Signs of Bipolar
Bipolar Syndrome (Bipolar Disorder) is a condition in which people experience alternating highs (mania) and lows (abnormally depressed) for short, or sometimes lengthy periods of time; in a way that interferes with their lives. Bipolar disorder affects millions of people —about 3% of adults. It affects people whatever their age, race, sex, education or occupation.
Both the manic and depressive periods can be brief, sometimes a few hours to a few days, or longer, lasting up to several weeks or even months. The periods of mania and depression differ for each person – some may only have very brief periods of these intense moods, and may not even be aware that they have bipolar syndrome.
Not everyone’s symptoms are the same and there is no blood test to confirm bipolar condition. Scientists believe that bipolar disorder may be caused when chemicals in the brain are out of balance. The symptoms can look like depression. Distinguishing the illness is not easy, even for mental health professionals. What makes bipolar disorder different is that in addition to depression, a person also experiences the "highs" of a manic phase.
Bipolar syndrome is recurrent, meaning that more than 90% of the individuals who have one manic episode will go on to experience more in the future. Roughly 70% of manic episodes in bipolar disorder occur immediately before or after a depressive episode. Treatment seeks to reduce the feelings of mania and depression associated with the disorder, and restore balance to the person’s mood.
People with bi polar disease, however, can have moods usually swinging from weeks of feeling overly “high” and irritable to weeks of feeling sad and hopeless, but with normal periods in between.
A big difference between bipolar disorder and the normal emotions of life is that bipolar disorder leads to an inability to handle daily activities. The person cannot work or communicate effectively and may have a distorted sense of reality (for example, unrealistically high or low opinion of one’s own abilities).
Often the condition is not picked up on by the patient, relatives, friends or even physicians. However, recognizing the different mood states that occur is essential. Treatment can help a person with bipolar disorder avoid harmful consequences such as destruction of personal relationships, job loss and suicide.
The main method used to diagnose bipolar condition is a meeting with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional. Although there are written methods for documenting the severity and number of symptoms, those tests only complement a complete interview. They do not substitute for a face-to-face evaluation by a professional. There are no biological tests that can be used to diagnose bipolar disorder.
Anyone with bipolar disorder should be under the care of a psychiatrist skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
Around half of psychiatrists make the wrong diagnosis when presented with a complex bipolar disorder case, study results demonstrate.
Bipolar diagnosis is on the rise. you can read it in the media and readily observe it by talking to people you know.
Over the same time period, the number of visits by adults resulting in a bipolar disorder diagnosis almost doubled. The cause of these increases is unclear.
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