Yesterday was Bipolar Awareness Day

Bipolar Disorder is no fun for the person with it, or for those in the Bipolar Person's life.

Since I normally share my experiences here today I am going to stick to "the facts". Try to educate others about the disorder.

Here we go...

Bipolar Disorder

The Mayo Clinic Definition:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/basics/definition/CON-20027544

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year or as often as several times a week.

National Institutes of Mental Health:
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml#part_145402

What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

Essentially,
Bipolar Disorder cause Extreme (s in) Moods. It disrupts lives. It can be treated. It can be managed, but it will never go away, and even managed one will have still have "Episodes".

Scientists are studying causes, but much is still unknown. We do know genetics play a roll. And we do know environmental factors play a roll. (Environmental Factors include, but are not limited to: diet, exercise, sleep patterns, exposure to toxins/chemicals, stimulants, "triggers" like stress, etc.)

Studies have also shown the disorder does tend to run in families.
"...Some research has suggested that people with certain genes are more likely to develop bipolar disorder than others. Children with a parent or sibling who has bipolar disorder are much more likely to develop the illness, compared with children who do not have a family history of bipolar disorder. However, most children with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness." (NIMH)
"...But genes are not the only risk factor for bipolar disorder. Studies of identical twins have shown that the twin of a person with bipolar illness does not always develop the disorder, despite the fact that identical twins share all of the same genes. Research suggests that factors besides genes are also at work. It is likely that many different genes and environmental factors are involved. However, scientists do not yet fully understand how these factors interact to cause bipolar disorder." (NIMH)

Symptoms

Source: National Institutes of Mental Health
Symptoms of mania or a manic episode include:Symptoms of depression or a depressive episode include:
Mood Changes
  • A long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood
  • Extreme irritability
Behavioral Changes
  • Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
  • Being easily distracted
  • Increasing activities, such as taking on new projects
  • Being overly restless
  • Sleeping little or not being tired
  • Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
  • Behaving impulsively and engaging in pleasurable, high-risk behaviors
Mood Changes
  • An overly long period of feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex.
Behavioral Changes
  • Feeling tired or "slowed down"
  • Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Being restless or irritable
  • Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits
  • Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide

"Bipolar disorder can be present even when mood swings are less extreme. For example, some people with bipolar disorder experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania. During a hypomanic episode, you may feel very good, be highly productive, and function well. You may not feel that anything is wrong, but family and friends may recognize the mood swings as possible bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression.
Bipolar disorder may also be present in a mixed state, in which you might experience both mania and depression at the same time. During a mixed state, you might feel very agitated, have trouble sleeping, experience major changes in appetite, and have suicidal thoughts. People in a mixed state may feel very sad or hopeless while at the same time feel extremely energized.
Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression has psychotic symptoms too, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to reflect the person's extreme mood. For example, if you are having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode, you may believe you are a famous person, have a lot of money, or have special powers. If you are having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode, you may believe you are ruined and penniless, or you have committed a crime. As a result, people with bipolar disorder who have psychotic symptoms are sometimes misdiagnosed with schizophrenia.
People with bipolar disorder may also abuse alcohol or substances, have relationship problems, or perform poorly in school or at work. It may be difficult to recognize these problems as signs of a major mental illness."

5.7 Million Adults Have Bipolar Disorder -

 and that is only the adults who have been diagnosed!

(and does not include all the children...)

About 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the population, age 18 and older in any given year, have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some people have their first symptoms during childhood, and some develop them late in life. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life (National Institute of Mental Health). - See more at: http://www.ibpf.org/learn#sthash.JeymqiO1.dpuf

 

Help me spread Awareness about Bipolar Disorder!

Let's start talking! Break the Silence & the Stigma!

Do you know someone with Bipolar Disorder? Do you have Bipolar Disorder? Share your story with us <3

Until next time,
Live. Laugh. Love. and spread Bipolar Awareness!

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