Bipolar Disorders, 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 episodes can be identified by feelings of agitation, aggression, anxiety, or can be characterized as staying awake for several days at a time, becoming obsessive over little things, or having 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 everyday life and relationships with family, friends, or at work. Bipolar Disorders 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 with bipolar disorders do not go searching for help until they are in dire need. Some people with bipolar disorders will at time be misdiagnosed with general depression or even ADHD. That is why it is important to work with a Therapist that has experience with Bipolar disorders, diagnosing them, and working with clients when they are in dire need of help.
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If it is an emergency and you or someone you know is a danger to others or feeling suicidal - then please call 911 immediately.