What is bipolar disorder? Types of bipolar disorder -Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by periods of depression and periods of elevated mood.
Bipolar disorder can be of many types such as:
Bipolar I disorder
Bipolar I disorder is characterized by one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes (symptoms of both a mania and a depression occurring nearly every day for at least one week) and one or more major depressive episodes. Bipolar I disorder is the most severe form of the illness marked by extreme manic episodes.
Bipolar II disorder
While bipolar I disorder is characterized by one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes and one or more major depressive episodes; bipolar II disorder is diagnosed after one or more major depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania, with possible periods of level mood between episodes. The highs in bipolar II, called hypomanias, are not as high as those in bipolar I (manias). Bipolar II disorder is sometimes misdiagnosed as major depression if hypomanic episodes go unrecognized or unreported.
Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)
Bipolar disorder that does not follow a particular pattern (for example, re-occuring hypomanic episodes without depressive symptoms, or very rapid swings between some symptoms of mania and some symptoms of depression) is called bipolar disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS).
Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder characterized by several hypomanic episodes and less severe episodes of depression that alternate for at least two years. The severity of this illness may change over time.
Substance or medicine induced bipolar disorder
When the mood features are bought on by medication or substance abuse, the type of bipolar disorder is Substance or medicine induced bipolar disorder.
Rapid cycling (a feature)
Bipolar disorder with rapid cycling is diagnosed when a person experiences four or more manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes in any 12-month period. Rapid cycling can occur with any type of bipolar disorder, and may be a temporary condition for some people.
Early signs of Bipolar disorderThe risk of suicide among those with bipolar disorder is high at greater than 6% over 20 years, while self-harm occurs in 30-40%. This is how severe bipolar disorder can get. If not diagnosed and treated in the early stages, bipolar disorder can lead to clinical illness and alcoholism. Psychologists and psychiatrists have claimed that approaching early signs of depression and mixed emotions can help prevent worse conditions. If a person shows the following signs, and it is not a part of their usual personality, then it is a warning sign. The most obvious sign is mood changes.
Some of the warning signs include:
For Mania: A long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood
- Extreme irritability
- Behavioural changes
- Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
- Being easily distracted
- Increasing activities, such as taking on new projects
- Being overly restless
- Sleeping little or not being tired
- Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
- Behaving impulsively and engaging in pleasurable, high-risk behaviour
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex
- Behavioural changes
- Feeling tired or "slowed down"
- Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Being restless or irritable
- Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits
- Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide
What causes bipolar disorder and who gets it? How does it affect daily life?Research suggests that there is a huge genetic component and there are some differences in the brain and its functionality, of those who have bipolar disorder. It also suggests that factors besides genes are also at work. It is likely that many different genes and environmental factors are involved. However, scientists do not yet fully understand how these factors interact to cause bipolar disorder.
This brain disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and may cause inability to carry out day-to-day tasks