2013 Bipolar Update
Bipolar disorder, more commonly known as manic depression and also known as bipolar affective disorder, is a mental illness characterized by cycling of manic and depressive moods. There are several bipolar stages which affect individuals differently. Not all individuals will experience all the stages as the stages depend on the specific type of bipolar disorder a person suffers from.
There are 4 types of bipolar disorders which are categorized according to the symptoms experienced, the bipolar stages and the length of the episodes of mania and depression. The symptoms of each type of bipolar disorder are listed in the APAs (American Psychiatric Association) DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The types of bipolar disorder are bipolar disorder I, bipolar disorder II, Cyclothymia and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS).
The most severe type of bipolar disorder is bipolar disorder I which has severe manic and depressive episodes that are a major deviation from the sufferer’s normal behavior, while the mildest form is cyclothymia which is characterized by hypomania and mild depression.
The bipolar stages are:
Hypomania – This is a mild form of mania and is quite often confused with excess happiness. In this stage, a person with bipolar will exhibit high energy levels, will be very creative, optimistic and productive. However, they also can be irritable and aggressive as well as be less inhibited and reckless. Hypomania may last a few days or years before they experience another one of the bipolar stages.
Mania – The symptoms in this bipolar stage are the same as the symptoms in hypomania but are experienced at a grander scale. Symptoms will include euphoria, heightened sex drive, volatility, irritability, aggression and psychosis. A manic episode is different for a hypomanic episode as there are more unpleasant symptoms.
Depression – Depressive episodes quite often come after a manic or hypomanic episode. Such bipolar stages are characterized by feelings of sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness. Other symptoms include lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed such as sex, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, changes in appetite either a loss of interest in food or excessive eating which lead to weight changes and lack of motivation.
Sometimes in this particular stage, a person may entertain thoughts of suicide and should therefore be watched closely.
A period of bipolar depression may last a few days or several weeks. Depression is one of the bipolar stages that happens more often than the other stages. This means that bipolar disorder sufferers are depressed more often than they are manic.
It is important to know and understand the different bipolar stages. It is easier to treat bipolar in the earlier stages as there is better response to treatment as well as better prognosis for the disorder.
Many individuals want to have knowledge concerning bipolar disorder signs and what action to take if they are suspected. Actually bipolar warning signs are closely related to bipolar stages as extreme bipolar stages are in fact are looked at as bipolar disorder signs.