Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mental Health Awareness: Bipolar Disorder

Advertisement

Formerly known as manic depression, or manic-depressive illness, Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood.  These shifts include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression) energy.  Bipolar disorder also affects activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “The average age-of-onset [for Bipolar disorder] is about 25, but it can occur in the teens, or more uncommonly, in childhood. The condition affects men and women equally, with about 2.8% of the U.S. population diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly 83% of cases classified as severe.”

Advertisement

Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are three types of Bipolar disorder.  The National Institute of Mental Heal explains that “all three types involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels.”

NIMH describes the three types of Bipolar disorder as:

Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depressive symptoms and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.

Advertisement

Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes that are typical of Bipolar I Disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder (also called Cyclothymia)— defined by periods of hypomanic symptoms as well as periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.

Causes and Risks

The exact cause of Bipolar disorder is unknown.  The Mayo Clinic outlines several factors that may contribute to a Bipolar diagnosis:

Advertisement
  • Biological differences. People with bipolar disorder appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
  • Genetics. Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing bipolar disorder.

There are also factors that may additionally increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder or act as a trigger for the first episode.  These include:

  • Having a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with bipolar disorder
  • Periods of high stress, such as the death of a loved one or other traumatic event
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Treatment

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness.  The recurring manic and depressive episodes can make it difficult to lead a stable, productive life. If left untreated, these episodes and the symptoms of Bipolar disorder can have a catastrophic effect.

Between episodes, many people with Bipolar disorder are free of mood changes, but some people may have lingering symptoms. Long-term, continuous treatment can help people manage these symptoms.

Early detection and diagnosis of Bipolar disorder increase the chances of getting the illness under control and improving the quality of life. Early detection and treatment can also help reduce the risk of complications, such as alcohol and drug abuse or suicide.

Treatment usually includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy.  If you believe you or a loved one may have Bipolar disorder, consult a licensed medical professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, or general practitioner) to determine the best treatment options for you.


Immediate Help:

If you or someone you know is in crisis, know that someone is always available.  No one fights alone.

Pierce County Crisis Line – Ph: 1 (800) 576-7764

King County Crisis Line – Ph: (206) 461-3222 or 1 (800) 244-5767

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline –  1-800-273-8255.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (ESP) –1-888-628-9454
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Deaf & Hard of Hearing Options) – 1-800-799-4889
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 in the US

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

King County Sexual Assault Resource Line: 1-888-998-6423

Pierce County Sexual Assault Center: 1-800-756-7273

National Domestic Abuse Hotline:1-800-799-7233
National Domestic Abuse Hotline (TTY): 1-800-787-3224

Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (King County) – 425-656-7867

The Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255Press 1.

Safe Call Now – 1-206-459-3020
Safe Call Now is a 24/7 helpline staffed by first responders for first responders and their family members. They can assist with treatment options for responders who are suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and other personal issues.

Fire/EMS Helpline: 1-888-731-FIRE (3473)

The TrevorLifeline – 1-866-488-7386.
TrevorChat can be found at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/ (available 7 days a week from 3PM to 10PM ET).
TrevorText can be reached by texting TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200 (available M-F from 3PM to 10PM ET).
The Trevor Project is a nationwide organization that provides a 24-hour phone hotline, as well as limited-hour webchat and text options, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

The Trans Lifeline – 1-877-565-8860.
The Trans Lifeline is a nonprofit organization that is created by and for the transgender community, providing crisis intervention hotlines, staffed by transgender individuals, available in the United States and Canada.

Washington Recovery Help Line – 1-866-789-1511
WA Recovery Chat: http://www.warecoveryhelpline.org/chat/
The Washington Recovery Help Line is a program of Crisis Connections. We offer an anonymous, confidential 24-hour helpline for Washington State residents. Our services include crisis intervention and referral assistance related to substance use disorder, problem gambling, and mental health challenges. Professionally-trained volunteers and staff provide emotional support and connect callers with local treatment resources or additional community services.

Reddit Suicide support: https://www.reddit.com/r/SuicideWatch/
Suicide.org list of local helplines for all 50 states: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
Suicide survivor support groups: http://tinyurl.com/m47k5en

Advertisement
Advertisement

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com