 2 could have the disorder as a symptom of some other mental illness. Cyclothymia is often visible in senior citizens and people over the age of 40. This type will often be the early stages of dementia or other mental disease which attacks you brain with age. Those who are diagnosed as NOS can have a mixture of the types of bipolar disorder or an entirely new type of bipolar disorder that is still unnamed.
What is Bipolar Type 2?
Oftentimes, bipolar type 2 is wrongly diagnosed. People with type 2 often manifests depressive episodes called hypomania. Therefore, bipolar type 2 is often misdiagnosed as depression. People with this type of bipolar disorder are at a higher risk for suicide because they go through sudden and possibly frequent extreme depressive episodes.
What is a Depressive Episode?
A Depressive Episode also known as a hypomania is an episode that someone with bipolar type 2 will usually go through. It is often described as a deep depressive state where someone is deeply depressed and loses all interest in other activities. As sudden as Depressive episode can come, they leave just as quickly. These episodes can be frequent for someone who is not under any medication. People with bipolar type 2 if under no medication should live with someone to be watched closely. This is because depressive episodes can often lead to self-harm or potential suicide. It is uncommon for those with bipolar type 2 to have signs of bipolar psychosis. However, there are those with type 2 that have bipolar psychosis.
Bipolar psychosis is a serious mental disease that can be linked with certain types of bipolar disorder. It is more common for people with type 1 to have this disease. However, there is a small population of people with type 2 who have bipolar psychosis. This disease affects your brain in a way that you can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction. People with bipolar psychosis are often described as “in a dream world.” Those with this disease often believe that books are real and that characters on TV shows and movies really exist. Some people claim that they hear voices and children often describe the voices as friendly. There doesn’t seem to be a link between bipolar psychosis and suicide. Although there is a small fraction of people who attempted suicide due to the voices in their head telling them to kill themselves.
People with Bipolar Type 2
When a person with bipolar type 2 is going through a depressive episode they can often have suicidal thoughts, have risky behaviors and lose interest in things they enjoy. They also become easily annoyed and abnormally restless. They can also have insomnia and have unpleasant hallucinations. Most people can be characterized during a depressive episode as irritable, unhappy, negative, tired, claustrophobic, reckless, and deeply saddened. Teens and children will often go into a deep depression and cry hysterically over small things. They will often hear voices or hallucinate during a depressive episode. Teens and children with bipolar type 2 disorder become more at risk for suicidal thoughts or actions.
Medication for Type 2
There are many medications on the market that can help control different symptoms of bipolar type 2. Most on the market advertise these medications as anti-depressants. The most popular currently is Paxil. However, some doctors won’t prescribe it due to its tendency to give bipolar type 2 patients manic episodes from time to time. Paxil can also be paired with the drug Epivel which will keep down the manic episodes that you could experience. Doctors are often known for mixing other combinations of medications to help with bipolar symptoms. The side-effects of Paxil and Epivel include:
- Bone tenderness
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of balance
- Memory loss
- Shallow breathing
- Sped up heart rate
- Possible worsening of depression
Taking Paxil and Epivel could also mean that if you get pregnant, the baby could be born with serious birth defects such as a mental illness. Remember never to take Paxil with anything but water. This includes alcoholic beverages, juices and sodas. Never take more medication to make-up for a missed dose. This could be considered overdosing which can be fatal. A skin rash or the swelling of your tongue and throat could be a sign that you are allergic to the medication. Make sure that you talk to your doctor before taking this and any medication for that matter.
Knowing the facts about bipolar disorder type 2 is important because this will help you care for yourself or someone you know with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can ruin lives and a huge percentage of people, unfortunately, have the disorder. Remember to be kind to these people – help them and if you have bipolar disorder, seek counselling or consult with professionals for the proper treatment or medication.