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What is Bipolar Disorder?

, also referred to as manic-depressive disorder is a rather complicated condition. There are intense mood swings that go way beyond what is considered normal and alternating areas of both depression and mania. The results of the disorder can affect every area of the patients life as well as their families and they can often spiral into episodes of disorder and disarray.

The National Institute of Mental Health has indicated that around 5.7 million U.S. adults suffer from bipolar disorder. The individuals have an incredible amount of obstacles in their lives, as a bipolar patient is forty percent less likely to have a job and ten times more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs; the latter can also be a cause to trigger the disorder episodes. The worst part of this situation is that around fifteen percent of the patients succeed in their attempts at committing suicide as compared to twenty five to fifty percent who make the attempt at suicide.

The mood swings of those that suffer from bipolar disorder are a lot more intense than those of a healthy individual. The symptoms usually begin to be exhibited around the ages of 15 to 25 and can occur in both women and men. They are characterized by periods of total depression and of mania. Because of the variations, the disorder is not always diagnosed as early as it should be.

Manic episodes can include: a general good mood and feeling of a high, irritability, excessive energy, a restless feeling, unusually fast ideas or thoughts, talking faster than normal, easily distracted, risky life decisions, the requirement of very little sleep, an inflated sense of one’s importance or abilities and an increased sexual appetite. The symptoms are usually present for around a week. The depression episode symptoms include: feelings of despair, depressed or anxious moods, fatigue or sluggishness, decrease interest in activities they normally enjoy, the lack of ability to focus, restlessness, changes in sleeping patterns, indecisiveness, change in appetite or weight, mysterious or unexplained pains, suicidal thoughts.

Professionals don’t have an explanation as to the cause of bipolar disorder, although it does seem to run in families. Medication is available for treatment, but since each person reacts differently, it’s often finding the right ‘cocktail mix’ of meds that works for the individual.

Source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/mental-disorders/bipolar-disorder.htm

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.