A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the sky. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who charges them both rent. — Jerome Lawrence
Bipolar disorder is also known as ‘manic depressive’ disorder.
Bipolar disorder causes serious mood swings, erratic behavior, and also hampers thinking process of an individual.
A person with possible bipolar mood disorder tends to swing between extreme moods, characterized by extreme energy levels, and mood swings. The most identifiable bipolar depression symptoms are these mood swings, also referred to as ‘mania’ and ‘depression’.
This mental disorder is broadly classified in any one of these three types: Type 1, Type 2, and Cyclothymia.
The mood and behavioral changes for those suffering from bipolar disorder are often so intense that they affect the ability of that patient to lead a normal life, unless bipolar disorder treatment that includes bipolar meds is taken for a long period of time.
Quick Look At The Figures
1) At least 2% people have suffered from bipolar depression disorder Type 1 (one or more manic episodes in their lifetime).
2) At least 4% people have experienced manic depression through their lifetime.
3) At least 5.7 million or 2.6% (approx) American adults suffer from bipolar disorder.
4) The average age for onset of this disorder is around 25 years. Bipolar illness can also affect young children or people in 40-50 age brackets as well.
5) Bipolar disorder doesn’t believe in age, race, ethnicity, or social class and it affects as many women as men.
Am I Bipolar?
Answer the five questions in Yes or No only to know if you are bipolar.
1) I suffer from extreme mood changes (extreme happiness to sadness), followed by a period of normalcy.
2) Sometimes I talk a lot more and faster than I normally do.
3) I have experienced extreme irritability, risk taking, impulsive behavior, increased energy and recklessness in the last few days.
4) I have had suicidal thoughts.
5) Does your family have a history of bipolar disorder?
Results: If your answer has been ‘yes’ to all the bipolar quiz questions, you may be bipolar. It’s crucial that you seek professional help to counter the symptoms early on.
Bipolar Disorder – A Fact Sheet
Signs of bipolar disorder can be observed in different age groups of a society from adults to children across the world.
Let’s take a look at prevalence, demographics, and treatment/use in bipolar disorder in adults in theUS.
The figures and graphs shown below are based on research carried out by Demler O, Chiu WT, Kessler RC, and Walters EE.
• 12-month Prevalence: 2.6% ofU.S.adult population
• Severe: 82.9% of these cases (e.g., 2.2% ofU.S.adult population) are classified as “severe”.
Demographics (for lifetime prevalence)
• Sex: Not Reported
• Race: Not Reported
• Average Age-of-Onset: 25 years old
12-month Healthcare Use: 48.8% of those with disorder are receiving treatment
• Percent Received Minimally Adequate Treatment: 38.8% of those receiving treatment are receiving minimally adequate treatment (18.8% of those with disorder)
12-month Any Service Use (including Healthcare): 55.5% of those with disorder are receiving treatment
• Percent Received Minimally Adequate Treatment: 39.2% of those receiving treatment are receiving minimally adequate treatment (21.8% of those with disorder)
Bipolar Disorder Statistics in the US
- Approximately 25% of Americans experience the onset of Bipolar disorder before age 20.
- 7 out of 10 people with bipolar disorder receive one misdiagnosis.
- 30 percent of people with untreated bipolar disorder commit suicide.
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis contributes to 50 percent of bipolar consumers abusing alcohol or drugs.
- Average length of time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis is 10 years.
- Bipolar disorder accounts for approximately $7.6 billion in direct healthcare costs in theUS.
- Lifetime costs per consumer range from $12,000 for a person with a single manic episode to more than $600,000 for those with multiple episodes.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics in the World
The bipolar disorder statistics in other countries across the world are even more revealing. Here are some figures:
- Australia: approximately 238,957 people were victims of bipolar disorder in 2010
- In theUnited Kingdom, the number has risen to almost723,248 in2010
- Germanyhas reported 989,095 people suffering from bipolar disorder
- In Canada approximately 390,094 people have bipolar disorder
- Approximately 810,038 people have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in Iran.
- India and China so far have the maximum number of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder and this figure ranges between 12 – 15 million.
The above statistics have been provided by World Health Organization (WHO), which also stated that bipolar disorder is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world today.
The Manic Depression Test For Self Diagnosis
Please answer each question in Yes/No to the best of your ability.
Has there ever been a period of time when you were not your usual self and…
- You felt so good or so hyper that other people thought you were not your normal self or you were so hyper that you got into trouble? YES | NO
- You were so irritable that you shouted at people or started fights or arguments? YES | NO
- You felt much more self-confident than usual? YES | NO
- You got much less sleep than usual and found you didn’t really miss it? YES | NO
- Thoughts raced through your head or you couldn’t slow your mind down? YES | NO
- You were so easily distracted by things around you that you had trouble concentrating or staying on track? YES | NO
- You were much more interested in sex than usual? YES | NO
- Spending money got you or your family into trouble? YES | NO
If you checked YES to more than one of the above, have several of these ever happened during the same period of time? YES | NO
How much of a problem did any of these cause you – like being unable to work; having family, money or legal troubles; getting into arguments or fights?
Choose from: No Problem | Minor Problem | Serious Problem
Results: You are a confirmed bipolar patient if you have answered ‘Yes’ to –
- 6 or more out of the 11 choices in Q1
- Minor/Serious Problem in Q3
This basically means that you need immediate advice about medical and psychiatric attention.
More About Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is not as uncommon as it used to be a decade back and this is quite concerning for everyone, from those who are affected by it to those who know such people.
The best way to think about bipolar disorder is as any other illness. You should not let fear reign.
Best of all there are many treatments available nowadays and with continued and successful studies being carried out on various mental illnesses, there is always increased hope.
Though not completely curable, it is definitely possible to live a normal life for those who are bipolar.
Your best chances of speedy recovery are early diagnosis and quick treatment. And by being in the know of the positive and negative facts of this mental illness, you can beat this condition with considerable success.
|Negative Facts||Positive Facts|
|Bipolar disorders are not temporary phases of depression; they are for life.||These days, thanks to research and technology, there are medicines available for treating Bipolar disorder.|
|Individuals who have bipolar disorder can unknowingly and in a moment of impulsiveness ruin their career, reputation, and even marriage. Such individuals might even end up ruining the life of their children, unknowingly. People with bipolar disorders have often been law-breakers.||Knowing and accepting that you have bipolar disorder can be healing. If you know you have this condition then you are in a better position to protect your life, your family, and even your career.|
|Bipolar disorder treatments are quite expensive and you will end up spending a lot of money on hospitals, medicines, doctor’s fees, etc.||On the other hand, if you have a medical insurance then you might get some relief from the cost. Secondly, you can always opt for a career path that will not be affected much by your mood swings, such as working from home or other less stressful career options.|
|Bipolar disorder, in some of the countries including the US, is considered as a major cause of suicides. According to researchers and experts, individuals with bipolar disorders have a 1 in 7 chance of dying by committing suicide.||Self awareness will be able to effectively protect you from severe or life threatening events.|
|Most Bipolar disorder medications have minor to severe side effects.||You can always find ways to get the best treatment and thus the medicines that have no or minor side effects.|
|You might end up being treated very badly by hospitals and related mental health services.||Learn to choose! Research well to find the best doctors and hospitals. The more renowned the hospitals and doctors are; the better the treatment will be. Negative behavior by doctors can aggravate this condition.|
|Medications alone will not give you a healthy or good life.||You need to create a whole-life wellness plan that includes distressing methods, simple diet, therapeutic techniques, and plenty of exercise apart from taking regular medications.|
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a medical condition that has been worrying doctors for quite a long time. It is only in the last 10 years that medical professionals have been able to identify some of the causes of bipolar disorder.
Experts from different countries across the world believe that bipolar disorder is connected to genetics, which basically means that it is hereditary. In a nut shell, bipolar disorder can be inherited from the parents (but that doesn’t mean that it has to happen!).
Second important aspect is that there is growing evidence of the fact that lifestyle and environment increase the severity of this disorder.
Stress, for instance, plays a far greater role in mood swings than previously assumed, and those mood swings are an important bipolar disorder symptom.
So by being very careful NOT to get stressed people suffering from bipolar disorder have a good chance of effectively reducing one of the worst symptoms of the disorder.
After years of research, medical professionals and experts have identified certain brain chemicals, which lead to bipolar disorder.
The true cause lies in the balance of a specific type of brain chemical called neurotransmitters.
The imbalance of the three most important chemicals mentioned below, can lead to bipolar illness as the brain is unable to function normally.
The three important brain chemicals are:
- Noradrenaline (norepinephrine)
These three chemicals are not only involved in brain functions, but also help in functioning of the human body as well.
Over years of research, Noradrenaline have been linked to various psychiatric or mood disorders including bipolar disorder and depression.
Serotonin is a brain chemical that is connected to several body functions like wakefulness, sleep, sexual activity, eating, learning, impulsivity, and memory.
Researchers and practitioners from the medical field believe that any abnormal rise or fall in the serotonin levels of a human brain can lead to mood disorders, which can elevate medical conditions like depression and bipolar disorder.
The third chemical, dopamine, has been linked with the part of the brain, which controls the human pleasure center.
Hence, any disruption in the balance of dopamine can potentially lead to schizophrenia and psychosis, which are severe mental disorders and are typically characterized by illogical behavior and thought patterns, and a distorted sense of reality.
Bipolar Disorder Quiz
A bipolar quiz is a simple way to identify depression episodes that are often characterized by extreme low mental states, feelings of tiredness, sadness, and self hurt.
Additionally, a bipolar test can also help you discover many things about the disorder that you may not be familiar with.
You may also be interested in reading up on bipolar condition in children, and how to live a normal life despite the illness among other things.
It’s advisable to remember that while the below manic depression test may be a decent indicator of whether someone is bipolar or not, it is in no way a diagnostic tool.
In order to correctly get the condition diagnosed it is suggested you seek the services of a psychiatrist who may observe the extreme mood swings and arrive at a conclusion in their professional capacity.
We urge you not to consider this bipolar quiz as a medical expert advice.
The Essential Bipolar Quiz To Determine Change in Normal Behavior
Please answer each question in Yes/No to the best of your ability.
1) You get hyperactive easily?
2) You swing between feeling really happy to feeling really sad quickly?
3) Are there times when you simply aren’t unable to control your mind from racing away quickly?
4) You family and co-workers often accuse of being out of control and reckless?
5) Have you experienced feelings of being euphoric and depressed at the same moment?
6) Do you find yourself extremely bored at work?
7) Are you obsessed shopping, gambling, driving, or sex compulsively?
8) Do you often oscillate between feeling super confident and then totally insecure?
9) Are you suffering from lack of sleep?
10) Do you need many hours of sleep to feel normal?
11) Do you get irritated very easily?
12) Do you get distracted rather easily?
13) Do you find it difficult to stay focused?
14) Do you suffer from an overwhelming guilt for your actions?
15) Do you tend to lose your temper or become extremely hostile for no real reason?
16) Do you prefer your own company over that of your friends?
17) Are you extremely social?
18) Do you swing between periods of extremely low and high levels of creativity?
19) Do you laugh or cry more often and easily than normal?
20) Do you feel you have lost control over your various moods?
21) Are you undecided between being optimistic and pessimistic?
22) Do you make the same mistakes over and over again?
23) Do you find that sometimes you have a very healthy appetite and other time you lose it?
24) Are you prone you hurting yourself physically?
25) Do you often think about committing suicide?
Results: If you answered yes to –
* 20 or more – Serious symptoms
* 15 or more – Moderate to severe symptoms
* 10 or more – Bipolar disorder likely
* 5 or more – Either a mild bipolar disorder or depressive disorder
* Less than 5 – No disorder likely
Treatments for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is seen by most medical professionals as a long-term medical condition and some even consider it as a chronic condition.
Of course, this doesn’t mean there is no cure available.
Over the years, research and laboratory tests have yielded positive results as far as treatments are concerned. This is good news for both doctors and patients.
Let us take a look at the different types of treatments that are commonly prescribed by doctors for bipolar disorders:
Mood stabilizers: Mood stabilizers include lithium, which is considered to be reliable and can be well-tolerated by most people. Lithium has been used since several decades as the first-line of treatment for bipolar disorder anywhere in the world.
Atypical antipsychotics: This is a much newer method and has replaced the use of mood stabilizers. It is a more expensive medication for bipolar disorder patients, though it provides greater relief from its symptoms.
Known as second generation antipsychotics, the only negative factor of using these is their severe side effects.
Some of the most commonly approved and used atypical antipsychotics are:
- Amisulpride (Solian)
- Aripiprazole (Abilify)
- Asenapine (Saphris)
- Blonanserin (Lonasen)
- Clotiapine (Entumine)
- Clozapine (Clozaril)
- Iloperidone (Fanapt)
- Lurasidone (Latuda)
- Mosapramine (Cremin)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
Psychotherapy & Self-Help Strategy: Psychotherapy and self-help strategy have proven to yield substantial and positive results. These therapies help bipolar individuals in keeping their condition stabilized and also prevent relapse to a great extent.
Bilateral cingulotomy: Bilateral cingulotomy is basically a surgical procedure that is performed to treat mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a treatment meant for only those individuals who are either unable to tolerate the medication or those individuals on whom the medication has had no effect.
It is used for effectively treating both depressive and manic phases of bipolar disorder.
Medicines: There are different types of medicines available for bipolar disorder and their use depends on the severity of the disorder and its nature. Most of the medicines approved for use fall in the following category:
- Anti-Anxiety and Sedatives
- Mood Stabilizers
- Calcium Channel Blockers
Other treatment strategies: There are other treatments available for bipolar disorder but most of them include a combination of the above.
For example: an individual with bipolar disorder might be prescribed a combination of antidepressants and Electroconvulsive Therapy.
Hospitalization: Last but not the least; if an individual is suffering from a severe bipolar disorder condition then they will need 24 hours care for a designated period of time.
In such cases, hospitalization is recommended as this allows specialized and certified staff to monitor patient activity, behavior, medication and progress.
Self Help Bipolar Disorder Quiz
As mentioned earlier, being able to lead a normal life despite being bipolar depends on the willingness of the patient to change their style of living for the better.
Inculcating wholesome and healthy living habits is the first step towards helping one’s self to win over this condition.
The below extra bipolar quiz can be a quick guide for you to understand if you are prepared for changing your life to combat your mental condition. So take the quiz with an open mind.
1) Are you willing to learn as much as possible about bipolar disorder? Yes/No
2) Do you believe that more knowledge will help you recover faster? Yes/No
3) Are you aware that you will need to control your stress and constantly strive to avoid extremely stressful situations to be healthy? Yes/No
4) Are you willing to learn relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or others to control your stress? Yes/No
5) Will you be willing to join a support group or share your fears with your friend regarding your illness? Yes/No
Results: If the outcome of your bipolar quiz has been overwhelmingly positive (read ‘yes’) you are in good hands! Self help is the single most important step, followed by medical assistance, towards leading a near-normal life despite your bipolar condition.
Finally: A Few Quick Facts To Remember
1) 35% bipolar patients are obese; Try to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a simple, healthy diet and exercising regularly.
2) Bipolar patients triple their chances of developing diabetes; Try to eat natural sugars and avoid excessive consumption of starchy, sugary foods, especially processed foods.
3) If you suffer from bipolar disorder you double your chances of dying from heart diseases; Again the importance of leading a stress-free and healthy life can’t be stressed enough.
4) If the above bipolar disorder tests indicate that you might have a problem, please seek professional counsel and help.
5) Bipolar disorder can happen to just about anyone. But being forewarned is being forearmed.
In general trying to maintain a healthy, worry-free, stress-free and happy outlook towards life and situations can go a long way in ensuring that you don’t become bipolar.
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