Mixed Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

2013 Bipolar Update

Looking At Mixed Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

One of the most severe forms of bipolar disorder is mixed bipolar disorder. In common bipolar cases, patients go through an alternating cycle of mania or depression. Patients with mixed bipolar disorders symptoms do not go through these cycles; instead, they experience both mania and depression at the same time making their symptoms that much more severe and pronounced than ordinary bipolar disorder symptoms.

The accepted term for these con-current episodes of mania and depression is mixed mania and it is characterized by two very obvious manifestations:

The manic episode in mixed mania cases is characterized by extreme overactivity combined with a general feeling of listlessness and irritability. It is also common to find patients who cannot keep themselves contained because their thoughts seem to be progressing at a fast pace. This is easily differentiated from common mania cases where irritability is a fixture but is oftentimes not accompanied by listlessness and overactivity.

· The depressive episode in mixed mania cases is more subdued and similar to common depression. Suicidal thoughts combined with a general feeling of lethargy, uselessness and apathy characterize most mixed depressive episodes.

What is extremely worrisome about mixed bipolar disorder symptoms is that the combination of mania and depression both at once makes it virtually impossible to find meaning or predict the behavior of patients. There are multiple case studies that document patients crying but saying that they are happy and others where patients are extremely happy one minute only to break down crying the next minute. These unpredictable behavior patterns combined with the pronounced extended duration of mixed bipolar disorder compared to other forms of bipolar syndrome makes it one of the most challenging conundrums in the field of mental health.

Above and beyond these mixed bipolar disorder symptoms is the possibility of patients successfully committing suicide. According to medical statistics, 10%-20% of mixed bipolar patients eventually end up dying from self-inflicted means. Recent findings have also suggested that mixed bipolar disorder patients are more likely to commit suicide than common bipolar disorder cases. Indeed, these facts raise the urgency of finding a cure and mitigation therapy methods for mixed bipolar disorder symptoms.

To deal with the greater severity of mixed mania, doctors typically prescribe a higher dose of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Antipsychotics are used to control hallucinations from mania bouts. Mood stabilizers, on the other hand, are used as mood uplifters in depression bouts. In some cases, anti-seizure medication is also included into the regimen to control convulsions and stabilize mood. Typically examples include Depakote, lithium, and Zyprexa. Always consult with the attending physician for proper doses and approved prescriptions. Never attempt to medicate mixed bipolar disorder symptoms without the assistance of a doctor.

The challenges presented by mixed bipolar disorder symptoms have to be taken more seriously than normal bipolar cases. The risks and potential complications create serious avenues by which patients can harm themselves beyond treatment. Immediately report suspected cases to a doctor and support a loved one through the ups and downs of mixed bipolar disorder so they can find meaning during their struggle to deal with this frustrating mental condition.

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