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Bi polar Disorder or Manic Depression?


Bipolar Affective disorder is a medical condition defined by erratic mood swings that are much more severe than what people normally experience. The bipolar disease is more commonly known as manic depression or bi polar depression, and combines episodes of deep depression with extremely elated moods. 
The frequency and intensity of these severe mood swings differ among bi polar sufferers. When mood swings persist in frequency, it often results in the person being unable to function properly at work or at home. 

Bipolar disorder image   Bi polar affective disorder affects the brain, identifying it as a mental illness. It arises from abnormalities in the brain's physical structure (particularly in the hippocampus area) and chemical processes.

      Basically, bipolar affective disorder deals with both depression and mania. Bi polar depression deals with a saddened state and mania stage deals with an excited state. 
     It is very true about bipolar mood disorder sufferers that one day they'll be very happy, feel on top of the world, and the very next day, they'll be so deeply depressed like the world is coming to an end.

Bi polar Disorder Types

Bi polar disorder is also called bipolar mood disorder, manic-depressive illness, manic depression, bipolar affective disorder and manic-depressive disorder. People with bipolar disease suffer from unusual shifting of energy, mood, behavior and the ability to function normally. These mood swings are from high periods of mania to low episodes of depression. The person affected by bi polar disorder can be diagnosed with different bipolar types: bi polar disorder 1, bi polar disorder 2, cyclothymic disorder and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified.

Bi polar Disorder 1
Most people suffering from bipolar disorder 1 experience both the mania and depression. This type of bi polar disorder is distinguished from disorder 2 in terms of the duration and severity of the manic stage, which could last from a week to a couple of months.

Bi polar Disorder 2
People with bipolar disorder 2 suffer from periods of severe depression that is occasionally accompanied with episodes of mild mania known as hypomania. No delusions are experienced in bi polar disorder 2 but there is still deteriorated mental functioning.

Cyclothymic Disorder
People with cyclothymic personality disorder experience mostly attacks of mild depression and hypomania (mild mania). It lasts longer than the bi polar disorders 1 and 2 with no breaks in the symptoms but is not severe.

Bi polar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)

This bipolar type includes those symptoms and features that don't meet any of the categories of bi polar disorder, such as very rapid interchange between depressive symptoms and manic symptoms, repetitive episodes of hypomania phase without depression, and hypomania episodes that are associated with chronic depression.
manic symptoms image
     Of all bi polar types, bipolar 1 disorder is the most severe type. If left untreated, bi polar 1 disorder has an estimated rate of about 15% death risk by suicide.
     It tends to run in families and is a lifelong disorder. Aside from being a hereditary (bipolar genetic) disorder, other factors can cause bi polar disorder include hyperthyroidism, brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, certain environmental factors such as giving birth, stressful life events, sleep disorders, stimulants, electroconvulsive therapy, antipsychotic medication and antidepressant medication.

Bi polar Disorder Symptoms and Signs
People with bipolar disorder have severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). Bipolar affective disorder or manic depression is a psychiatric illness that leads to dramatic and unpredictable shifts in a mood, energy, thinking and behavior for a long period of time. Unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bi polar disorder are extremely intense and affect the ability to function. There are two absolutely contrasting conditions: bi polar mania and bi polar depression. Really often they occur together and then called "mixed state".

Warning signs of bipolar depression episodes is characterized by:
• Sadness, loneliness
usual activities image• Excessive crying
• Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Physical and mental sluggishness
• Appetite or weight changes
Insomnia or oversleeping
• Difficulty concentrating
• Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
• Thoughts of death or suicide
• Depressed mood and low self-esteem
• Low energy level and apathy
• Slow speech, headache, helplessness, quilt
• Poor concentration
• Lack of interest or pleasure in usual activities.

Warning signs of bipolar manic episodes is characterized by:
• Inappropriate sense of euphoria (elation)
• Racing thoughts; excessive talk
• Extreme irritability
• Aggressive behavior
• Reckless behavior
Sleep disorders
• Excessive, unusual energy
• Extreme happiness and restlessness
• Abnormally increased sexual activity
• Difficulty concentrating
• Poor judgment

During a manic phase, individuals may display unrealistic belief in their own abilities and powers; this may result in poor decision-making. Bi polar sufferers may also have difficult times at work, as they are often extremely irritable and distractible. They usually find it hard to concentrate on the daily tasks.

bipolar disease image
     Other symptoms of bipolar disorder at manic phase include an increased sexual drive. The feelings of grandiosity and invincibility may also lead bi polar sufferer to abuse drugs, alcohol, and sleeping medications. And for all the trouble they may potentially cause, they usually deny that anything is wrong, or insist that they are not suffering from a major psychological illness.

In a contrary, person with bi polar disorder going through a depressive phase of a bipolar disease experiences constant sadness, emptiness, anxiousness and despair. They are often very pessimistic, and have groundless thoughts of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness. These negative feelings almost certainly result in loss of interest or pleasure in any activities.

During a depressive phase, the person may also experience a variety of sleeping disorders. This results in decreased energy levels. During the day bi polar sufferer has difficulty concentrating, remembering, and handling different tasks. They may also become restless and irritable, experience chronic pain and other physical symptoms with apparently no cause.

Perhaps the most dangerous symptom of a bi polar depressive state is suicidal thoughts. A lot of people suffering from bipolar disorder die due to self-afflicted causes. The bi polar symptoms, which commonly appear in young adulthood, can cause the person to suffer from bipolar affective disorder throughout whole live

It is important that anyone who shows any of bipolar disorder symptoms get medical advice from a doctor as soon as possible. The early treatment of bi polar affective disorder will prevent probable harm to sufferer and people around him.

Causes of Bi polar Disorder

Bi polar disorder imageThe experts have defined the basic causes of bipolar disorder as four major groups:

1. Genetic or Hereditary Bipolar Disorder
2. Biochemical or biological
3. Medication induced
4. Environmental

Is Depression Genetic or Familial?
If there is any close blood related bipolar affective disorder sufferer, such people can surely be subjected to this disorder. The research scientists are looking recently for the specific genes that trigger bi polar disorder.

Biochemical or Biological  Depression Causes
In terms of the biochemical causes, the experts explain that bi polar disorder takes place in a particular part of the human brain when neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) are malfunctioning. Several neurotransmitters can be involved in the bipolar disorder including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

In some cases the bi polar disorder remains asleep in the brain for years and can be triggered off by the external factors like crisis or stress. The medical experts have discovered that the brain of the bipolar sufferer functions wired differently comparably to the normal person.

Medication Induced
An anti-depressant medication could activate a manic incident in case of the patients vulnerable to the bipolar affective disorder. It can happen when the manic phaseof the bi polar is overlooked or misdiagnosed. Actually, the bipolar disorder sufferers are usually given anti-manic and anti-depressant medications, simultaneously. The anti-manic medications produce a shield to protect the person from mania, stimulated by the prescribed anti-depressants.

Besides the mentioned drugs, there are several others that might trigger bi polar disorder. These include cold medications, appetite suppressants, corticosteroids, designer drugs (like cocaine, amphetamines, etc.). The abuse of alcohol and excessive in-take of caffeine can also trigger the bipolar affective disorder.

Environmental Depression
bi polar crisis image   The bipolar mood disorder can also be triggered off by the stressful life. In our hectic world stress leading to the bipolar disorder can happen to the people of varied age or condition and those who have a shaky foundation at family or suffering from the low self-esteem, could easily become subject to the bi polar crisis.

     The experts explain that just one time trigger is enough for the bi polar disorder to declare itself and the vicious cycles begin. In case the bipolar disease is not diagnosed early enough, it could be quite hard to control.

Bi polar Treatment

Finding the right bi polar disease treatment might often feel quiet challenging but the truth is that there are many resources at your side. While the causes of bipolar affective disorder, also once known as manic depression, are still totally unknown, scientists have put a lot of time into figuring out what a legitimate and effective treatment might be. It is important to remember that the underlying causes of bi polar disease might vary from hereditary issues to life stress and that you should always look for solutions that best suit you.

Here are some strategic bi polar treatments:

1. Medication. There are several medications usually prescribed for bi polar treatment. Examples are mood-stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, and anti-depressants. The mood-stabilizing drugs are effective for both the manic and depression states. It is also working for preventing the happening of the future bi polar symptoms.

2. Anti-psychotic drugs. This type of bi polar medication commonly prescribed to people who lose the touch with reality. Anti psychotic drugs are similar to the anti-anxiety medications, but in bi polar treatments of this kind, patients are required to be in the hospital.

Bipolar drugs image3. Herbal Remedies. There are number of recommend herbs to relive the bi-polar disorder symptoms. These natural herbal supliments include Kava Kava, Peppermint, Lavender, German Chamomile, St. Jon's Wort, Valerian, Blue Vervain, Hops, Lemon Balm, Catnip, and Cinnamon to name a few. The natural herbal remedies can be taken in tea form, capsule form, or liquid extract and can be taken throughout the day. 
If you are seriously considering herbal remedies for bi polar treatment, consult a doctor because of the serious risk of adverse interactions with prescribed medications.

4. Aromatherapy. There are plenty of good essential oils that are effective in the bi-polar affective disorder treatment and they include Linden, Valerian, Neroli, Bergamot, Lavender, Jasmine, Davana, May Chang, and Melissa (True). These oils can be inhaled, burned in a diffuser, and added to the bath.

5. Psychotherapy. It is a non-drug approach in the bipolar treatment. Psychotherapy provides monitoring, analysis, and encouragement from a therapist of bipolar sufferer condition and state of mentality.

6. Electroconvulsive therapy. The “shock therapy” is done when bi polar medications and psychotherapy don't work. It is a psychiatric type of bi polar treatment whan a patient is subjected to a shock of the central nervous system. Although ECT can be effective, many people would hesitate to undergo this ordeal.

harmful thoughts image7. Family therapy. This is another beneficial treatment not only to the patient but to family groups as well. The family therapy usually aims to resolve domestic issues that cause low self-esteem, anger, and anxiety among others. These issues are essential components in causing bipolar disorder.

8. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In cognitive behavior therapy, therapists guide patients through special methodical approaches to recognize their negative and often distorted ways of thinking. The goal of the therapy is to teach the patient to change negative or harmful thoughts and actions. It involves two main components: cognitive therapy deals with the negative thoughts and behavior therapy deals with the patient's relative action.

9. Addressing parental roles. Many people develop bipolar affective disorder at an early age. As parents, you must do your part responsibly in nurturing your child with daily needs. Being a sensitive parent can prevent appearance of the bi polar disease.

10. Evaluating the environment. As was defined by researches, the surrounding of a child is one of the major causes of bipolar disorder. Parents should be aware of the environment that affects a child's behavior.


1 Responses to Bipolar Affective Disorder Is More Than Just Mood Swings

  1. maya Says:
  2. Bipolar disorder is also commonly called manic depression. This disorder differs from standard depression in that you don’t feel depressed all the time. The disorder has you bouncing from extreme highs to extreme lows. Nice discussion on the related topic.
    Thanks for sharing such an useful content. Keep blogging.


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