Understanding Bipolar

2013 Bipolar Update

Understanding bipolar individuals is not an easy thing to do at times. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder or you feel you could possible have one, this article will give you some of the basics about the condition.

The main characteristic of a bipolar disorder are the mood swings which the bipolar individual experiences. These mood swings are totally opposite and include periods of mania and exaggerated euphoria as well as periods of exaggerated depression.

Understanding bipolar disorder is one of the things a doctor will tell their patients they need to do to help keep the condition in check. If a patient understands the symptoms of an oncoming episode they are better equipped take action to prevent it. Also, a bipolar individual needs to understand they have a lifelong illness and they must learn to deal with it and stay on their prescribed medication. A bipolar individual usually has no problem living a normal and productive life if they will stay on their medication.

Bipolar disorders are put into three basic categories. The category a patient belongs in will be selected according to the severity of the symptoms they show. Below is a short explanation of each.

Bipolar I – Bipolar I is the more serious of the three categories having the longest and most severe symptoms. These symptoms can include hallucinations and delusional thoughts which distinguishes it from the other two forms of bipolar disorder. Also, when having an episode the symptoms last for a longer period of time and are more exaggerated.

Bipolar II – A bipolar II individual has basically the same symptoms of a bipolar I except they do not have the hallucinations and delusional thoughts of grandiose. In most cases the symptoms are also for a shorter period of time and they are not as extreme and are easier to deal with.

Cyclothymic disorder – This disorder presents the least problems for those involved. The symptoms usually last for a very short period and are not even as extreme as the bipolar II.

At this point it must be said that even thought bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder are not as serious in the beginning as the bipolar I disorder, it is imperative that these disorders are treated. Furthermore in almost all instances it will be a lifelong illness that must be watched. The main reason bipolar I and cyclothymic disorder must be medically treated is that without treatment, either one of them could in time develop into a more serious disorder.

Here are some of the symptoms that may aid you in understanding bipolar disorder.

Manic Stage

Easily distracted and unable to concentrate
Exaggerated thoughts about physical and mental abilities
Very poor sense of judgment. Many will participate in drugs, alcohol, gambling and unsafe sexual indiscretions with no regard for future consequences.
Excessive aggression and easily angered
Doesn't require much sleep.
Verbalizes very rapidly and changes the conversation topic many times for no reason.
*You can also add hallucinations and delusional behavior to the above symptoms when dealing with a bipolar I.

Depressive Stage

Poor memory and concentration
Very little energy and may sleep much more than usual
Deep sadness and perhaps thoughts of death and suicide.
Takes no pleasure in activities that usually give pleasure
Low self esteem and feeling of no self worth

Understanding bipolar is something anyone with the condition or who has family or friends with the condition should try and do to help keep the disorder in check.

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