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Living With Bipolar Disorder

Oct 24, 2007
Manic-depressive psychosis, also known as bipolar disorder, is a brain ailment which causes rapid and unusual changes in the affected person's mood, energy levels, and their ability to function normally. The mood swings caused due to manic depressive illness can range from highstrung and aggressive to down and out, sad and hopeless. These mood swings will go back and forth from one extreme to the other often with times of normal and calm moods between.

Bipolar disorder can seem to be something that it's not, as excessive alcohol or drug use, below average school or work performance, and strained personal relationships are often signs of manic depression, and are also common problems among young adults and teens.

With the complex nature of this ailment it is often very difficult to diagnose, and can range anywhere from being a petty annoyance to a dangerous lifelong problem. Like most mental illnesses bipolar disorder cannot be identified physiologically by a blood test or brain scan. Similar to heart disease or diabetes, it is a long term condition and must be carefully treated thoughout a person's entire life.

There are 2 types of this illness, Bipolar Type I, this is where someone experiences "full-blown" mania, and Bipolar II, where someone with this type will feel hypomanic "highs" which will not go to the extemes of "full-blown" mania.

Most professionals concur that there is no single, direct cause of manic depression, and with additional research scientist will begin to better understand the root causes of the illness. It is also difficult to identify from other problems that will occur in adolescents and young adults. With this additional research they may be able to have a more clear understanding of which treatments will work most effectively.

Using illicit substances such as amphetamines, cocaine or halucinagentics may also mimic the manic phase, as will certain medical and organic causes like strokes or infections.

Medication is the one main key contributor in successful treatment of bipolar disorder, psychotherapy, mental and emotional support, and education about the condition are also required steps of the treatment process. Psychosocial treatments which include specific forms of psychotherapy or "talk" therapy have been shown helpful in providing support, furthering the education, and providing direction to people with manic depression and their loved ones.

If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, take your medications as prescribed by your physician, immediatley report any changes in how you feel or condition, and participate in therapy is the key to living a successful life.
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For more information on dealing with Bipolar Disorder go to: Bipolar Disorder Information
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