Anxiety Disorders Fall Into a Seperate Set of Diagnoses
Bipolar Disorder, also known by its older name "Manic Depression," is a mental disorder that is characterized by constantly changing moods. A person with Bipolar Disorder experiences alternating "highs" (what clinicians call a "manic espisode") and "lows" (also known as a "major depressive episode"). Both the manic and depressive periods can be brief, from just a few hours to a few days, or longer, lasting up to several weeks or even months. The periods of mania and depression range from person to person — many people may only experience very brief periods of these intense moods, and may not even be aware that they have Bipolar Disorder.
A manic episode is characterized by extreme happiness, hyperactivity, little need for sleep and racing thoughts, which may lead to rapid speech. A depressive episode is characterized by extreme sadness, a lack of energy or interest in things, an inability to enjoy normally pleasurable activities and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. On average, someone with Bipolar Disorder may have up to three years of normal mood between episodes of mania or depression.
BIPOLAR DISORDER – WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
Bipolar disorder is recurrent, meaning that more than 90% of the individuals who have a single manic episode will go on to experience future episodes. Roughly 70% of manic episodes in Bipolar Disorder occur immediately before or after a depressive episode. Treatment seeks to reduce the feelings of mania and depression associated with the disorder, and restore balance to the person’s mood.
Living with Bipolar Disorder can be challenging in maintaining a regular lifestyle. Manic episodes can lead to family conflict or financial problems, especially when the person with Bipolar Disorder appears to behave erratically and irresponsibly without reason. During the manic phase, people often become impulsive and act aggressively. This can result in high-risk behavior, such as repeated intoxication, extravagant spending and risky sexual behavior.
The above has been taken from the article "An Introduction to Bipolar Disorder" By Steve Bressert, Ph.D., February 23, 2007. (www.PsychCentral.com)
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March 23, 2013
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