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Bipolar


Bipolar Disorder

A diagnosis of bipolar does not mean you have to give up your dreams.  It does not mean you can't have meaningful relationships or a successful career path.  It does mean that you need to take the necessary steps to minimize the impact of the disorder and reduce the chance of relapse. Counseling can be an important part of reducing the impact of this disorder.

Many times people who have bipolar struggle with maintaining their marriage, relationships, and employment.  It is very important for those who have been diagnosed with bipolar, and those who are in relationships with them, to have a good understanding of the disorder.

Managing your bipolar can change your life and those who share it with you.

If you have any questions about bipolar or want to schedule an appointment for counseling I will be glad to help.   My name is Robert Gillette and I am part of a counseling practice in Cumming, GA.  I can be reached at 404-295-7074 or rgillettecounseling@gmail.com.

 

 

Signs & Symptoms

People with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called "mood episodes." Each mood episode represents a drastic change from a person’s usual mood and behavior. An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode, and an extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Sometimes, a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This is called a mixed state. People with bipolar disorder also may be explosive and irritable during a mood episode.

Extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior go along with these changes in mood. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are described below.

Bipolar disorder can be present even when mood swings are less extreme. For example, some people with bipolar disorder experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania. During a hypomanic episode, you may feel very good, be highly productive, and function well. You may not feel that anything is wrong, but family and friends may recognize the mood swings as possible bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression. 


Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression has psychotic symptoms too, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to reflect the person's extreme mood. For example, if you are having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode, you may believe you are a famous person, have a lot of money, or have special powers. If you are having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode, you may believe you are ruined and penniless, or you have committed a crime. As a result, people with bipolar disorder who have psychotic symptoms are sometimes misdiagnosed with schizophrenia.

People with bipolar disorder may also abuse alcohol or substances, have relationship problems, or perform poorly in school or at work. It may be difficult to recognize these problems as signs of a major mental illness.

Bipolar disorder usually lasts a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. Between episodes, many people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms, but some people may have lingering symptoms.  ( National Institute of Mental Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml )PG.2)

 

Symptoms of mania or a manic episode include:

Symptoms of depression or a depressive episode include:

Mood Changes

  • A long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood
  • Extreme irritability

Behavioral Changes

  • Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
  • Being easily distracted
  • Increasing activities, such as taking on new projects
  • Being overly restless
  • Sleeping little or not being tired
  • Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
  • Behaving impulsively and engaging in pleasurable, high-risk behaviors

Mood Changes

  • An overly long period of feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex.

Behavioral Changes

  • Feeling tired or "slowed down"
  • Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Being restless or irritable
  • Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits
  • Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide.

 

 Helpful links.

http://www.bipolar-lives.com/bipolar-disorder-statistics.ht

http://www.pendulum.org/