The bipolar classifications in this post are loosely paraphrased from the DSM-IV-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition …Read the Rest
Tag Archives: Hypomania
Psychosis, aka Psychotic Features, is associated with the manic phase of bipolar I disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder. Other conditions where psychosis may be present include postpartum psychosis, dementia, depressive episodes, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The use of certain illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, can bring on psychotic episodes.
You may be able to short-circuit a developing mood episode through early intervention, but to do so, you must first be able to identify the early warning signs. In this post, I point out some common early warning signs of an oncoming bipolar mood episode (depression, mania, or mixed) and ask you to share your early warning signs.
One of the most challenging aspects of bipolar disorder is that those who have it often lack insight, meaning that in the midst of a major mood episode, their mood radar stops working. Consider teaming up with a loved one you trust to provide the objective insight you need. Remember: The earlier you intervene, the better chance you have of keeping a full-blown mood episode at bay.
As people become familiar with their illness, they recognize their own unique patterns of behavior. If individuals recognize these signs and seek effective and timely care, they can often prevent relapses. Individuals who live with bipolar disorder also benefit tremendously from taking responsibility for their own recovery. Once the illness is adequately managed, they must monitor side effects, changes in mood, and changes in lifestyle. The health care provider and consumer should be able to discuss, with respect for each other, changes in medication, dose, or any other aspect of fine-tuning treatment.
A cornerstone in the successful treatment of Bipolar Disorder is medication. Currently, there are dozens and dozens of medications approved for treating this disorder. There are also several medications used as an off-label treatment for bipolar disorder. Body chemistry and medication sensitive differ from person to person so there isn’t one specific medication that works for everyone and often several different medications are used together to treat bipolar disorder. This is known as a cocktail among bipolar sufferers and mental health professionals. The most common cocktail consists of mood stabilizers and anti-depressants.
While no one knows the exact cause of bipolar disorder, most scientists believe that bipolar disorder is likely caused by multiple factors that interact with each other to produce a chemical imbalance affecting certain parts of the brain. Bipolar disorder often runs in families, and studies suggest a genetic component to the disorder. For example, your chances of getting bipolar disorder are higher if your parents or siblings have this disorder.