This entry will be only information about Bipolar Disorder. I will be linking this article in the main navigation. Information comes from different websites.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

Other doctors misdiagnose Bipolar Disorder with Depression. However, Depression is a part of Bipolar Disorder II. Here are the types of Bipolar Disorders:

  • 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 depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.

  • Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.

  • Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia)— defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous 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.

  • Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders— defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.

My 2nd psychiatrist did a mood test on me and asked me questions. She diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder II because of the symptoms showed in my mood test and based on the answers to her questions. I have sometimes a week of depression and not full-blown hypermania.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Symptoms of mania – the “highs” of bipolar disorder

  • Increased physical and mental activity and energy
  • Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence
  • Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
  • Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
  • Grandiose delusions, inflated sense of self-importance
  • Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
  • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, distractibility
  • Reckless behavior
  • In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations

Symptoms of depression – the “lows” of bipolar disorder

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Source: DBSA

If you read my last entry about how it all started. The only thing that I didn’t tell was I had suicide thoughts. Suicide thought is a very dark topic to tackle. Those didn’t happen in one day, it happened almost 1 year. The reason why I was misdiagnosed because there are times that I don’t feel sad. For me, my hypermania is not hard to handle — only that I’m just too happy — someone needs to pull me down from the cloud 9. Only the hypomania is really hard to handle.

The treatment

There’s no cure for Bipolar Disorder but it is manageable.

Aside from the expensive medicines, I went to psychotherapy. There are still other treatments available. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Electroconvulsive Therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a therapy on how to deal with issues.

If you are excessive anger along with your illness, you have to go Angry Management.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) uses an electric current to treat serious mental disorders. This type of therapy is usually considered only if a patient’s illness has not improved after other treatments (such as antidepressant medication or psychotherapy) are tried, or in cases where rapid response is needed (as in the case of suicide risk and catatonia, for example). – Source: NIMH

I need help!!!

If you think you have the symptoms or you think you feel that it’s not normal anymore, don’t hesitate to have an appointment with the psychiatrist. Have an assessment, there’s nothing wrong with that. Please approach your family members, and friends to seek support. Let them understand what you are going through, and most of all, BE HONEST TO YOURSELF. Always remember that the people who loves you will be there for you.

It took me years but I’m so open about my illness. Nothing to afraid off to be open and said, I have Bipolar Disorder because being open is one way to share this information and let others to have knowledge so the people will understand me.

There are so many articles about Bipolar Disorder. Your friend, Mr. Google will help to pull them all out.