Bipolar disorder can cause your mood to swing from an extreme high to an extreme low. Manic symptoms can include increased energy, excitement, impulsive behaviour, and agitation. Depressive symptoms can include lack of energy, feeling worthless, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
Both a manic and a hypomanic episode include three or more of these symptoms: Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired. Increased activity, energy or agitation. Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and guided imagery can be very effective at reducing stress and keeping you on an even keel. A daily relaxation practice can improve your mood and keep depression at bay. Make leisure time a priority.
Lamotrigine. Lamotrigine (Lamictal) may be the most effective mood stabilizer for depression in bipolar disorder, but is not as helpful for mania. The starting dose of lamotrigine should be very low and increased very slowly over four weeks or more.
Talking rapidly, sudden changes in topic, or “leaps of logic.” Having more energy than usual, especially if needing little sleep. Being intensely focused, or finding it hard to focus. Involuntary facial movements, such as twitches or mouthing.
A stressful circumstance or situation often triggers the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Examples of stressful triggers include: the breakdown of a relationship. physical, sexual or emotional abuse. the death of a close family member or loved one.
People with bipolar experience both episodes of severe depression and episodes of mania – overwhelming joy, excitement or happiness, huge energy, a reduced need for sleep, and reduced inhibitions. The experience of bipolar is uniquely personal. No two people have exactly the same experience.
As mentioned previously, the most common misdiagnosis for bipolar patients is unipolar depression. An incorrect diagnosis of unipolar depression carries the risk of inappropriate treatment with antidepressants, which can result in manic episodes and trigger rapid cycling.
Bipolar I disorder involves at least one episode of mania, which is a very high mood. This can alternate with times of depression. During a manic phase, you may feel “wired” or jumpy and full of energy. During a depressive phase, you may feel you have no energy and are unable to carry out daily tasks.
Bipolar disorder is easily confused with depression because it can include depressive episodes. The main difference between the two is that depression is unipolar, meaning that there is no “up” period, but bipolar disorder includes symptoms of mania.
Bipolar Triggers and Warning Signs
Bipolar disorder features extreme shifts in mood that are unpredictable and often disruptive to daily functioning. Changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, emotions, and behaviors accompany the mood swings.
Bipolar disorder is frequently inherited, with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80% of the cause of the condition. Bipolar disorder is the most likely psychiatric disorder to be passed down from family. If one parent has bipolar disorder, there's a 10% chance that their child will develop the illness.
“When stressed, bipolar patients will often, out of desperation, reach for anything to calm themselves or take away the stress even for a moment. Drugs, binge-eating, or excessive shopping can be unhealthy coping mechanisms that can bring on mood episodes,” Dr. Israel says.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by frequent mood cycles, fluxing between mania and depression. While anger isn't always present, people with this frustrating condition may find they quickly experience angry outbursts when they feel agitated, irritated, or annoyed.
Bipolar Disorder DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria
To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania. To be considered mania, the elevated, expansive, or irritable mood must last for at least one week and be present most of the day, nearly every day.
You may experience symptoms of depression, plus mania or hypomania at the same time. For example, you may feel very energised and impulsive, while feeling upset or tearful. Or you may feel very agitated or irritable. You may also experience highs and lows very quickly after the other, within the same day or hour.
Lithium: The first mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers are medications that help control the highs and lows of bipolar disorder. They are the cornerstone of treatment, both for mania and depression. Lithium is the oldest and most well-known mood stabilizer and is highly effective for treating mania.
Drugs with a definite propensity to cause manic symptoms include levodopa, corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids. Antidepressants of the tricyclic and monoamine oxidase inhibitor classes can induce mania in patients with pre-existing bipolar affective disorder.
The most effective treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Most people take more than one drug, like a mood-stabilizing drug and an antipsychotic or antidepressant.
As summarized in Table 4, bipolar disorder should be suspected if prominent behavior problems, anxiety, and substance abuse were present during childhood in someone with recurrent depression and a family history of affective disorders.
Changes in the frequency and severity of episodes are among the most evident changes in bipolar disorder at an older age. Research suggests that older adults with bipolar disorder often experience: more frequent episodes.