About Bipolar Disorder

Sometimes referred to as bipolar affective disorder, bipolar disorder is classified as a Meta 1 condition that impacts the mood of the individual. Essentially, the disorder can create rapid and extreme swings in mood that may range from the sufferer becoming almost catatonic to extremely violent. Irrational behavior during an episode is not uncommon among many people who deal with bipolar disorder. The frustration and sense of not being in control often leads to depression and other issues that only serve to make the disorder more pronounced.

Most experts agree that bipolar disorder is actually a collective term for several types of mood disorders. Mania, which is a state of an unusually elevated mood is part of the bipolar experience. Rapid descent into depression is often another element within the perimeters of bipolar activity. The patient may rapidly move from one state to another, with few or no periods of feeling emotionally stable. Panic attacks are not uncommon during a bipolar episode.

The presence of bipolar disorder is often diagnosed in early adulthood, although the condition may become apparent at any point in life. When the presence of the disorder is suspected, the attending physician or mental health professional will take into consideration the self-reported experiences of the individual as well as observe the patient under controlled conditions.

There are a number of reasons why an individual may have bipolar disorder. Various studies indicate that factors such as genetics, neurological issues, and early developmental experiences may serve as triggers. Social problems in the family, workplace, or community may help to trigger a bipolar response. Psychological issues that result from stress and environmental factors may also lead to bipolar activity.

In terms of treatment, persons suffering with bipolar disorder may respond to various types of medication. Lithium and sodium valproate are commonly employed. Anti psychotic medications like olanzapine are among the neuroleptic drugs that help in many cases. At present, there is some debate about the use of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs as treatments for bipolar disorder. Therapy also is often helpful in resolving some of the underlying issues and helping the patient to reclaim some of his or her life. This union of prescription medication and therapy can help minimize and sometimes eliminate the recurrence of manic episodes.

For more information about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of bipolar disorder, it is often helpful to speak with a qualified health professional. This may be your primary care physician, or a health professional that deals specifically with bipolar disorder treatments.