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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depression, is a brain disorder and mental health condition that causes mood shifts from extreme lows to extreme highs. The lows are called depression and entail low energy levels, lack of motivation, sadness, hopelessness, and suicidality. The highs are called mania. Mania means an elevated mood with heightened impulsivity, racing thoughts, and even psychosis. A milder form of mania is hypomania. In between those episodes, people with Bipolar Disorder might have stable times where no symptoms occur. Another very prevalent bipolar episode are mixed episodes, where both the requirement for symptoms of depression and mania are met, at the same time. Bipolar Disorder is a chronic condition that can go into remission with the help of treatment and self-care, but there is no cure for the disorder.

 

There are several forms of Bipolar Disorder, the two main types being Bipolar Disorder I and Bipolar Disorder II. The first type portrays episodes of depression, mania, and mixed episodes. Bipolar II entails episodes of depression, hypomania, and mixed episodes. To be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder one needs to have had at least one episode of mania, to be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II one needs to have had at least one major depressive episode and one hypomanic episode. Other types of Bipolar Disorder include Atypical Bipolar Disorder and Cyclothymia.

 

The length of episodes differs from person to person but needs to cover certain time requirements to be called a bipolar episode. There is rapid cycling where one has more than four bipolar episodes a year, there is ultra rapid cycling, where the mood swings even happen within a week, a day or an hour.

 

If you are wondering if you suffer from Bipolar Disorder, please talk to a mental health professional to get an assessment. Bipolar Disorder shares symptoms with other mood disorders and psychological disorders (schizophrenia, ADHD, personality disorders), so a professional assessment is needed for a diagnosis.

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