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Beyond Bipolar Disorder

Oct 16, 2007
Bipolar disorder manifests itself by severe high and low mood swings. The manic stage of the condition describes the high, whereas the depressive stage refers to the low. The identification of the disorder in its infancy is important to individuals as there is a chance that it can be effectively treated.

A person afflicted with bipolar disorder was once said to be manic depressive. That term is not used as often to describe the disorder nowadays, however.

The disorder is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms are closely aligned to those of severe depression. The disorder cannot be cured and is a lifelong condition. A strong link exists between the incidence of bipolar disorder in offspring from affected biological parents.

This condition, also known as manic depressive illness, is an illness which has significant impact on the sufferer and their families. Bipolar disorder usually strikes before the age of 35, frequently in the late teens and early 20s.

According to statistics, over two million Americans suffer from the condition, which is mainly classed as a mental illness affecting moods and attitude. In the manic stage, the patient may become overly excited and confident, or the patient could be irritable, angry, or experience rage.

The mis diagnosis often occurs because patients may spend more time in the depressive stage than in the manic stage. Although it can be difficult to accurately diagnose, the condition is said by authorities to be treatable.

There is no evidence to show that bipolar disorder can be prevented. However, seeking early treatment and maintaining a stable course of therapy can help bipolar patients to maintain as uninterrupted lifestyle as possible.

It is important for people to educate themselves about the disorder, especially if they have a history of mental illness in their families. Its differentiation from non-bipolar depression is vital as the wrong treatment for this problem may actually worsen the course of bipolar illness.

Whilst diagnosis still remains a difficulty, we have advanced quite remarkably from just a few years ago. It has probably been around for years, but its distinction as a category has been quite recent.

One of the biggest problems in early days was, What to do with the victims? Where and how should they be treated? At times, in certain areas of the world, the only place for treatment was in a psychiatric hospital.

From the outside, this would seem a logical place to treat someone with the condition, but the ramifications were huge. Bipolar disorder is marked characteristically by depression. Can you imagine how quickly a victim would be thrown into the very depths of depression, given that those in their immediate environment were exhibiting numerous bizarre and dysfunctional behaviors?

So it has become a chicken and egg situation. Which caused which? Did the victim have bipolar disorder from the outset, or was there perhaps a depression evident that was magnified by the environment and then diagnosed as bipolar? This causes a very fine line, and must emphatically be left to the experts to discern.
About the Author
Sharron Nixon is a 44 year old mother of 3 who lives in New Zealand and has a passion for Las Vegas. Check out Sharron's website:
www.sharronnixon.com/bipolar-disorder2 to get tips, suggestions and resources to deal with bipolar disorder.
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