Being diagnosed with a mental disorder can a frightening experience but it can be relieving to know what is wrong with you and that it is treatable. According to estimates, millions of Americans have bipolar disorder. These are people who have successful careers and happy families, they are respected among colleagues and have rich lives.
Bipolar disorder is a medical condition that is analyzed by scientists and doctors with the utmost interest all over the world. It is a brain disorder that can be really difficult to diagnose because it can present with a variety of symptoms based on the patient's personal medical history as well as family medical history, lifestyle, temperament and attitude. Bipolar disorder can affect anyone, male or female, rich or poor, young or old.
No one is guaranteed to be safe from developing the condition. A recent study has concluded that family mental health history and genetics has a good deal to do with increasing the chances of predisposition for the disease, but so does substance abuse. Studies have demonstrated that about half of all patients diagnosed with the condition are former drug abusers.
Bipolar disorder has significant bearing on the mood swings and attitudes of the sufferer. Episodes can range from mild to moderate to complex depression, balanced moods, hypo to hyper behaviors and mania. This spectrum gives a sliding scale of attitudes that are normally present and remain for days, weeks and even years.
Many people diagnosed with the condition lead successful, “normal” lives with episodes of depression that hit in predictable patterns, while others suffer episodes of complex depression that may arise three times in a month. Such rapid changes in attitude are known as 'rapid-cycling' and have a huge effect on the personal and professional life of the sufferer.
Bipolar disorder can be classified in two ways. Type I, or classic, finds patients suffering from repeating periods of complex depression and mania. Type II is a more controlled form of the disease. People diagnosed with Type II lead fairly normal lives and are able to work and remain constructive in society.
Many people who suffer with bipolar disorder are more productive in work compared to people without the disorder. If the person is experiencing more complex forms of bipolar disorder, meaning they have two or three episodes in a month, the productivity level is bound to drop.
While every individual experiences a wide array of mood swings on a normal basis, those suffering with bipolar disorder find themselves on a roller coaster ride they cannot get off of. If they are not treated properly, symptoms can lead to increased and more complex episodes.
The causes and cures of bipolar disorder are still unknowns, but health care providers and scientists are focusing on genetics to come up with the answers to this mental condition that has ruined the lives of many individuals. Bipolar disorder is believed to be curable but the difficulty in diagnosing patients means there is still much work to be done with researching causes and treatments. Patients can manage this illness well with the help of an appropriate treatment routine that includes medication and therapy.
There are two stages in bipolar disorder: manic and depressive. The manic phase is a period of emotional highs. In this phase, the patient shows enhanced energy, euphoric moods, extreme irritability and a minimized requirement for sleep. The depressive phase shows symptoms such feelings of depression, loss of interest in normal activities, tremendous weight loss or gain, , changes in sleep patterns and suicidal thoughts.