What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a brain illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy and activity levels. It also affects one’s ability to carry out daily activities. The disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, causes severe high and low moods. Individuals suffering from bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness, go through unusual mood changes – ranging from very happy and active to very sad and hopelessness.
Bipolar disorder that runs in families usually starts in late teens or young adulthood and both men and women are equally likely to get it. However, mood swings and other symptoms can be managed with the help of a well-defined treatment plan in certified bipolar disorder treatment centers. Well-defined bipolar disorder programs combine medication and psychotherapy.
Bipolar disorder: Types
There are four basic types of bipolar disorder with all of them involving clear changes in mood, energy and activity levels.
Bipolar I Disorder: Characterized by manic symptoms or episodes, this type can last for up to seven days, but in severe cases, a person might require immediate hospitalization. It can also involve depressive episodes, lasting for at least two weeks.
Bipolar II Disorder: It is a milder form of bipolar disorder and involves milder episodes of hypomania and depression. Hypomania, however, may progress toward full mania that significantly affects an individual’s day-to-day functions.
Cyclothymic Disorder: Also called cyclothymia, the disorder is defined by numerous episodes of hypomanic as well as depressive symptoms. While the symptoms last for up to at least two years, they do not meet the diagnostic requirements of hypomanic or depressive episodes.
Other Bipolar Disorders: It includes bipolar disorders that do not come under the three main categories and can include incidents of simultaneous episodes of opposite moods experienced during hypomanic, manic or depressive episodes.
Bipolar disorder: Causes and symptoms
The causes of bipolar disorder are not always clear, though stress, certain anxiety disorders, genes, abnormal brain structure and function may play a role in it. Therefore, there is a possibility that a combination of various factors might be responsible for the illness.