Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder--also called manic depression and bipolar depression--is a form of clinical depression which causes mood swings. With bipolar disorder, a person may experience depressive, manic, and mixed episodes.

During depressive episodes the person experiences syptoms which are common to all forms of depression...sadness, emptiness, loss of interest and pleasure, irritability and anger, changes in appetite, sleep problems, restlessness, slow movement and thinking, fatigue, worthlessness and guilt, poor concentration, thoughts about death and suicide.

Manic episodes are characterized by feelings of elation and confidence. The person may feel like he or she can accomplish great things. This over confidence may become delusional--When experiencing delusions, the person has lost touch with reality.

During manic episodes, the person has an abundance of energy. This results in increased activity. The manic may become very productive, and is often able to accomplish a great deal. He or she usually needs less sleep than normal.

The high level of energy may also cause loud, rapid speech. Because thoughts are racing through the individual's mind, he or she may jump from one subject to another.

The increased energy, coupled with exaggerated--perhaps irrational--self confidence may cause the manic to engage in extremely risky behaviors, such a reckless driving, impulsive spending, sexual promiscuity, and wild business schemes. Overeating and drinking too much are common.

The person experiencing manic symptoms may experience irritability, anger, and aggitation. He or she may experience paranoid thinking.

The symptoms of bipolar disoder often become so severe that hospitalization is required.

A person with bipolar disorder usually has alternating periods of depression and periods of mania. Mixed episodes--where the person experiences both manic and depressive symptoms--are frequent.

Episodes may last for weeks or months. Some manic depressives have episodes which are short in duration and change frequently--called rapid cycling.

Bipolar disorder often begins in early adulthood. As with other clinical depressive disorders, bipolar disorder can begin in childhood. Research suggest that there is a strong genetic link; the disorder runs in families. The disorder affects men and women equally.

Treatment for bipolar disorder usually requires medication to stabilize moods and manage symptoms. Psychotherapy can also help the person with manic depression manage stress, resolve emotional conflicts, adjust to difficult situations, and solve problems. Often moods become more stable as the person develops better coping skills.

The How To Transform Your Life E-Workshop can help you develop these needed coping skills as you try to better manage your bipolar disorder.

This E-Workshop should not be considered a substitute for psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment, however. When used along with psychological and psychiatric treatment, the E-Workshop may help you make more rapid progress.

To learn more about The How To Transform Your Life E-Workshop, click here.

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