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Bipolar Disorder: What Is It?

Oct 17, 2007
Bipolar disorder manifests itself by severe high and low mood swings. The manic stage of the condition is the high, and the depressive stage refers to the low. The identification of the condition in its infancy is important to individuals as there is a possibility that it can be effectively treated.

A person afflicted with bipolar disorder was once said to be manic depressive. That term is not used very often to describe the disorder today, 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 connection exists between the incidence of the disease in individuals and the genealogy that exists from diagnosed affected biological parents.

This condition, also known as manic depressive illness, is an illness which has significant psychological, social and interpersonal 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 have 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 afflicted may spend more time in the depressive stage than in the manic stage. Although bipolar disorder can be difficult to accurately diagnose, the condition is said by authorities to be treatable.

There is no evidence to show that it can be prevented. However, seeking early treatment and maintaining a stable course of therapy can help bipolar patients immensely. It is important for people to educate themselves about the condition, especially if they have a history of mental illness within their families. Its differentiation from non-bipolar depression is absolutely essential as the wrong treatment for this problem may actually worsen the course of the illness.

Bipolar disorder is an insidious condition. From the outside, in normal everyday life, a victim can appear to be of totally normal disposition. The dramatic mood swings between exhilaration and depression are difficult for the outsider to understand. Obviously for this reason, it requires a lot of understanding and patience by the outsider to recognise what is going on and not to judge the victim too harshly.

This disorder is probably one of the most important to remember good old TLC (tender loving care). A victim very often finds themselves excluded from their community and, because of the stigma attached to mental type illness, they are reluctant to let the world know what is going on.
About the Author
Sharron Nixon is a 44 year old mother of 3 who lives in New Zealand. Check out Sharron's website:
www.sharronnixon.com/bipolar-disorder2 to find out all you need to know about bipolar disorder.
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