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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a treatable illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy and behavior. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression because a person's mood can alternate between the "poles" of mania (highs) and depression (lows). These changes in mood, or "mood swings," can last for hours, days, weeks or months.

Bipolar disorder differs significantly from clinical depression, although the symptoms for the depressive phase of the illness are similar. Most people who have bipolar disorder talk about experiencing highs and lows in periods of mania and depression. These swings can be severe, ranging from extreme energy to deep despair. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that can destroy relationships, undermine career prospects, and affect academic performance.

Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 2.6 percent of U.S. adults, or roughly 600,000 Americans, have bipolar disorder. More than 80 percent of all cases of the disorder are classified as severe, according to the NIMH.

Some symptoms to watch for are:

  • Inflated self- esteem or grandiosity
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • More talkative
  • Flight of ideas or racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences

Signs are not always obvious and as mentioned earlier, a lot of people live most of their lives without seeing the signs or getting treatment. There are cases that vary with bipolar disorders and some cases can be managed by changing lifestyle habits such as getting more exercise on a regular basis, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding unhealthy relationships, and eating healthy foods.

If changing lifestyle habits are not working and the disorder continues to interfere with multiple aspects of your life, seeking professional help is highly suggested. At Varad we offer management services such as psychotherapy by cognitive behavior therapy, medication management, and alternative therapy such s meditation, nutritional supplements, and much more.