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Signs And Treatment of Bipolar Disorder (Page 1)

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Thought this might be helpful-

From NIMH-


"What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings—from overly “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression.
Signs and symptoms of mania (or a manic episode) include:

* Increased energy, activity, and restlessness
* Excessively “high,” overly good, euphoric mood
* Extreme irritability
* Racing thoughts and talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another
* Distractibility, can’t concentrate well
* Little sleep needed
* Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
* Poor judgment
* Spending sprees
* A lasting period of behavior that is different from usual
* Increased sexual drive
* Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications
* Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior
* Denial that anything is wrong

A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, four additional symptoms must be present.
Signs and symptoms of depression (or a depressive episode) include:

* Lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood
* Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
* Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
* Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
* Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being “slowed down”
* Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
* Restlessness or irritability
* Sleeping too much, or can’t sleep
* Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain
* Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury
* Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts "

Bipolar disorder can involve any combination of these highs and lows. There are also hypomanias, which can seem like a high-functioning, positive experience, or dysthymia, which is like hypo-depression.

Mixed states are also possible, where one feels sad, depressed, and energized at the same time.

Bipolar I is the classic type- recurrent manic and depressed episodes. Bipolar II involves episodes of depression mixed with hypomanic episodes. If 4 or more episodes occur within a year, it is considered rapid-cycling.

Medication is the most common treatment for bipolar disorder. Some therapies, such as CBT can be useful as well. In cases where neither work, ect is sometimes used. Herbal/nutritional supplements such as St. John's wort or Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to have some effect, but are not thoroughly studied. If you plan on using any supplements, make sure you discuss them with your doctor- some can have effects on medication you are taking.

It is important to keep in close contact with your psychiatrist and monitor you daily mood, sleep patterns, energy, etc. so your doctor can adjust your medication as necessary. Though there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, it can be treated.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publication s/bipolar-disorder/complete-publication.sh tml
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Users who thank Georgia59 for this post: FARAWAY 

replied January 9th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
wow the depressive side of things is me, on a daily basis......scary
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replied February 26th, 2008
BD reply
This was very helpful.
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replied February 29th, 2008
Experienced User
Welcome to my world...
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replied February 29th, 2008
Yea That depression part was all me Surprised
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replied March 2nd, 2008
I am wondering whether it is normal in Bipolar disorder to lose your sense of self and be unable to think clearly.
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replied March 5th, 2008
Never been officially diagnosed
But that's me. I tend to withdraw and be really embarrassed with myself after doing the things listed under "manic."
When in depression mode. I push people away because the one thing I want more than anything is to be left alone - but then I get lonely.
I'm afraid I will be too much of a burden on my husband. He's the only person I talk to. I have been strong for him when he was having some depressing times.
Blah.
Meh.
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replied March 6th, 2008
Experienced User
* Nods *

In terms of what you listed...

1. Apart from what you mentioned, I get "Freak out" attacks (slapping the back of my neck, and random gestures as well as random non-sensical speech in non-existing language).
2. That is sooo me...yet you somehow want "help" and "a way out of the situation"...sometimes so badly I "need" to die.
3. That's why I don't have a gf...Afraid I would be too emotionally high maintenance.

It's nice to have someone that has gone through at least the run-of the mill depression that all ppl get. It makes it easier for them to, not necissarily understand, but at least support you in your time of need. Most of my family is really bad at that...they usually end up making things worste and thinking they are "helping" me...

Sigh
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replied March 9th, 2008
yeah, my family have convinced me that any emotional problems people have are their own faults and should be cured by them.
it's so common to have this stuff be hard to tell, esp with bipolar because you change all the time--with me it's like many times a day. I've gone on antidepressants but now feel like I'm manic all the time. so I kind of like it--I'm energized and giggly but in a kind of scary way, like not being able to sit still. better than depressed though. has anyone experienced this and do you have any advice? I don't know if this is classic bipolar, or rapid cycling or something. seems like there's normally more depression than mania but now on antidepressants I'm really manic.
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replied March 10th, 2008
Experienced User
Medication's for these kind of problems, is very much a balancing act. You should tell your psychiatrist/psychologist about the switch so him/her can assess it and see if the dosage/med's needs to be adjusted.

A lot of times, we tend to not know at all what is supposed to be "normal". What you are feeling might even be how you are supposed to feel but because you never really experienced it, it feels unnatural.

To give an example...I have always stood and walked "improperly" due to having flat arches and bilatteral-patella alta. When at the Biokineticist, doing an exercise, she would tell me "Straighten your feet!" and I would go "But they are straight!"...then when I would look down, my feet would be at an angle, pointing outwards. After pointing them straight, it felt soooo unnatural...to the point where it felt like my feet was actually pointing inwards...which they werent.

But, definately go see your Psych/Shrink. If it's the meds...and it gets adjusted, you will no doubt feel way better. If this is how you are supposed to feel, you would get the reassurance to enjoy the feeling.

Hope this helps Wink
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replied April 29th, 2008
wow
this is my hubby, especially like Seraph (he says maybe he shouldn't be in this relatioship because of the emotional distress but we have 2 kids together, he is all i got....and he makes me get pretty whacked out too once he comes over and thoroughly peels me out of my super calm comfort zone (i sometimes come off unemotional).
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replied May 4th, 2008
I am BP I. I am very familiar with Manic, depressed, and mixed. I believe I am depressed-mix ATM. I have the confidence to say things but it comes out weird because I overanalyze. Sad
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replied June 18th, 2008
Wait.. Do I have ADD or Bipolar?
I can't stand mental health anymore. First I "had" anxiety disorder. Then, it was ADD, which caused my anxiety disorder. Now my Adderall is making me depressed, and what? I have the bipolar symptoms. I think I am just going to tell my doctor that I am done with all of this stuff. All of these psychologists are feeding me random issues and THEY ARE THE ONES MAKING ME CRAZY!
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replied July 15th, 2008
When I was a kid I had a bad anger issue... I would punch and kick holes in walls. When my father went to jail for three years for drug abuse/assault and battery I learned to control it. But within the past two months I've began to have anxiety attacks ( it's been about two years since I had one) and all of the symtoms listed above. Bipolar disorder runs in my dads side, my brother has it but it's the all the men on his (my fathers) side that have it. Depression runs in my moms family and I went to the doctors one of them wanted me to be put on medication and another just offered to set me up for consuling for three months, they thought this because of my unual weight loss. I can't exactly afford to have a therepist, I'm one of five kids in the house raised by a single mother. I have a job but I don't think it'll be enough. If I explain this to my mom she wouldn't understand, she thinks I overexaggerate my physical/mental pain so I've simply grown to not going into detail with her on these kind of things.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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replied July 17th, 2008
Re: Signs And Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Being diagnosed from a qualified pyschologist is a pretty good sign.The best results for treating Bipolar come from a combination of medications and therapy. It can take a long time to get a combination of medications that work, and it can also take a long time to connect with the right therapist.
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replied October 5th, 2008
idk if i am bipolar but i get like in this depressed mode where i felt unnoiticed, then when i go out in public i feel everyone is better and i start comparing then i just get plain sick of everyone and want to be alone, but then i get to lonley. For some reason i start think and get pissed at everything and how my life has turned out and then thats when the serious depression kicks in because i feel horrible because i start asking myself why god cursed me to be misrable...
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replied October 5th, 2008
idk if i am bipolar but i get like in this depressed mode where i felt unnoiticed, then when i go out in public i feel everyone is better and i start comparing then i just get plain sick of everyone and want to be alone, but then i get to lonley. For some reason i start think and get pissed at everything and how my life has turned out and then thats when the serious depression kicks in because i feel horrible because i start asking myself why god cursed me to be misrable...
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replied October 25th, 2008
Mood swings
A lot of the depression and mood swings also comes with hormones or from them. My experience is one that relates to a world and life full of abusers. Emotional and physical abuse not withstanding or limited to friends and family. This in turn makes you who you are. The doctors or psych's are the one's needing treatment. They are worse and more of a non existing world of regular people. We are the ones that are sane. I can tell everyone; we need to spread the love, friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor, family to family; then in turn we will in doing these deeds help each other live in this hateful, unforgiving life/world we must live in. WE MUST SUPPORT EACH OTHER. WE WILL THEN FEEL BETTER.
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replied December 9th, 2008
trying_to_hard wrote:
idk if i am bipolar but i get like in this depressed mode where i felt unnoiticed, then when i go out in public i feel everyone is better and i start comparing then i just get plain sick of everyone and want to be alone, but then i get to lonley. For some reason i start think and get pissed at everything and how my life has turned out and then thats when the serious depression kicks in because i feel horrible because i start asking myself why god cursed me to be misrable...

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replied January 27th, 2009
What can I do?
My girlfriend is extremely bipolar. We've been together for 9 years now, and for a brief time she actually tried to get treatment for it. She went to a mental health care professional, who put her on several different types of drugs and kept changing the doses and types of drugs, and adding and removing different combinations. The only thing I noticed about this was that she was becoming more confused and less herself.

It all ended badly one night when she had a breakdown and started tearing out her hair and threatening to kill herself over an argument stemming from me not wanting to drive drunk, and needing to pull over and sober up (because she started having a panic attack while we were out at a club on Halloween). She couldn't get over the fact that I just couldn't drive her, and she felt I was punishing her. When we got home, she broke down and laid on the floor pulling out her hair after throwing an ash tray at me.

The next day, she told her psychiatrist she was having suicidal thoughts and she was committed for 10 days. When she got out, she went off her meds and hasn't gone back since. We've had fights over irrational things, and sometimes (a lot of times) I just have to ignore some of the things she says one day when she's really depressive or really manic. Sometimes when I say something to her, she has a completely inappropriate reaction. But the bottom line is, she has not hurt herself or even thought about hurting herself since she stopped seeking treatment, and her moods are less predictable but she is more interesting and pleasant as well as sexually inspired.

Am I being a bad person? Should she be forced to be treated so she can function differently, or is the way she is fine? She literally has every symptom on the list, and I need to spend a lot of time making sure she's happy. I love her, and I don't mind it, but is it selfish to take care of her and enable her to live this way, because she was less pleasant while on her meds?

I mean, what is treatment all about? I don't ever want her to have to go through what she went through that one night, ever again.
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