Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes emotional ups and downs. Sometimes bipolar disorder can be symptoms of other mental illnesses, and sometimes it is just genetically transferred form parents to child. It is a crippling disease and if left untreated can cause suicidal thoughts and actions, dangerous behavior, and damaged relationships at work and with family. There are three known types of bipolar disorder. Type 1, cyclothymia, and type 2. Each has crippling symptoms and effects but a better understanding of the types of bipolar disorder can help you understand yourself or someone you know who is bipolar.
What are the Three Types of Bipolar Disorder?
The three known types of bipolar disorder are type 1, type 2, and cyclothymia. Each type has special characteristics that make it stand out from the other types. There is also a part of the population that has NOS or not otherwise specified bipolar disorder. More than 2 ½ percent of the population has NOS. There is also research being done on a bipolar type 3. They believe this happens when someone is taking an anti-depressant and it leads them to switch into mania or hypermania.
What is Bipolar Type 1?
Bipolar type 1 is often present in those who have major manic episodes. Those that experienced deep depression can also have bipolar type 1. This type oftentimes involves bipolar psychosis. Oftentimes to be diagnosed with bipolar type 1 the person must be off any medications. Medications can cause episodes that look like they are caused by bipolar disorder but are actually caused by an allergic reaction or mental reaction to medications or toxins. Bipolar type 1 is also the most common bipolar type that children are born with because it is easily given to children during pregnancy, if a mother is bipolar and has type 1.
What is Bipolar Psychosis?
People who have bipolar psychosis cannot tell the difference between the real-world and the world of their imagination. Oftentimes those with bipolar psychosis hear voices, think that actors from TV shows and movies are the characters they play and believe that everything that happens in books also happen in real life. In some ways, these people see reality like a five-year old would. They take everything at face value and believe everything they are told. This isn’t their fault but their bipolar disorder has messed with the chemicals in the brain which gives them a distorted view of reality. However, there doesn’t seem to be a link between bipolar psychosis and bipolar suicides. Although a small percentage of bipolar patients who have attempted suicide talk about hearing voices that are telling them to kill themselves.
What is a Manic Episode?
When someone is bipolar type 1 they will often have sudden and possibly frequent manic episodes. During these episodes people are characterized as overly joyful, air-headed, talkative, energetic, forgetful and restless. They often experience loss of sleep, unable to find things to use up their energy, anxious and unproductive. Children and teenagers will often be distracted by sounds or things in the corner of the eye. They can also become distracted by the sound of a word. They may go on and on about ice cream cones and microphones because they sound similar. Girls have been known to wear bright colors and boys have been known to become very feminine with their clothing choices (oftentimes children and teens are bullied during manic episodes due to the way they act and the clothing they wear). A manic episode can be followed by anxiety and depression. However, the person may also wake up one day and the episode is over.
Medications for Bipolar Type 1
There are currently many medications in the market that can help in the treatment of bipolar type 1 symptoms. However, the best one for relieving all of the symptoms is Lamictal. It was originally used as a medication for those with epilepsy. However, it is proven to be the perfect mood stabilizer for those with bipolar type 1. The most common side-effects of lamictal are dizziness, double vision, headaches, upper repository infection, vomiting, nausea, and tiredness. Sometimes a serious rash can occur. This rash can be fatal and needs to be treated right away. If you find any rash after taking lamictal stop taking it and call a doctor. Lamictal also has warnings for birth defects on babies. Those who take the medication have a higher risk of having a child born with a cleft lip or cleft palette. However, the baby is at low risk after having developed for five months. If you can afford to go off the medication for that long period, it is recommended for those planning on getting pregnant.
In the end there is no sure-fire cure for bipolar disorder type 1. However, like any illness your bipolar disorder may go into remission. Unless that happens it is important for you to understand everything about those who have bipolar disorder type 1. This will help you either understand yourself or others wit this type of bipolar disorder.