What You Should Know About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorders are one of several medical conditions called depressive disorders. Depressive disorders affect the way a person's brain functions. Depressive disorders are extensive. In the United States alone, it's estimated that more than 17.4 million adults have a depressive disorder each year. That works out to about 1 out of every 7 people, so there's a good chance that you or someone you know is dealing with a depressive disorder.

Bipolar disorders are classified into four different types: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified. The first symptoms usually start occurring in the early twenties. There have been cases were these symptoms have shown up in adolescence, even children can have the disorder. When one suffers from this disorder you may notice high (mania) or low (depression) symptoms. Mania symptoms include racing speech and thoughts, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, elevated mood and exaggerated optimism, increased physical and mental activity, excessive irritability, aggressive behavior, impatience, poor judgment, reckless behavior, like excessive spending, making rash decisions, erratic driving, difficulty concentrating, inflated sense of self-importance. Symptoms of depression include; loss of interest in usual activities, prolonged sad or irritable mood, loss of energy or fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, sleeping too much or inability to sleep, drop in grades and inability to concentrate, inability to experience pleasure, appetite loss or overeating, anger, worry, anxiety, and thoughts of death or suicide.

As many other depressive disorders, there is no cure for bipolar disorders. There are treatments available to help with the symptoms. Talking to your health care provider about your disorder to see if you are eligible for medications is the best place to start for treatment. You can also see a therapist to learn coping skills. Some of the best treatment is to have your family and friends support you.