Bipolar Disorder Facts

2013 Bipolar Update

Bipolar Disorder Facts

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression as it was previously known as, is a disease characterized by cycling mood swings from depression to mania. At this time there is no complete cure for these types of disorders.

The cause of bipolar disorders has not been completely understood but there are treatments available. The treatments do not treat the illness but rather address the symptoms.

Lack of proper understanding of the bipolar disorders has led to the proliferation of myths about the disease. However, these bipolar disorder facts should help in dispelling the mistaken ideas and conceptions about the disease.

One of the most alarming bipolar disorder facts is with regard to the number of people affected by this illness. It is estimated that in America alone six million have been diagnosed with some type of bipolar disorder. However, even though this fact is alarming, it is at the same time comforting for individuals affected by the illness as well as their families. It helps to know that they are not alone.

Another of the bipolar disorder facts is that there are different categories of the illness. The categorization is based on the types of symptoms and their severity. There are 4 categories of this disorder and they are: bipolar disorder I which is characterized by the occurrence of one or more episodes of mania; bipolar disorder II characterized by the occurrence of one or more episodes of major depression; cyclothymia which is characterized by cycling of episodes of hypomania and depression, but the depression cannot be described as major; and finally bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (this diagnosis is given when a person’s bipolar disorder cannot be categorized as any of the other 3.

There are a number of disturbing bipolar disorder facts. One of these is that the disorder is quite commonly misdiagnosed. Sometimes, a person suffering from bipolar disorder is diagnosed to be suffering from major depression. A major reason for this misdiagnosis is the fact that many people will seek treatment when they are in a depressive episode while they will not do so during a manic episode. Bipolar disorder is also at times confused with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This is mainly because the two conditions have similar symptoms.

Another one of the disturbing bipolar disorder facts is that it can and has been diagnosed in children under the age of 4. It is even more disturbing to hear that there have been some child deaths due to drug overdose from the several medications prescribed for the disorder.

Coupled with all these hard bipolar disorder facts, it may seem very grim to anyone who has been diagnosed as bipolar. However, ending on a positive note it has been found that this disorder is among the easiest mental disorders to treat and current research is coming up with new information that should help even further.