Bipolar Disorder :):

[[#|Bipolar disorder]] is a mood disorder which is sometimes called manic-depressive disorder or manic-depression. It describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels.Bipolar disorder consists of cycles of depression and elation. Another name for the elation period is mania. Sometimes the mood swings from mania to depression and depression to mania occur quickly, but most of the time the mood swings are gradual and slow. Sometimes intervals of normal mood occur between the manic and depressive parts of the condition.

bipolar_spectrum_255x192.png This shows the ages of when a person is usually diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Manic Phase

During the mania period, a person has a lot of energy and may feel agitated, excited, capable of doing anything, and have racing thoughts. During mania, the person is constantly talking and has little need for sleep. Their speech can become impaired because their thoughts are going so fast that it can be difficult to understand what they're saying. He or she can be irritable, aggressive, and impassive. He or she might also shop or spend excessively. Mania can be fairly harmful to the afflicted person. It affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior. Mania can cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, someone could make unwise business or financial decisions when he or she is in a manic phase. Mania can also get so severe that a person may develop psychosis like delusions, specifically grandiose delusions or some sort of hallucinations. There is also hypomania which is a lesser form of mania. In addition, people in the manic phase tend to have compulsive habits that can quickly become out of control and can contribute to dysfunction.

Depression Phase

During the depressive portion of the mood swings, a person might feel sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, isolation, or hopelessness. He or she might have difficulty sleeping or may experience a change in appetite. He or she may be fatigued and not feeling like doing anything. He or she could have problems concentrating, and feel lonely or indifferent. Also, while in the depressive phase, one might be irritable and have chronic pain and lack of motivation. Sometimes while in the depressive phase one might have thoughts of suicide. These symptoms are also present in [[#|major depressive disorder]] and [minor depressive disorder].


Bipolar disorder is split into three different subgroups. Bipolar I disorder, Bipolar II disorder, and Cyclothymia disorder.
  • Bipolar I disorder, also known as raging bipolar disorder, is characterized by mood swings that cause major difficulty in the afflicted person’s job, schoolwork and personal relationships. In Bipolar I the person’s manic episodes can be severe and dangerous.
  • Bipolar II disorder is less severe than bipolar I. The afflicted person has periods of elevated mood, irritability and some changes in functioning but can lead a normal life and carry out daily activities. In Bipolar II the mania is called hypomania; it is a less severe form of mania. In bipolar II, the periods of [[#|depression]] usually last longer than the periods of hypomania. Usually the depression in type ll bipolar is really severe.
  • Cyclothymia is a mild form of bipolar disorder. Those with cyclothymia find the cycles of hypomania and depression to be troublesome, but the mania and depression phases are not as severe as they are in the other types of bipolar disorder.

A short overview of the different types of Bipolar Disorder:

Signs and Symptoms

Some signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are: seasonal mood changes, rapid cycling bipolar disorder, and Psychosis. With seasonal mood changes, a person might feel their moods changing with the seasons. He or she might feel symptoms or mania during the spring and summer, while feeling [[#|symptoms of depression]] during the fall and winter. Rapid Cycling Bipolar disorder is when someone with bipolar disorder experiences rapid mood changes. He or she might experience four or more mood swings within a single year. In some cases the mood shifts can occur even faster, sometimes within just hours. Psychosis is a detachment from reality; severe periods of mania or depression might cause this. People with psychosis might experience delusions, false beliefs or opinions, or hallucinations, hearing or seeing things that aren't there. Sometimes sudden psychosis, also known as a psychotic break, is someone’s first symptom of bipolar disorder.

There are certain things that seem to be factors that cause Bipolar disorders. These factors are: Biological differences- people with bipolar disorder seem to have differences in their brains. Neurotransmitters- an imbalance in neurotransmitters in the brain could be a possible cause of bipolar disorder. Hormones – If one’s hormones are imbalanced that could also trigger bipolar disorder. Inherited traits – bipolar disorder tends to run in families. Environment- Stress, abuse, loss of a loved one or other traumatic experiences may play a role in bipolar disorder.

Many people think that there must be a prolonged period of high and low periods in order to have bipolar disorder diagnosed, but bipolar disorder, especially
Bipolar I, can be diagnosed specifically after a single episode of mania, if the episode does not follow a period of depression and does not better fit schizophrenia. When a doctor suspects a person has bipolar, they typically do a number of exams. These include:
  • Physical Exam: Measuring heart rate, height, weight,blood pressure, temperature, and examination of abdomen.
  • Lab Tests: Urine and blood tests. Help identify any physical problems that could cause symptoms.
  • Psychological Evaluation: Talk about your feelings and express yourself
  • Mood Charting: Doctor may ask the person to keep a daily log of mood behavior, sleeping patterns, or other patterns that could help with diagnosis and treatment.

Mood Stabilizers, ECT Or 'Shock' Treatments, Group Therapy, and/or Behavioral Therapy are some of the treatments that can alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder. Currently, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. There are medications that are prescribed by people with a doctorate in medicine or by a psychiatrist. Lithium is a notable mood-stabilizing medication, as it was first used to treat mania. It also prevents the recurrence of depressive and maniac episodes. Valproic acid or divalproex sodium is another popular alternative to lithium for treating mania. Antidepressant medications are sometimes used to treat symptoms of depression in bipolar disorder.

Why it is a disorder?
Bipolar disorder is deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional. People act abnormal in their extreme euphoric feelings and then a few weeks later to extreme depressed or angry feelings. The disorder makes them distressed by placing tension on close relationships and may even jeopardize their financial stability (shopping sprees are common when one becomes overly euphoric and reckless). In some cases the people with bipolar disorder cannot function properly for their ability to think clearly is clouded by pessimistic and depressive feelings or jumbled by the reckless and care free manic phase. It is most definitely a psychological disorder.

Case Study

Adam was an eighteen-year-old college student who was forced to drop out of his university after seeking treatment for severe depressive episodes. Now, he lives at home with his father. His mother died when he was twelve. Because he suffered from mood changes and suicidal thoughts throughout his adolescence, Adam was referred to a specialist and was wrongly diagnosed with depression when he was seventeen.
While attending his former university, Adam experienced extended periods of hyperactivity. Though some of these intervals lasted for only a few days, others spanned two weeks or more. During these periods, Adam spent large sums of money and engaged in impulsive sexual behaviors. Other risky behaviors, including drug use, were observed by friends. He was restless and required little sleep. One of these episodes was characterized by his belief that he was a famous writer. He locked himself in his room for several days and emerged with a notebook that he claimed was his "masterpiece." Adam abandoned the notebook soon after and would focus on several different projects in the following months.
In between these creative spurts, Adam would feel anxious and worthless. Unable to concentrate on course material, he stopped going to his classes. Friends noticed changes in his eating patterns and he was rarely seen in the university's cafeteria. Instead, friends would find him sleeping excessively in his dorm. During one of these depressive phases, Adam attempted suicide. When his father learned about this suicide attempt, Adam was pulled out of school.
After meeting with another specialist, Adam was given a prescription for Lithium. Since he began taking it regularly, his mood has stabilized. He misses his creative phases, but is glad that thoughts of suicide have subsided.


Bipolar Disorder and Creativity: (the people listed below have Bipolar)

Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Clemens, George Frederic Handel, Robert Schumann, and Virginia Woolf, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Demi Lovato

This movie shows what bipolar disorder is.

This movie shows some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and how the disease can affect someone’s life.

Although Bipolar disorder may seem pretty rare, there are a surprising amount of celebrities who claim to have or have had the disorder at some point in their lives.

Demi Lovato: In addition to suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and cutting, Lovato also discovered that she has bipolar disorder. In response she stated
"There were times when I was so manic, I was writing seven songs in one night and I'd be up until 5:30 in the morning."

Britney Spears: Many psychologists have suggested that Spears has bipolar disorder judging by her erratic actions such as shaving her head and her frequent and extreme mood changes.

Marilyn Monroe: Marilyn Monroe, a timeless icon, has also suffered from bipolar disorder. Many who worked with her often noted her emotional instability. Her physician at the time remarked, “We knew that she was a manic depressive.” He then went on to discuss her frequent mood swings.