- Author: Monday, September 27th, 2010
What Is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that is characterized by extreme changes in mood, from mania to depression. It can lead to risky behavior, damaged relationships and careers, and even suicidal tendencies if it's not treated.
Bipolar Children and Teens:
In general, women tend to experience more periods of depression than men, research shows. Women are also at higher risk for rapid cycling, which means having four or more mood episodes in one year.
ADHD or Bipolar?:
Bipolar disorder and ADHD are being diagnosed more often in American children and teens. There are some similarities in symptoms, so how can a doctor know for sure if the child has bipolar disorder or ADHD?
Learn More, Live Better Catch every episode of Bipolar TV and get not just the basics, but in-depth stories about people living successfully with bipolar disorder. Also see expert interviews that answer questions about triggers, work, marriage, medications, treatment options, and more.
Feeling the Ups and Downs of Bipolar? Whether you have bipolar disorder or are concerned about someone who does, WebMD's Bipolar Disorder Health Check allows you to easily and discreetly assess symptoms, treatments, lifestyle issues, and more.
Are You at Risk?Bipolar Disorder: Who's at Risk? About 5.7 million U.S. adults are living with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally, as well as all races, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic classes.
Preventing Bipolar Although bipolar disorder cannot be prevented, early recognition of bipolar warning signs and seeing your doctor regularly can allow you to monitor your mood and medications and keep the illness from escalating.
Symptoms & Types:
Bipolar is a complex illness. There are many different symptoms -- and several different types -- of bipolar disorder. The primary symptoms of the disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings. The various types of bipolar disorder range from mild to severe.
Mania symptoms may include excessive happiness, excitement, irritability, restlessness, increased energy, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, high sex drive, and a tendency to make grand and unattainable plans.
Depression symptoms may include sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of energy, uncontrollable crying, change in appetite causing weight loss or gain, increased need for sleep, difficulty making decisions, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Bipolar Types There are several types of bipolar disorder; all involve episodes of depression and mania to a degree. They include bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, mixed bipolar, and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.
Bipolar I :A person affected by bipolar I disorder has had at least one manic episode in his or her life. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life.
Rapid Cycling :In rapid cycling, a person with bipolar disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. About 10% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder have rapid cycling.
Mixed Bipolar: In most forms of bipolar disorder, moods alternate between elevated and depressed over time. But with mixed bipolar disorder, a person experiences both mania and depression simultaneously or in rapid sequence.
Bipolar Disorder Complications Self-injury, often referred to as cutting, self-mutilation, or self-harm, is an injurious attempt to cope with overpowering negative emotions, such as extreme anger, anxiety, and frustration. It is usually repetitive, not a one-time act.
Bipolar Warning Signs When a person's illness follows the classic pattern, diagnosing bipolar disorder is relatively easy. But bipolar disorder can be sneaky. Symptoms can defy the expected manic-depressive sequence.
Emergencies & Suicide Prevention Suicide is a very real risk for people with bipolar disorder, whether they're in a manic or depressive episode -- 10%-15% of people with bipolar disorder kill themselves. But treatment greatly lowers the risk.
Some things you just can't do on your own. Dealing with bipolar disorder is one of them. Help is out there; WebMD points you in the right direction.
Bipolar Support Bipolar disorder is not a condition that you can tackle on your own. You need the help and support of a lot of people -- your family, your friends, and especially your health care providers.
Bipolar Disorder Online Community Living with bipolar disorder? Here, you can share your tips on coping with heightened feelings of well-being and depression, as well as common medication and treatment options.