What is bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental disorder characterized by drastic and intense shifts in energy, mood and activity level. Individuals can be exuberant and euphoric, irritable, severely depressed or explosive. Symptoms can include racing thoughts, impulsive behavior, self-destructive behavior and suicidal behavior. The symptoms and patterns can vary between individuals but the core presentation of episodes of mood and energy changes are always there. Are there different types of bipolar disorder? There are three basic types of bipolar disorder.  Bipolar 1: For a diagnosis of bipolar I, mania must be present for seven…

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An estimated 5.7 million American adults have bipolar disorder, which is a mental illness characterized by dramatic changes or shifts in mood, energy and intensity. Since there is no cure for bipolar disorder, the chronic illness requires lifelong treatment and monitoring. Prescription medicines used to treat bipolar disorder range from traditional mood stabilizers like Lithium and Depakote to newer antipsychotics like Abilify and Zyprexa; all of these drugs have serious side effects. Behavior changes -– like maintaining sleep hygiene and keeping anxiety in check — can also help people manage this illness. This is the second part of a two-part…

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Frequently asked questions about diagnosing bipolar disorder are answered by Dr. Candida Fink An estimated 5.7 million American adults have bipolar disorder, which is a mental illness characterized by dramatic changes or shifts in mood, energy and intensity. There are five types of bipolar disorder (See Fast Facts about Bipolar Disorder), but the two primary categories of the illness are Bipolar I Disorder and Bipolar II Disorder. Bipolar I is marked by an episode of mania with high energy, exuberance, grandiose notions, sleeplessness, recklessness, irritability, volatility and sometimes psychosis, hallucinations and delusions. Bipolar II Disorder features depression along with hypomania,…

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