Category Archives: Bipolar

Bipolar Test

Anyone questioning whether manic depression is a source of concern can benefit from taking a bipolar test. There are various approaches you can use to determine whether your condition requires further attention. The simple fact that an individual wants to take a test for bipolar disorder is an indicator that something is amiss.

Physician’s Surgery

Your physician’s surgery is a prime example of a reliable source for testing for bipolar disorder. Manic depression is a serious condition that is quite complex. Many surgeries offer valuable information about the disorder as well as useful tests to determine whether you should consider counselling.

Online Tests

The Internet is a valuable resource that has many wonderful options to consider. It is important to note that the quizzes available online are merely in place to help you understand the condition better. They do not function to diagnose or treat any condition but they do provide valuable insight.

Goldberg Bipolar Spectrum Screening Test

The Goldberg Bipolar Spectrum Screening Test is an online questionnaire that consists of twelve questions. There are some prerequisites to the exam including age and depressive states. The test supposes that you are at least eighteen years of age and that you have experienced at least one bout of depression that was significant enough to prevent you from functioning normally.

The twelve questions are specific to the symptoms of bipolar disorder but it is important to keep in mind that you may have different answers depending on your mood. Scoring 25 or above on the exam suggests that you may have bipolar disorder and it would be wise to follow through with a visit to your doctor.

Taking Online Tests for Bipolar for Someone Else

Some people have considerable worry for loved ones who exhibit unusual behaviours. You can opt to take a test for someone close to you. However, it is likely that the result will be skewed by your perception. It is impossible to know fully what someone else is thinking and feeling. The tests are quite subjective.

If you are taking a bipolar screening test on behalf of a friend or relative, you may have difficulty answering some questions. For example, many tests include questions about sleeping patterns and thought processes. These subjects can be rather difficult to answer for someone else.

No matter if you are testing for yourself or for a loved one, it is very important to follow a suspicion of bipolar disorder with a visit to a physician. The doctor can make a diagnosis based on specific criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV.

Selecting a Bipolar Drug

The appropriate bipolar drug can yield excellent results in the treatment of manic depression. The mood disorder is believed to have a chemical basis, in which imbalances of chemicals in the brain lead to serious emotional and behavioural imbalances. Bipolar medication is designed to create a balance.

Mood Stabilisers

Mood stabilisers are effective in the treatment of bipolar disorder. This kind of bipolar drug is ideal as a preventative measure. The idea is to keep normal moods stable before a bout of depression or mania develops. This group of medications treat both mania and depressed states without making either one worse.

Some medicines treat symptoms of one polarity or another. Antidepressants are effective when the individual is in a depressed state. However, these medications can have an adverse effect on the person when he enters a state of mania. Medications to lower manic states can lead to feelings of depression.

Four Aspects of Treatment

Mood stabilizers provide four very important purposes in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

? Prevents depressed states
? Prevents hypomania and manic states
? Treats depression as it occurs
? Treats hypomania and mania as they occur

The nature of bipolar disorder is one that is very problematic when it comes to choosing medication. Mood stabilizers are ideal because they offer a means to treat each end of the spectrum and they provide preventative treatment for the condition as well.

Bipolar Drug Types

There are different types of moods stabilizers to consider. Finding the right prescription is an integral part of properly addressing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Following are examples of commonly used mood stabilizers.

? Lamictal is ideal when depression is the primary concern in the condition.
? Seroquel is prescribed when depression and mania are equally problematic. This medication is effective in treating sleep problems.
? Depakote is prescribed for severe mania. It is a strong medication that is commonly prescribed to men.
? Tegretol is a relatively inexpensive option that addresses mania and sleep problems effectively.
? Zyprexa is an emergency drug for very severe symptoms. This medication is used on an as-needed basis.

Lithium

Lithium is unique because some refer to this bipolar drug as a mood stabiliser whilst others do not. This drug is ideal for treating individuals with bipolar I symptoms. Lithium is an inexpensive medication that is effective in treating extremely elevated mania and deep depression. Lithium may be prescribed for individuals who have suicidal tendencies.

The options are quite vast in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Choosing the right prescription takes some consideration. The effort is well spent considering the benefits to using medication therapy in the treatment of manic depression.

Understanding 2 Bipolar Type

Bipolar disorder is a complex condition that involves extreme shifts in personality and mood. The mood disorder has a spectrum of symptoms and afflicted individuals experience the condition in different levels of severity. The DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV) outlines the criteria for bipolar 1 and 2 bipolar type.

Bipolar 2 Type

Those who experience bipolar type 2 have episodes of major depression at least once. In addition, they experience hypomania at least once as well. This type of manic depression can involve additional depressed states as the condition runs its course.

Hypomania

People who experience hypomania have great motivation, excelling at work and other endeavours. They can achieve well in social situations and in their careers. The state is quite positive and many fail to see hypomania as a particular problem.

Individuals who have episodes of hypomania may appear a too enthusiastic to others. The condition is recognizable to some, especially if they are quite close to the bipolar person. However, hypomania does not seem to interfere with the individual’s ability to function normally.

There is also a significant lack of psychosis in bipolar type 2 condition. Hypomania does involve marked changes in behaviour and mood but there are no delusions or hallucinations in this form of manic depression.

Depression

Many may consider the hypomania to be no problem at all. However, this emotional state of confidence and energy falls away periodically in individuals who have 2 bipolar type. Depressive states are detrimental to the person’s ability to function properly at home and in the workplace.

An individual who was once quite productive and motivated suddenly becomes sullen and ineffective. The depressed state can be caused by stressful situations including death, divorce and problems in the work environment.

Misdiagnosis

There is a possible threat of misdiagnosis in the bipolar 2 condition because the state of hypomania is quite pleasant and does not appear to be an aspect of any mental illness. Individuals who have this type of bipolar disorder may be diagnosed with depressive disorder, making treatment difficult

It is crucial that the proper diagnosis be made in order for proper treatment to go into effect. Bipolar disorders are not effectively treated with medications and therapies designed for depression. Proper diagnosis requires serious consideration and screening. This is a very important step to the successful treatment of bipolar 2 disorder.

Lamictal Bipolar Medication

There are various medications to consider in the treatment of manic depression. Lamictal bipolar medication is one that has promising results. Prescription drugs yield excellent results in the treatment of this mood disorder. There are many types to consider so it is quite important to weigh your options.

Mood episodes are problematic for people who have manic depression. Physicians typically prescribe mood-stabilizing medications in order to help patients treat bipolar disorder. There are two basic types of medications, ones that are prescribed for specific symptoms and ones prescribed for maintenance.

Lamictal Bipolar Medication and Maintenance

Maintenance medications are ideal for helping individuals with the mood disorder to prevent manic and depressed episodes from occurring. Prevention is ideal because the individual is able to maintain a healthy balance without worry about experiencing the extreme mood shifts and the negative experiences associated with them.

Lamictal is a long-term medication that bipolar patients use to maintain a healthy balance of emotional states. It is important to note that the medication does not treat mania and depression whilst the individual is in the throes of the polar states. The primary function of the bipolar drug is to keep the extreme moods from appearing.

Evaluation

Although the medication is ideal for individuals who want to maintain a healthy balance in emotional polarity, it is necessary to seek evaluations at your physician’s surgery in order to assure that the medication is working properly and that you are not experiencing unpleasant side effects. Doctors suggest that people taking lamictal should seek re-evaluation every eighteen months.

Side Effects

Possible side effects include the following:

? Headaches
? Vision problems
? Sleep disturbances
? Fatigue
? Nausea or vomiting
? Tremors
? Loss of balance

Some individuals who take this medication experience skin rash. The rash is typically moderate or mild and appears within the first two months of treatment. However, in rare cases, severe rashes appear that require hospitalisation.

Patients are urged to seek immediate attention if swelling in the lips or tongue appears. Hives, mouth sores, and sores near the eyes are indicators of a serious allergic reaction to the medication.

Not every bipolar patient is suited for lamictal. There are some side effects to consider that may cause problems. Proper evaluation with your physician is the ideal approach to deciding whether this mood disorder drug is suitable for your specific needs.

Depression or Bipolar Disorder

Determining whether you have depression or bipolar disorder is a fundamental element in the proper treatment of a mood disorder. Depressed states can be quite troublesome considering the symptoms of the condition. Manic depression has symptoms on both ends of the spectrum, ranging from depressed states to euphoria.

Bipolar I

It appears reasonable that individuals who have bipolar disorder can easily identify the condition as such considering the extreme changes in mood they experience. However, not everyone experiences the condition the same way. Those who have classic symptoms of bipolar I disorder may recognise the symptoms of depression and mania with relative ease.

Bipolar II

Those who experience bipolar II disorder have different experiences. Instead of experiencing extremely erratic mood during manic stages, the individual experiences a milder form of mania, known as hypomania. Hypomania is especially problematic because the individual is quite comfortable during this stage.

Hypomania is mild compared to the erratic mania commonly associated with type I bipolar disorder. Those who experience this milder form of the condition are motivated to achieve lofty goals at work and in their daily endeavours. They have more energy and they feel very confident.

Identifying Bipolar II Disorder

Identifying type 2 bipolar disorder is quite problematic since the individual may seek help for depression. This is simply because the symptoms of hypomania are not extreme enough to alert serious attention.

There are slight indicators that the individuals is more motivated, energetic and productive than normal but the symptoms do not interfere with daily activities and social interactions. Since this is the case, many people fail to recognize the subtle symptoms of hypomania as they put their focus on the depressed states instead.

In order to properly identify bipolar 2 disorder, it is necessary to consider the range of emotions that you typically feel. If you notice a consistent shift between productivity and confidence and major depression, it is possible that you have bipolar disorder rather than depression.

Depression

Depressive disorder appears without episodes of mania or hypomania. It is important to make a distinction because the treatment for depression is quite different from treatments used for bipolar disorder, especially when it comes to medication. Individuals who have bipolar conditions typically take mood stabilizing medications rather than antidepressants except during specific episodes that require antidepressant drug therapy.

Determining whether you have depression or bipolar II disorder can be challenging. However, you can sort through the issue using screening tests and a visit to your doctor’s surgery for evaluation.

Defining Bipolar II Disorder

The diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines various forms of manic depression including bipolar II disorder. This condition is also known as “soft bipolar” because the symptoms are not quite as severe as those experienced by individuals who have classic bipolar I disorder.

Major Depression

Major depression is a fundamental element in both bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorder. In order for an individual to be diagnosed with either of these mood disorders, it is necessary that they have at least one episode of major depression. Many people with these conditions experience more than one bout of depression.

Hypomania

Hypomania is much like a manic episode. However, hypomania is much less extreme. Individuals who have this mild form of mania experience elevated mood and productivity. They are apt to sleep less whilst still feeling rested and they are very motivated to achieve their goals.

Distinction between Bipolar II and Bipolar I

The fundamental distinction between bipolar I and II is the absence of manic episodes in the occurrence of bipolar II disorder. Manic episodes are far more erratic and the individual experiences racing thoughts and an inability to concentrate during manic phases. Mania also interferes with the individual’s ability to function normally during everyday interactions.

Psychosis

Individuals who are diagnosed with bipolar type 2 are not likely to develop psychosis in their conditions. Psychotic episodes may develop in type 1 bipolar disorder as the individual experiences extreme states of mania on a regular basis. The polarities are extreme and the patient may develop signs of psychosis.

Psychosis often involves frightening occurrences including delusional thinking and hallucinations. Bipolar II types do not exhibit psychosis in their experiences.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing Bipolar II disorder is challenging because hypomania is quite mild compared to its manic counterpart. The condition is often confused with depressive disorder since the individual usually seeks treatment during times of deep depression rather than during stable moods or hypomania.

Following are the symptoms of bipolar II disorder:

? Major depression
? Hypomania
? Absence of mania
? Absence of mixed episodes

These symptoms differ from depressive disorder in that hypomania is present. Symptoms of hypomania include:

? Reduced sleep
? Racing thought processes
? Motivation
? Excessive energy
? Lofty goals

Many of the symptoms of hypomania are the same as mania. However, the signs of hypomania are much less extreme. This is the fundamental difference between bipolar I and bipolar II disorder.

Make It Easier With Bipolar Support

Having a bipolar disorder can make you feel isolated and can cause a range of issues in your life.  Dealing with this disease can be difficult and nobody should have to do it alone.  That is why bipolar support can be so helpful when you get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or if you have a close friend or family member who has been diagnosed with the disease.

Benefit of Support

Trying to deal with the complexities of bipolar and how it changes your life can be complicated.  When you first receive a diagnosis you may not even understand what it going on.  You need to learn how to manage your bipolar and how to live with it.

Bipolar support allows you to learn more about bipolar.  You can connect with others and learn how they deal with it.  You will be able to gain a new understanding on a personal level through support.

The various types of support will help you to find what it is that you need to learn how to live with bipolar and how to deal with what the disease may bring your way.

Who Needs Support

Everyone needs support when dealing with bipolar.  It is not only the person who has bipolar that needs the support either.  Friends and family may also need support to help them understand what is going on with their loved one.

When a person has supportive friends and family who seek support this will help them a lot in learning to deal with bipolar.  The more people in your life who step up and seek support the better life you will have.

Living with bipolar comes easier when you truly understand it and you have all the necessary information to help you learn to cope with it and manage it.  When you have supportive people in your life it just makes things easier in the long run.

Types of Support

There are many different types of bipolar support.  The first you will likely recognize is from your doctor and other medical professionals.  This kind of support is on a clinical level.  You get the facts and you get their professional opinion.  They will probably admit that they do not have all the answers and you need to seek other support.

Support in the form of therapy from professionals or other people who have bipolar can be the best.  This type of support allows you to get more personal.  You can get real answers to your questions and learn from others experiences.

Other types of support include informative websites, books and even journaling on your own about your feelings.

Bipolar support is important in helping you make it through each day.  You can not do it alone and you should not feel that you have to.  Getting bipolar support is nothing to be ashamed of and is a recommended part of bipolar treatment.

Understand the Need to Recognise Bipolar Type 2

Many people are not aware that there are different types of bipolar disorders.  Most people associate the disease with bipolar type 1.  There is also bipolar type 2.  It is bipolar type 2 that is often misdiagnosed and overlooked because the symptoms are a little different than bipolar type 1.

Difference Between Type 2 and Other Types

Bipolar type 2 is a disorder characterized by one or more major depressive episodes which also include at least one hypomanic episode.  It is common for someone with bipolar type 2 to not recognize their own symptoms and it is usually the people around them that recognize something is wrong.

Bipolar type 1 involves reoccurring episodes of manic and depressive behavior.  Both the manic and depressive episodes are extreme.  It is when the manic episodes are mild that the condition is considered bipolar type 2 and it is the mild episodes that make many people unable to recognize that it is bipolar disorder.

Bipolar type 2 is actually 5 to 10 times more common than bipolar type 1, but it is often overlooked as bipolar. It is most often misdiagnosed as unipolar depression or even schizophrenia.

Criteria for Diagnosis

To diagnose a patient with bipolar type 2 a doctor will look for certain criteria.  This criteria is as follows:

– One or more major depressive episodes
– At least one hypomanic episode
– No manic episodes or mixed episodes
– Other disorders have been ruled out

Treatment

Treatment for bipolar commonly include medication and therapy.  Some patients respond well to electroconvulsive therapy or ECT, which is a form of electric shock therapy.

The mania and depressive episodes are often treated differently and according to the phase in which they are in.  There are two phases.  The acute phase is where the social and occupational impairment from the disorder are improved.  The maintenance phase is where the long term medication is used to prevent future episodes.

The commonly used medication is lithium which helps to relieve manic episodes.  It helps to sedate a person and prevent accelerated thought and hyperactivity.  It has also been shown to help prevent depressive episodes.  Lithium is often used in conjunction with antidepressants to help with the depressive episodes.

A doctor will usually work with the patient in finding the proper course of treatment.  Usually a person can find a good combination of treatments to help with their bipolar.

The Facts to Know About Bipolar Type 1

Understanding the bipolar type 1 will help you to understand if you may be suffering from the condition or if someone you know could be suffering form the condition.  Bipolar type 1 can be a disabling disease that can affect all aspects of your life and getting it under control and managed is the only way to learn to live with bipolar disorder.

What is Type 1

Bipolar type 1 is the best known type of bipolar disorder.  Bipolar type 1 involves major manic episodes that can range from severe euphoria to psychotic behavior.  The person with bipolar type 1 may be very high one moment and very low or depressive the next.  It is this going back and forth between episodes that characterizes bipolar type 1 disorder.

Signs of Bipolar Type 1

Bipolar type 1 usually occurs in people who are in their 20’s, but it can happen at any age.  There are several different common signs that a person may be suffering from bipolar:

– Trouble sleeping at night, but still feeling energized during the day
– No appetite
– Talking very fast
– Racing thoughts
– Easily distracted
– Very happy or elated feelings
– Overconfidence
– Depression

Many people with bipolar disorder actually have a depressive episode first and then on down the road have a manic episode.  The depression may be treated, but without treatment for the manic episodes the person will not be able to control their bipolar.

Triggers

Understanding what brings on a manic or depressive episode is important in treating and managing bipolar.  A person who is on certain medications to treat depression may be triggered to go into a manic episode.

Episodes can also be triggered through stress.  Not taking prescribed medications can be a trigger, too.  Other common triggers include sleeping problems and seasonal changes.

Treatment

The most common treatment for bipolar is to stabilize the mood through medication.  The medication is usually a combination that will prevent the manic episodes and also prevent the depressive episodes.  It can sometimes take trial and error to find the best combination of medications for a patient.

Other treatments that can be tried are electroconvulsive therapy and psychotherapy.  Patients are usually encouraged to fid support of some type to help them interact and learn from others who have bipolar.

Bipolar type 1 may not always be easy to recognize and misdiagnosis is common, but through a combined effort of the doctor and patient a good diagnosis can be found.  Then it is possible for proper treatment to be put into action and a person can learn to manage their bipolar.

Bipolar Effects: What Bipolar Disorder Can Do To A Life

The effects of bipolar disorder, if left untreated, can be devastating to the sufferer and to everyone around him or her. A bipolar victim, in turn, victimises his romantic partners, family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and society as a whole.

For an example of this last, merely consider George Gordon, Lord Byron, a famous historic sufferer of bipolar disorder. His wild and varying moods, and resulting eccentric habits, scandalized all of England. He left the country in disgrace and never returned, until his death fighting for Greek independence. Not until the 20th century did Byron get the recognition he deserved in the UK–all because the English had to live with Byron and his caprices longer than any other nationality.

How does the bipolar manic-depressive manage to so thoroughly hurt everyone around him? It is because the bipolar individual’s unpredictable moods will prevent the person from adequately meeting the expectations of family, friends, romantic partners, co-workers, etc.

A bipolar mother in the throes of depression will remain depressed, even when her son presents her with a simple drawing of mother and child, with the words, “I LOVE MOM,” childishly scrawled above in red crayon. The next day, that same mother, having entered a manic phase, might embrace her son for no reason the moment he walks sleepily out of his room in his little pyjamas. That same mother, who just the previous day had barely acknowledged her son when he presented her with the work of his heart and his hands, now grasps the five-year-old tightly to her and spins him around and around until she loses control and mother and son tumble to the ground. That same mother, her mania feeding on itself, might tell her son that she wasn’t taking him to school that day. Instead, she tells her son, they are going shopping.

This hurts the son, and possibly interferes with the son’s normal development. The child is at a very impressionable period in his life. In his dealings with his bipolar manic-depressive mother, he learns early on that his actions have no effect on the feelings of those around him. He learns that people are irrational and impossible to empathise with. Unlike normal children, he never learns to see a cause-and-effect relationship between showing love, and receiving love in return; or between other people’s suffering and his malicious intent.