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Bi-Polar

Aug 27, 2008
Many people suffer from bi-polar disorder, and unfortunately it is oftentimes undiagnosed. Some people suffer for years before they finally get the correct help while some never get help at all and end up suicidal. When it is diagnosed, it takes specific medication modification to help at the appropriate times, as well as counselling.

So what is bi-polar disorder? It is also known as a "manic-depressive" condition and causes a person to be severely depressed at times and then be extremely euphoric at others. Both men and women can suffer from bi-polar disorder, and it can hit at any age but many people seem to start noticing the symptoms in their twenties, although teens have been diagnosed as well. It also appears that approximately 85% of people suffering from bi-polar have a family history of depression.

Health experts classify bi-polar disorder into four types: Bi-polar Affective Disorder 1, Bi-polar Affective Disorder 2, Cyclothymic Disorder, and Bi-polar Affective Disorder, not otherwise specified.

* Bi-polar Disorder Type 1 is when full blown mania occurs. Bi-polar 1 deal with the manic episodes associated with bi-polar. A person with Bi-polar 1 is extremely restless and energetic, and has trouble sleeping as their mind wonders nonstop and they appear to talk a lot more than usual. Sometimes they can even hallucinate and in some cases are even thought to be "psychotic". In the extreme cases of Bi-polar 1, a person may even have to be confined.

* Bi-polar Disorder 2 is sometimes referred to as "swinging Bi-polar". A person diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 can experience at least one depressive episode and one manic episode. Unlike Bi-polar 1, those diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 aren't known to have psychotic episodes. They can, however, suffer badly from depression and sometimes this depression will come crashing down on them all at once from loss of a loved one, job, relationship, etc and it will be very hard for them to cope.

* Cyclothymic Disorder is when a person has a period of mania and depression but not to a major extent. Their manic and depressive episodes can go back and forth over a period of time, but not enough to meet full criteria of major depression. Those diagnosed with Cyclothymic Disorder do have trouble functioning at times.

* Bi-polar Disorder - NOS is a person who experiences some characteristics of Bi-polar, but none of which can be classified as one of the three other types. Studies have shown that a person with Bi-polar Disorder - NOS will most likely go for help during a depressive episode. It is very important that their doctor or therapist obtain information about their family history. If the patient's family has a history of depression and mania both, then there's a chance that depression isn't the only thing the patient has to worry about. If the patient is only given anti-depressants to help with his or her depression, then they can quickly switch to mania.

Thankfully there is help and treatment for those who have any type of bi-polar disorder. There are skilled doctors and therapists who can recognize the symptoms early on and give patients the help and supported needed. While there is no cure, there is good treatment out there. If you think that you or someone you know may have bi-polar disorder, support and treatment is available. You don't have to live in fear or worry; you CAN get the help you need.
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