, pub-3656949002636110, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 What is Bipolar Disorder? | Streetwise Mental Health








What is Bipolar Disorder? 

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder and it was once called manic depression. In bipolar disorder a person will have mood swings between the states of having extreme highs and extreme lows. There are also manic symptoms where a person will have an increase in their excitement, energy, agitation and also impulsive behaviour. Some people also have the symptoms of psychotic episodes. This involves seeing and hearing things as if they are real, when in fact they are not.  

Depressive symptoms of bipolar depression disorder are extreme lows where the person has the lacking of energy and vitality. They will also have low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and can even have thoughts of suicide. Including the latter there is also bipolar disorder 1 and bipolar disorder 2. Bipolar disorder is a brain illness. There are 4 basic types of this brain disorder, but they all involve pattern changes in the person's energy, mood and activities level. 

Bipolar disorder 1 has the illness of manic episodes that last for around 7 days. Depressive symptoms can also occur in bipolar disorder 1. Bipolar disorder 2 is a symptom of depression and also hypomanic symptoms.  

There is also cyclothymic disorder where the sufferer has numerous periods of hypomanic and depression that last for periods of up to 2 years in adults and one year in children. There are also defined symptoms that do not match the above criteria. 

What is the difference between bipolar disorder and manic depression? 

Manic depression is the old term that was used but it is now known as bipolar disorder. The difference between manic depression definition in terms of clinical depression and bipolar disorder are that bipolar cannot be without manic episodes. Because the symptoms between clinical depression and bipolar disorder are so intertwined, as many as 10 to 25 percent of people, with bipolar manic depression, are misdiagnosed with clinical depression ( 

The professional should not diagnose either disorder until the history of the person is known to discover whether there have been episodes involving either hypomania and mania episodes. Hypomania is a lesser form. 

Mania is what distinguishes these 2 mental illnesses. The person who has bipolar disorder will have the experiences of 1 or more manic episodes or its lesser form of hypomania. A manic episode are feelings of being over excited, confident and extremely overly happy. There may also be episodes of extreme aggressiveness or irritability. The thoughts and speech can also be racing. A bipolar disorder sufferer may engage in riskier than usual behaviour extremes or these extremes may be out of character with their normal routine. They may also make poor judgements at times within their relationships with people and partners, money or may even gamble excessively. A person with hypomania will suffer less of these symptoms and not so severe. A person suffering clinical depression or manic depression if you like will have no of these symptoms. 

Bipolar disorder symptoms. 

What are the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder? 

Manic bipolar disorder symptoms are the person having extreme highs (mania) and also extreme lows (depression). These levels can last – usually – for days or months on end. 

Manic bipolar disorder episode symptoms. 

Eating disorder. 

Acting delusional by having irrational thoughts or illogical thinking. 


Having sleep problems. 

Doing things or saying things that are out of character. 

Finding yourself easily irritated or being easily agitated. 

Having the feelings of being full of energy. 

Talking very fast and impulsively. 

Feeling like you are elated, overjoyed. 

Feelings of self-importance in an irrational sense. 

Bipolar depression disorder symptoms. 

Eating disorder via a lacking of appetite. 

Problems with sleep. 

Waking up early in the morning. 

Needing sleep during the day. 

Self-doubting feelings and thoughts. 

Thoughts of suicide. 

Being pessimistic all the time in episodes of manic bipolar disorder symptoms. 

You feel guilty or in a despairing state. 

You lose interest in your every-day activities. 

Feelings of sadness or hopelessness. 

Feeling irritable. 

A lack of energy. 

You find it difficult to remember things. 

Having trouble concentrating. 

You feel empty or worthless. 

What are bipolar disorder symptoms in females? 

Females with have more of an increased risk with the occurrence of a relapse. This is due to the hormones that fluctuate in a woman's body. However, when the use of medication and the management of symptoms, women that suffer bipolar disorder have a suitable course of action if they seek help. 

Symptoms of bipolar disorder in adults affects about 2.8% of Americans every year ( Women are more likely to suffer the rapid cycling effects of bipolar disorder. This is an effect by how quickly the cycles of Bipolar disorder alternate. The cycle is seen as having four or more episodes within a one-year period. 

What are bipolar disorder symptoms in males? 

Although the symptoms of bipolar disorder in adults is similar, there are a few differences for men. In the first instance men are tending towards developing bipolar at an earlier age. The first episode - usually - is a cause of mania. It is also more common for men to suffer more severe bipolar disorder. When a man suffers mania, they are more likely to be involved in drinking, shouting and fighting. They are also more likely to be involved with alcoholic issues and drug abuse. This is seen as a coping method for the disorder. And because women are more likely than men to seek help for the disorder of bipolar disorder, suicide is seen as more of a problem in men. 

The use of alcohol and drugs can and does cause more problems of bipolar disorder symptoms in adults, not just men. Because men do not seek medical help, they are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with the disorder. If you are a man or a woman that is using substances and you feel you may be using them as a coping strategy, please seek medical help immediately. Bipolar disorder and its symptoms can be distressing enough with the extra stress caused by substance misuse. 

Bipolar disorder in children and teens. 

What are symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and what are symptoms of bipolar disorder in teens? The answer to these questions is if your child gets extremely excited or is so much more active than what you usually see in the norm, then bipolar disorder may be the cause. If you feel you as a youngster or your child gets too excited or feelings of being over-moody then bipolar disorder could be the problem. Have lows and highs that are extreme and occur for long periods are also symptoms in children as well as adults. If you find your mood affects your ability at school or how you act at home then bipolar could be the cause. 

If you feel that as a teen or child that these normal young abilities are extreme, then bipolar disorder in children may be the cause. Bipolar is not having the normalised ups and downs that every child and teen has. The mood swings that bipolar disorder causes changes to the sleep patterns, the ability to think in a coordinated way. Also, the energy levels will change to lethargic in the depressive state and higher than usual levels in the mania. 

Signs of bipolar disorder in children. 

Signs of bipolar disorder in young adults and children are symptoms that are distinct episodes. When they are in between the episodes of bipolar disorder their mood swings between depression and mania will return to normal. What must be considered is that there are numerous child disorders that can cause thoughts of a bipolar disorder. Making a diagnosis can be a challenge in itself. This is because the symptoms and other differing mental health conditions can often have an occurrence along with the bipolar symptoms.  

It is a matter of looking for extreme mood swings, such as extreme behaviour problems and depression. Consulting with a consultant that specialises in working with children is the best thing to do. The behaviour and mood of children can lead to major issues later in life, so getting treatment sooner than later is quite essential. Getting treatment in the earlier stages can give prevention of any serious consequences from behaviour. It can also prevent an impact of mental health of signs of bipolar disorder in young adults. 


Signs of bipolar disorder. 

What are the signs of bipolar disorder? And what are the warning signs of bipolar disorder? 

Signs and warnings for bipolar disorder can be varied by nature. There are many things to look out for, but the main feature of this mental illness is the mood swings between mania and depression. 

Depression in this condition of mental illness that can have other causes as well, but these are 7 key features. 

1. Having suicidal thoughts or even attempting suicide. Even the thoughts being consumed with thoughts of death. 

2. Having the condition of extreme lethargy or lacking in energy. 

3. The appetite becomes towards a significant change. 

4. The decision-making can be affected, as well as the concentrating on work or study or even conversation and also memory problems. 

5. You may find that you withdraw from family and friends and that is a warning sign of bipolar disorder depression. 

6. Having the feelings of being hopeless and in sadness for extended periods of time. 

7. The loss of any interest in your normal activities that you usually find enjoyable. 

Mania like depression has 7 key factors, but there are other signs that a professional will be able to identify. 

1. You may be overconfident in your abilities. 

2. You become distracted from what you are doing to easily. 

3. You might start talking to quickly that can sound like gibberish. This is quite often when the thoughts are trying to race. 

4. You might find you engage in risky behaviour such as impulsive unprotected sex, or go on extravagant spending sprees that you cannot really afford. 

5. There maybe feelings of extremely high levels of restlessness or being impulsive. 

6. The need for sleep becomes much less in the state of mania. 

7. The feelings that you feel will have you on a high or have you with overly happy and excited. 

Causes of bipolar disorder. 

What causes bipolar disorder? It is still unclear what actually causes bipolar disorder. Researchers have suggested that it is a combination of different things, that make it more than likely, that a person will end up developing a bipolar disorder. 

Emotional environmental issues. 

Stress in a person events of life can be a cause, that triggers bipolar disorder symptoms. In early childhood the loss of a loved one of abuse can cause the onset later in life. These losses and abuse can cause the effects of mania and depression. 


It has been suggested that you are 5 times more likely ( to get bipolar disorder if there is someone in your immediate family that has the condition. The immediate family in this instance is a brother, sister or parent. The risk is considerably higher if both parents have the conditions that causes bipolar disorder. Also, if you are a twin and they suffer the mental illness then you are more likely to also develop the condition. 

Chemical imbalance in the brain. 

There are different chemicals in the brain that affect behaviour and the mood as to what causes bipolar disorder. If you have large amounts or too little of these brain chemicals then bipolar disorder can be the resultant effect. 

What are the different types of bipolar disorder? 

There are different types of bipolar disorder. There is bipolar disorder type 1 and bipolar disorder type 2, cyclothymic disorder and mixed features. These can all be affected by rapid cycling where 4 or more episodes are experienced within a 1-year period. 

Bipolar 1 disorder. 

What is bipolar disorder type 1 ? This mental illness is also known as manic depressive disorder. A person that suffers from this condition will have had at least one mania episode in their life. Most of the people that suffer from this mental illness are suffering depressive disorder as well. It is quite often a cycling effect between mania and the depressive disorder. In between the episodes of cycling a person with bipolar disorder type 1 can live and lead a normal lifestyle. 

When a person with this condition is in the mania state, they will quite often have sex with people they would not usually consider, spend money they cannot really afford on a credit card and borrow. They will also try unrealistic plans and actions. When the mania is severe, they will lose touch with reality. If this condition is left untreated the mania can last for several days to month's on end. In most instances the symptoms occur for a couple of weeks or more and can last for up to a few months. A depressive disorder of the condition usually follows soon after.  

Bipolar II disorder. 

What is bipolar 2 disorder ? This condition is a mental illness similar to type 1, but with the moods that cycle between lows and highs over time. In bipolar ii disorder the high mood never reaches a stage of full-blown mania. These less intense mania moods are called hypomanic episodes or hypomania. 

Cyclothymic disorder. 

What is cyclothymic disorder? With this condition the sufferer experiences a shift of ups and downs in their mood that is noticeable. They may have feelings where they are feeling tops. This is followed by lows when they feel considerably down. When in between these cycles of cyclothymic disorder, the person will feel absolutely normal. These highs and lows are nowhere near as extreme as those in bipolar disorder. Treatment for cyclothymia have inclusion of medications, psychotherapy, ongoing and follow up doctor appointments. 

Rapid cycling. 

What is rapid cycling ? Rapid cycling is where someone has experiences of bipolar episodes as many episodes in each year. The cut off point for the amount can be considered as random choice according to the persons severity of rapid cycling bipolar. It is considered to be rapid cycling if a person has 4 or more episodes of depression and mania occurrences in a given year. Some sufferers may have a very rapid cycle of switches and these are termed as ultra-rapid where it occurs in spasms of days and ultradian which is within a day. Although it is classified in the American Diagnostic System of the DSM-IV, it is not included in the international system of the ICD10. 

Bipolar disorder treatment. 

Bipolar disorder treatment is by combining medicament, lifestyle changes, therapy and support from family and friends. All this helps a sufferer to live a life they want by stabilising mood swings. 


Living a healthy lifestyle is an important part of the recovery and stabilising and is the best treatment for bipolar disorder. Keeping to regular sleeping patterns, exercising regularly and cutting out or the reduction of caffeine, drugs and alcohol are all part of lifestyle changes. Some will be put on medication. But some practice mindfulness techniques and spiritualty and are all bipolar disorder natural treatment. 


The common medicament for this condition are lithium, mood stabilisers and anticonvulsants. Some practitioners also use beta-blockers, benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. If you feel you are having side effects from meds then speak to your doctor as these are numerous. 


This is a bipolar disorder natural treatment. It is carried out individually or in groups. Some of the common therapies used to treat this condition is cognitive behavioural therapy, family focused therapy and dialectical behaviour therapy.  


Bipolar disorder is a condition where circumstantial extremes happen in highs of mania and lows of depression. It can have an impact on anyone and at an age in life. In bipolar, you may suffer the condition if you have moods swings between these two conditions. If you feel yourself suffering mood swings that are extremes and not just the usual ups and downs that anyone suffers, then please be advised to seek help or consultation from a professional doctor or counsellor. 

Treatment for bipolar is a necessary action as the condition can lead to serious lifestyle effects such as drugs, alcoholism, suicide and aggressive behaviour. These can all lead to affect your personality and friends and family. Treatment can be sought and is readily available with medication and therapy sessions. Meds are not the end of a normal lifestyle they are designed well and will alleviate the symptoms that you need not have to suffer. Bipolar is curable if you seek the right kind of help for you or someone you know. 

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