Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Bipolar

Before I go on, if you have children please go check out my friends giveaway. She has an awesome give away going on that children will love! Go on over to Heather's blog and sign up for her give away!




How does bipolar disorder affect someone over time?

Bipolar disorder usually lasts a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. Between episodes, many people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms, but some people may have lingering symptoms. This part here is where I really messed up. You see after taking medication for so long, you start to believe you are fine, and no longer need the medicine. Problem is that the medication does not heal bipolar.

Doctors usually diagnose mental disorders using guidelines from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. According to the DSM, there are four basic types of bipolar disorder:
  1. Bipolar I Disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, the person also has depressive episodes, typically lasting at least two weeks. The symptoms of mania or depression must be a major change from the person's normal behavior.
  2. Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
  3. Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of the illness that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The symptoms may not last long enough, or the person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person's normal range of behavior.
4.  Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who have cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania that shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Some people may be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. This is when a person has four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania, or mixed symptoms within a year. Some people experience more than one episode in a week, or even within one day. Rapid cycling seems to be more common in people who have severe bipolar disorder and may be more common in people who have their first episode at a younger age. One study found that people with rapid cycling had their first episode about four years earlier, during mid to late teen years, than people without rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Rapid cycling affects more women than men.

I am a rapid cycler, my moods shift constantly. If it weren't for my medications they would shift a whole lot more. It's very hard for hubby to know what my mood is going to be at that moment. My medication does help that to slow down those cycles.

Over time, a person may suffer more frequent and more severe episodes than when the illness first appeared. Also, delays in getting the correct diagnosis and treatment make a person more likely to experience personal, social, and work-related problems.
Proper diagnosis and treatment helps people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and productive lives. In most cases, treatment can help reduce the frequency and severity of episodes.


  1. I'm a follower and I do think you are Awsome. Good information.
    Thank you.

  2. This is good information to know. It is wonderful to have medication that they know will help.

  3. Stopping by from follow me friday. Thnks for sharing that info It can be difficult to open up abot mental health issues. I suffer from depression/anxiety issues and went untreated for my high school years. Thankfully, I nw take medication that helps me deal with it.

  4. Thank you for posting this. Do you have any advice on how to help someone who can't get the help/medication they need due to no insurance?