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The characteristics and symptoms of bipolar affective disorder

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme mood swings from high to low, and from low to high. Highs are periods of maniawhile lows are periods of depression.

  1. International Association for Suicide Prevention.
  2. Manic episodes are more common during the summer, and depressive episodes more common during the fall, winter, and spring.
  3. Causes and triggers Bipolar disorder has no single cause.
  4. Medication alone is usually not enough to fully control the symptoms of bipolar disorder. There are four common types of bipolar disorder, but two of these types are most often diagnosed.

The mood swings may even become mixed, so you might feel elated and depressed at the same time. A 2005 study found that 2. Women are more likely to receive bipolar diagnoses than men, though the reason for this remains unclear.

Could It Be Bipolar? 14 Signs to Look For

Bipolar disorder can be hard to diagnose, but there are warning signs or symptoms that you can look for. What are the warning signs of bipolar disorder? The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are varied.

Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, making this condition hard to diagnose.

  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm;
  • Stress — Stressful life events can trigger bipolar disorder in someone with a genetic vulnerability;
  • You can also read Suicide Prevention.

The warning signs of bipolar disorder can generally be divided into those for mania, and those for depression. Mania can cause other symptoms as well, but seven of the key signs of this phase of bipolar disorder are: Call 911 or your local emergency number. Stay with the person until help arrives. Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.

If you think someone is considering suicide: Get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. There are four common types of bipolar disorder, but two of these types are most often diagnosed. The person may end up in the emergency room if left untreated. To have bipolar I, a person must have manic episodes.

Bipolar Disorder Signs and Symptoms

In order for an event to be considered a manic episode, it must: It also involves depressive symptoms, but its manic symptoms are much less severe and are called hypomanic symptoms. Hypomania often becomes worse without treatment, and the person can become severely manic or depressed. Rarer types of bipolar disorder There are two other types of the disorder that are less common than bipolar I and II.

Cyclothymic disorder involves mood swings and shifts similar to bipolar I and II, but the shifts are often less dramatic in nature. A person with cyclothymic disorder can often function normally without medication, though it may be hard.

Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is a general category for a person who only has some bipolar symptoms. These symptoms are not enough to make a diagnosis of one of the other three types.