Living with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder (BPAD formerly known as manic depression) is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings, including emotional highs (mania, hypomania, or depression). Depression can cause you to feel depressed and may make you feel hopeless or sad. You might also lose interest in or loss of enjoyment in many activities.

Bipolar disorder is considered a disability by the ADA. BPAD is just like multiple sclerosis or blindness. If you are unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits.

The Acronym for Bipolar Disorder

BPAD is the abbreviation for Bipolar Affective Disorder. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a common, complex, and polygenic disorder characterized by recurrent, cyclic episodes of mania and depressive episodes.

What causes bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is believed to be caused by chemical imbalances within the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that control brain functions. They include serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. Research shows that people born with are more susceptible to developing bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

People living with Bipolar disorder often experience extreme, intense, or disturbing emotions called mood episodes. Mood episodes are characterized by extreme happiness, excitement (mania), and depression. People with Bipolar disorder can have normal moods from time to time. Here’s a list of the most common symptoms of BPAD.

  • Feeling sad
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Increased irritability
  • Low energy
  • Concentration is difficult
  • It is difficult to remember
  • Activity loss
  • Emptiness and feeling of nothingness
  • Feelings depressed and guilt
  • Feelings of pessimism
  • Self-doubt

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder affects your brain and mental health. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that can cause erratic mood swings and affect your energy and activity levels. These are the main types of Bipolar Disorder and their characteristics.

Bipolar 1

Manic episodes can occur with or without depressive symptoms in this type of bipolar disorder. This type of bipolar disorder can cause manic episodes that last up to a week. You may need to be admitted to the hospital if your mania is severe. You don’t necessarily have to have depression to be diagnosed as bipolar 1. However, you may experience depression lasting more than two weeks.

Bipolar 2

Mental health professionals can describe bipolar two disorder as having manic episodes and depressive episodes. This type of mania is less severe than bipolar 1, so it’s called hypomania. Bipolar 2 can cause major depressive episodes either before or after a manic episode.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Cyclothymic disorder is characterized by both depressive and manic episodes that last for at least two years. The same applies to children. However, they must experience both manic and depressive episodes for at least one year before being diagnosed. This disorder is usually less severe than bipolar one and bipolar 2. The cyclothymic disorder can cause unstable moods. You may experience periods of normalcy with depression and mania.

Bipolar Disorder and Chronic Pain

Bipolar disorder pain is not just about the psychological pain of depression and agitation. Bipolar disorder can also cause physical pain, most commonly in joint pain and muscle aches. Although bipolar disorder doesn’t directly affect the muscles and bones, depressive episodes can harm your skeletal or muscular systems. Bipolar disorder can also cause chronic pain conditions like arthritis, migraines, and fibromyalgia. According to a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders (JAD), about one-fifth of patients with fibromyalgia has comorbid bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Treatments

Psychotherapy (psychotherapy) is the primary treatment for bipolar disorder. Education and support groups may also be offered. Psychiatrists have recommended lithium as the first medication to prevent mood instability and treat mania. This medication effectively treats aggressive behavior during manic episodes and is the best long-term treatment for bipolar disorder.