A-typical

Symptom of the Day: Excessive Sleep

There exists a trope in depression of the man (or woman) who is so down he cannot get out of bed.

It seems like an exaggeration or a meaningless stereotype, but for many people it is a harsh reality. Sleep cycles in depression typically swing one of two ways. In the first, a person is unable to sleep when he tries. This is insomnia. The second way sleep is affected in bipolar depression is when a person sleeps considerably...
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Bipolar II

When Depression Isn’t An Episode

Depression isn’t limited to full bipolar episodes. It is possible to feel depressed and have symptoms of depression before the experience can be qualified as an episode. You can start to check off the symptoms as they come whether mild or moderate, and the waiting for the worst can begin. This limbo between feeling well and moving into a full depressive episode can be discouraging and anxiety-inducing. During periods of euthymia (between episodes), breakthrough symptoms...
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Anxiety

Sensory Processing & Sleep Quality in Bipolar Disorder: Part II

This article is Part II of “Sensory Processing & Sleep Quality in Bipolar Disorder.” You can read part I here.

Sleep problems are one of the main symptoms of bipolar disorder. In addition to either insomnia or hypersomnia in depression and a feeling of needing to sleep less in mania, there are other sleep problems associated with bipolar disorder. These include daytime sleepiness, night terrors and sleepwalking. There are a few reasons why...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Sensory Processing & Sleep Quality in Bipolar Disorder: Part I

Hyposensitivity and hypersensitivity can both occur in people with bipolar disorder. Up to 35% of people with bipolar disorder experience greater sensitivity, especially when associated with longer episodes. Around 28% of people with bipolar disorder experience hyposensitivity.  Unlike bipolar moods, sensory processing sensitivities do not come and go. They are persistent, but can be exacerbated by mood episodes.

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Anxiety

Understanding Motivation in Bipolar Disorder

Everyone has difficulties with motivation at times. There are always tasks to be completed and jobs to be done, but they are not always desirable or enjoyable. Accomplishing these tasks requires extra motivation, but sometimes motivation can be hard to come by. People who experience depression like that in major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder may have worse problems with motivation than those who do not. Understanding motivation is key in being able...
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Bipolar II

Defining & Treating Rapid-Cycling in Bipolar II

Rapid cycling bipolar disorder is traditionally defined as four or more episodes occurring within a 12-month period. However, this only applies to the previous 12-month period and does not take into account whether or not a person experiences rapid-cycling only briefly or over a lifetime. A new study has shown that there are several differences between groups that experience traditionally-defined rapid cycling and those who have a lifetime definition of rapid-cycling.

It is not known how...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Can Pain Medication Affect Bipolar Disorder Treatment?

Bipolar disorder has previously been linked to chronic pain, affecting almost 30% of patients. Treatment for chronic pain often includes over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen (paracetamol). Because people with bipolar disorder already often take more than one medication for the disorder alone, it is important to note any drug interactions from additional medications that may affect treatment. A group of researchers recently set out to see if...
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Bipolar II

Increasing Social Functioning in Bipolar Disorder

The main goal in treating bipolar disorder is usually to lengthen time between episodes. While that is a good and necessary goal, it ignores a significant portion of the person’s life. Bipolar disorder does not just consist of having symptoms. It also consists of the responses to those symptoms and how a patient is able to cope in life. This is called psychosocial functioning. How a person functions in life is not always congruent with...
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Anxiety

Self-Soothing During Difficult Times

The ups and downs of bipolar disorder provide ripe ingredients for a crisis. During mania we may feel phenomenal and deny that a serious situation is occurring, but our behavior speaks differently. In depression or anxiety, we may feel a crisis acutely. It may come in the form of hopelessness, a panic attack suicidal ideation or even an attempt. During these times it’s important to have at hand a list of coping...
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Anxiety

Anxiety & Bipolar Disorder: Part II

This article is Part II of “Anxiety & Bipolar Disorder.” You can read part one here.

Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in those with bipolar disorder. Over 50% of patients have at least one. That means a person may not only be dealing with bipolar disorder but also generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, for example. Those that have both anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder tend to...
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