Bipolar Pesonality Disorder

2013 Bipolar Update

About one person in 4 in the United States suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. With millions of people being diagnosed, the term "mental disorder" should prompt us to seek out a greater understanding of such disorders. One mental disorder that affects 5.7 million American adults per year is Bipolar Personality Disorder. What is a Bipolar Disorder? More importantly, are there any Bipolar Personlitky Disorder signs to indicate professional advice may be needed?

There are varing degrees of bipolar, but Bipolar I is the most serious and is often known as manic depressive disorder. It can also be referred to as bipolar affective order or manic depression. It is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes.

Since no two persons are exactly alike, symptoms will vary from person to person. However, some factors and symptoms of Bipolar I are as follows:

Manic Episode- Mania is one of the chief characteristics classifying the disorder. A manic episode may include elevated energy levels, racing thoughts, irritable mood, decrease in the need for sleep, and increased sexual drive. Behavior in this episode may include indulgent shopping sprees, grandiose feelings accompanied by delusional thoughts. Feelings of extreme rage or anxiety may also occur. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a person would have to reach a state of elevated irritability, as well as other symptoms, for one week for a mania diagnosis.

Depressive Episode— Bipolar Pesonality Disorder signs during this episode may include persistent feelings of anxiety, anger, lack of appetite, inability to enjoy common activities, disturbed sleeping patterns, substance abuse, decreased sexual activity, suicidal thoughts, and overall lack of motivation and fatigue. This episode should never be confused with occasional sadness. Severe episodes may become psychotic, known as bipolar depression with psychotic features.

Hypomanic Episode— This episode is characterized by a mild to moderate level of mania without delusions or hallucinations. Some people may have increased creativity or increased irritability. Unless this episode is accompanied by a depressive counterpart, it could appear that the person is just very happy.

Mixed Affective Episode— Both episodes of mania and clinical depression occur simultaneously.

Factors— Onset of full symptoms begins in late adolescence or young adulthood. Genetics and family history may be contributing factors.

It is important to note that the term "Bipolar" is a fairly recent term referring to the cycling between the manic episode and the depressive episodes. Both ("bi") episodes must be present in the diagnosis of a Bipolar Personality Disorder.

The above list of Bipolar Disorder signs is not comprehensive. Only a medical professional can make a correct medical diagnosis along with appropriate treatment. As such, professionals will base their diagnosis on their experience and training as related to bipolar disorders and their personal observations.

Seek medical advice from a professional if you feel you may have a Bipolar Personality Disorder. There is promising hope on the horizon for bipolar disorders. Research findings in genetics and neuroscience are providing new insights and approaches for more effectiveness in the intervention and treatment of all bipolar conditions. In today's world there is no reason an individual with a bipolar disorder can not have a happy and fullfilling life.