Bipolar disorder, mood
disorder or manic depression
- A Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disease characterized by episodes of extreme mood swings of both Depression and mania.
Mania is characterized by elation, fast moving ideas, little
need for sleep, and grandiose thoughts and behavior.
- Depression in the
patient is defined by feelings of hopelessness, low energy, and
no desire or interest in everyday activities. He may
become suicidal, or he may develop mania, characterized by excess
activity to the point of exhaustion, euphoria,
aggressiveness, and at times, a feeling of being super
human. Examples of manic behavior might be suddenly quitting
your job and going to Hollywood to become an actor (even
though you have no previous acting history or interest); or
deciding to run for president of the United States, even
though you have no previous political experience. An
individual in a manic phase may suddenly go on a massive
shopping spree, buying items that are not really needed.
- Hypomania is a less severe form of
mania that can occur with bipolar disorders. The disorder
can affect any age, but it is often triggered between ages
of 25-44. Both men and women are equally affected.
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of interest in work, sex, family, or
- Excessive sleep or Insomnia
- Difficulty with focus
- Inability to concentrate
- Thoughts of suicide or dying
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Changes in appetite
- There may be unexplained pains or aches
- Boundless energy
- Grandiose thoughts
- Thinking that one is important and
- Irrational, fearless behavior
- Fast moving thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Speaking too fast
- Going on spending sprees
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Going long periods without sleep
- Loss of self-control and good judgment with a desire to
engage in risky
- Unknown -- however, chemical
imbalances in the brain may be the cause.
- There may be a genetic component.
Having a parent with bipolar disorder may increase the
chance of having children with the condition.
- See Depression and mania
- The goal of treatment is to stabilize mood and restore one's normal (prior to manic Depression) state.
- The two medications most commonly used to stabilize the mood swings in manic Depression are Depakote and
Lithium. Other medications may be added or used, some of which are listed below. All treatments are administered under the supervision of a psychiatrist, and are part of an organized treatment plan. Psychotherapy can be added to the treatment, and is very helpful.
- Antidepressants -- Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Zoloft.
- Acute treatment
- Chronic (long-term prevention)
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