Bipolar disorder, also known in the past as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and periods of elevated mood. The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania (manic episode). During mania, an individual feels abnormally energetic and happy/excited, though it is often very common that the mania shows as irritability or hostility. Most manic episodes occur for a period of at least one week.
Depression, or depressive episodes are the other phase of bipolar disorder. This phase can include bouts of sadness, irritability, hopelessness, and other depressive symptoms. Depressive episodes generally persists for at least two weeks, with the depressive phase of bipolar disorder having a dramatically higher suicide rate (and attempt rate) than Major Depressive disorder.
Bipolar disorder is often seen to have differential diagnosis when compared to personality disorders, mostly commonly Borderline Personality Disorder. These two diagnosis can appear very similar and it requires an experienced and trained clinician to determine the difference between the two. In addition to psychotherapy, medication such as lithium has produced good documented results in stabilizing people who suffer from bipolar disorder.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
1. Mood Swings
3. Rapid Speech
4. Racing Thoughts
6. Increased Physical Activity
7. Careless use of drugs and alcohol
8. Decreased need for sleep
9. Missed Work
11. Chronic Pain with no known cause
12. Sadness or hopelessness
13. Suicidal Thoughts