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Archives for March, 2016

Bipolar Laid Bare

Many Emergency Departments Can’t Handle Psychiatric Emergencies

A psychiatric emergency is any situation in which a person may be a threat to themselves or others. Examples are suicidal behavior, threat of violence, psychosis or any other acute change in behavior. There are few options for receiving care during a psychiatric emergency. Unfortunately, most of them are rubbish. Psychiatrists are rarely reachable outside office hours and crisis management-trained mental health social workers are...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Breaking Down Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder: Mania

In an ideal world, patients would realize that what they feel is not normal and seek help from their primary care physician, therapist or psychiatrist, who would recognize the symptoms and provide proper treatment. We don’t live in an ideal world. Putting symptoms into a search engine is now the first response. That’s when endless lists pop up. For bipolar disorder, it’s easy to find...
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Bipolar II

What Exactly is Hypomania?

Hypomania is not a familiar attribute of bipolar disorder for most of the general public. It’s a characteristic of bipolar II, which, again, isn’t quite as well-known as bipolar I. “Hypo-” is a prefix derived from the Greek word “hupo,” meaning “under.” In medical jargon, it’s used to describe a symptom or state that is “beneath”...
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Bipolar II

Are There Other Types of Bipolar Disorder?

The stereotype of bipolar disorder is a full-blown euphoric, manic or psychotic episode. During this phase, people can engage in indiscriminate spending or stay awake for days, obsessing over projects or cleaning, among other things. Then there are periods of depression. This behavior is characteristic of one type of bipolar disorder, but there are actually several types, each with their own distinguishing characteristics. Symptoms are...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder is Changing.

There are some people that are able to manage bipolar disorder without medication, though not many. Bipolar disorder can be debilitating, and remaining at a functioning level is difficult, even with treatment.  Once someone with bipolar disorder is diagnosed, it may take years to find a drug therapy regimen that works, and even that may change over time. Bipolar disorder is fluid. It doesn’t just evoke...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Having a Spouse with Bipolar Disorder is Harder on Women, but Why?

Everyone experiences bipolar disorder differently. People with bipolar disorder have different levels of functioning. Sometimes a lot of help and support is needed, other times less so. The same goes for loved ones of people with bipolar disorder. Sometimes spouses have an easier time giving support. Other times they find it incredibly difficult. Bipolar disorder is difficult. It can be...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

What Happens When You Have Bipolar Disorder and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings, with depression being the most common. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is also characterized by mood swings, with depression being most prominent. One has a discernable pattern and the other is largely unpredictable. Sometimes they occur together. Having more than one mental illness is extremely common, but distinguishing whether bipolar disorder and PMDD coexist can...
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