Living With Bipolar Disorder: Another Complex Disorder
Although I don’t typically write on Saturday’s, I was inspired to share this video with you sooner than later to conclude our discussion on depression and emotional disturbance. I spoke with a mother who spent 1hr crying about her daughter who suffered from severe bipolar disorder in adolescence. The discussion took interesting turns and I’m sure you will find the video as intriguing.
What do you think of when you hear the term “bipolar disorder?” Do you think of “split personality” or changeability, moodiness, great artistic ability, riskiness, irritability, rage, irresponsibility, drug abuse, and sexual indiscretion? Bipolar disorder does not mean a “split personality,” but it is often very difficult to live with and is characterized by switchable moods (ups and downs, highs and lows). Mood swings are intense. The world can seem great and one’s energy level could be high, but the next moment this same person could feel extremely depressed even suicidal (called a “mixed state“). Some people go so far as to say bipolar disorder often looks like “split personalities.” As a result, families fall apart, jobs fall apart, and the meaning a life once held can feel so far away. Life is nothing more but a broken memory.
Bipolar disorder is often characterized by the numbers 1 and 2 to reflect the severity of symptoms. Typical symptoms of bipolar I disorder include but are not limited to:
- Severe mood episodes of depression and mania (occurring in cycles)
- Rapid thinking or “flight of ideas”
- Symptoms typically appear during adolescence or early 20s
- Many people are misdiagnosed with borderline personality disorder
- About 2.5% of the US population suffers from Bipolar Disorder (about 6mil people)
- Excessive spending and irresponsible behaviors
- Substance abuse
- Increased energy
- Inflated self-image or grandiosity
- People experiencing Bipolar I Disorder often have long periods in between cycles of mania and depression
Symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder:
- Milder form of depression and mania (mania never reaches full blown mania)
- Symptoms of mania are regarded as hypomania
- during a hypomanic episode, symptoms can manifest themselves as euphoria or irritability
The following video offers a personal account of life with bipolar disorder:
As always, stay informed! For a slideshow on “Understanding Bipolar Disorder” visit my site: AnchoredInKnowledge.
All the best
WebMD. (2013). Bipolar disorder health center: Bipolar I disorder. Retrieved September 1, 2013 from http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-1-disorder.
WebMD. (2013). Bipolar disorder health center: Bipolar II disorder. Retrieved September 1, 2013 from http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder.
Hill, T. (2013). Living With Bipolar Disorder: Another Complex Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 27, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2013/09/living-with-bipolar-disorder/