Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression can affect people in every avenue of life. It is categorized by periods of extreme highs, known as mania, and extreme lows, known as depression. Manic episode can be identified by feelings of agitation, aggression, anxiety, or can be characterized as staying awake for several days at a time, become obsessive over little things, or have a very high amount of energy, which would typically be unusual. Depressive episodes can be identified as feelings of extreme lowness, suicidal thoughts, plans to commit suicide, excessive sleep, or other typical signs of depression. Periods of mania or depression could each last weeks or months. These mood swings can affect every day life and relationships with family, friends, or your work environment. Bipolar disorder can be categorized into three categories.
The first is bipolar I, the second is bipolar II, the third is cyclothymic disorder. Bipolar I is shown through manic episodes typically lasting two weeks or more. Depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with manic features are also possible. Bipolar II is a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes. (Unlike full-blown manic episodes as described above, these are less severe.) Cyclothymic disorder is defined by periods of hypomanic symptoms as well periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.
Most people do not go searching for help with bipolar disorders until they experience depressive episodes, which could lead one to being diagnosed with major depression. If they go for a manic episode, they could potentially be diagnosed with ADHD or other disorders linked to hyperactivity. Finding a mental health professional that can give you a correct diagnosis can be difficult, and usually requires several visitations, and a huge time investment. Finding the right therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist can be difficult if you live in a rural area, or lead a very busy lifestyle. Through technology and video chatting, you can find a professional who can correctly diagnose you and help treat you through medication, psychotherapy, or other avenues. If you are worried about yourself, a friend, or a family member who might be suffering from bipolar disorder please seek help. If it is an emergency call 911, or if you are looking for a therapist or other medical health professional, you can sign up here right now (click "sign up" on the upper right hand corner of the page) to find the right professional to help you.