Home Health Guide Bipolar Disorder : Meaning, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Bipolar Disorder : Meaning, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Bipolar Disorder : Meaning, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness which is the 5th leading cause of disability across the entire world. Also, it is the 9th leading cause of death across the world. This mental illness is named bipolar disorder which affects about 4 million population of the United States. The suicide rate of the patients suffering from bipolar disorder is 60 percent higher than the ordinary people. Bipolar disorder affects the mood of the individual to extremes. Most of us face ups and downs in our life, but for the individual suffering from bipolar disorder will experience these conditions in extremes. It affects their social performance, interrupts day to day life activities and even damages their relationships.

Bipolar Disorder

What is the meaning of bipolar disorder? Most of the people don’t know the Bipolar disorder meaning. Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness which brings severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. The patients suffering from this bipolar disease can get a right treatment if they get treatment in right time. If there is any delay in the treatment, then this condition may turn worse. This may lead to disability and death. Thus, it is crucial to recognize the early signs of bipolar disorder and get treatment in time.

What is bipolar disorder

The common name of the Bipolar disorder is manic depression. Manic Depression is a kind of mental illness which causes severe and extreme fluctuations in the mood, behaviors, energy and thinking of the patient. The variation shifts from severe emotional mania (feeling very high and overactive) to the extreme depressive state. These mood changes are not just ordinary, but intense and interfere the normal functioning of the individual. This bad mood and the right mood cycle of bipolar personality disorder continue to last for weeks or months.

The patient suffering from bipolar disorder will experience manic episode even after resting for 2 hours may feel full of energy and euphoric. But when they are going through the depressed episode they felt too tired and filled with guilt and self-loathing. He may not find pleasure or interest in anything. The frequency of mood shifts may vary from few times in one year to several times in just one week.

Bipolar Syndrome

Bipolar disorder is a serious chronic mental illness that is severe, incapacitating and debilitating. According to American Psychological Association, many times these emotional shifts become so overwhelming that the patient chooses to commit suicide. Also, the individual suffering with this brain disease is more at the risk of substance abuse, alcohol abuse, and other health disorders. Bipolar disorder may affect people of any age group. However, it’s more common in the age group of 15 to 25 years. This mental illness affects both males and females equally. But, men are more prone to this brain disease at an early age when compared to women.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder

The bipolar symptoms may be very confusing and subtle. This is the reason behind the misdiagnosis of this disease many times. Also, sometimes the patient with this mental disease have psychotic symptoms that the physician diagnoses wrongly as symptoms of schizophrenia. So, it is crucial to completely and clearly understand the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

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The signs and the symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on its type, severity, pattern, and the frequency of the disease. The symptoms vary according to the conditions that whether the patient is going through the manic episode or the depression episode. To confirm that a patient is suffering from bipolar disorder, it is important that the patient should experience at least one manic episode or hypomania. The depressive episodes usually alternate with manic episodes. Patients with bipolar disorder either may be more prone to depression or mania, or both the episodes alternate equally. However, it is not necessary that both the depression and manic disorder states of this brain disease are always distinct in every patient. There can also be episodes of mixed experiences where both the events occur in rapid sequence or simultaneously. Let us discuss the symptoms in both the events separately.


During the manic episode, the feeling of the patient is heightened. Their level of activity, and creativity increases. Their thoughts and ideas are racing. The patient is filled with ambitious ideas or plans and is euphoric. You will find such patients sleeping petite, eating very less but still filled with energy. They are talking at a rapid speed that becomes difficult for you to keep up with. The person himself feels very powerful, invincible and have grandiose and unrealistic beliefs about their powers and abilities. The causes of Mania are not clear but, for sure one can experience any of these symptoms at this stage.

Bipolar disorder wiki

During this period the patient becomes highly optimistic. He starts behaving recklessly. He may leave his job, start gambling, getting involved in sexual activities and make foolish business decisions and investments. He/she may spend lots of money than they cannot afford. Blaming, aggressiveness, irritability, anger, picking fights and criticizing others is also common. Such patients are highly distracted, and it is very difficult for them to concentrate. Also, some patients with bipolar disorder may experience delusions. They may start hearing voices and become convinced about the things that are not real. Check the other symptoms associated with Bipolar Disorder.


There is a significant difference in the symptoms of regular depression and bipolar depression. The patients suffering from bipolar disorder can’t be helped with anti-depressants as they may worsen their condition. Anti-depressants may trigger hypomania or mania and may also interfere with other mood stabilizing drugs. Common symptoms of bipolar depression are feeling sad, hopeless, irritable, emptiness, loss of energy, tiredness, mental and physical sluggishness. Various sleeping problems like insomnia, poor concentration, changes in appetite and marked weight gain or weight loss, the feeling of guilt and worthlessness and lack of concentration are some other symptoms. There is reduced interest in everything, and the person finds that there is no pleasure in their life.

The patient tends to speak and move slowly and loses contact with the reality. There may be a restlessness and the feeling of worthlessness that may lead to the suicidal thoughts. These symptoms may get so severe and noticeable that they interfere with day to day activities. It affects the job performance of the patient. The range of the depression varies from mild to severe form. This condition may become so debilitating that the patient may become bedridden during the period of depression. Even during the phase of depression, the patient may suffer from psychosis where they are unable to differentiate between the reality and fantasy. Delusions and hallucinations are also not uncommon. Besides the manic and depressive episodes, there may be hypomanic or mixed episodes.

Depressive psychosis

Hypomanic episode

Although hypomanic is a less severe form of mania, it also makes a person feel energetic, euphoric and productive. But despite of these symptoms the person can carry on their daily activities. Also, they do not lose their touch with the reality. However, a person suffering from manic episode may also take wrong decisions that can hamper their relationship, reputation, and career. Hypomania is either followed by depressive episode or can be escalated to mania.

Mixed episode

This is a condition where the symptoms of depression and mania or hypomania are featured together. Common symptoms of mixed mania are insomnia, lack of concentration, irritability, agitation, anxiety and racing thoughts. The low mood of the patient along with high level of energy increases the risk of suicide.

Bipolar Disorder


What are the early signs of bipolar disorder in children and teenagers

  • Besides the knowledge of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is also important to have the knowledge of early warning signs of this disease in small children and teenagers.
  • Kids may show severe temper tantrums that may last for hours. During this period the child’s violence elevates. Also, some children may show odd, silly or happy moods and behaviors.
  • In the case of teenagers, the school performance may drop. They may not find interest in anything and quit sports and other activities. Such teenagers may also indulge themselves in drugs or substance abuse and alcoholism. Engaging themselves in sexual and risky behaviors and talking about suicide are also common in them.

Types of bipolar disorder

There are mainly two types of bipolar disorder. They are Bipolar Disorder type 1 and Bipolar disorder type 2. Know more information about the types of Bipolar disorder here.

Bipolar 1 disorder:

In this type, there is at least one manic episode or there may be mixed episode. The manic or the mixed episode should be so serious that the patient has to be hospitalized or at least it should last for a week. A depressive episode may or may not be present. However, most of the patient suffering from this type of bipolar disorder have at least 1 episode of depression. To diagnose this condition, it is very important that the clinical mood disorder symptoms such as delusional disorder and schizophrenia. These disorders are not associated with bipolar disorder. So, one should not mix up these conditions.

Bipolar 2 disorder

This type is not the mild form of Bipolar I disorder. It is a separate diagnosis. In this type of bipolar disorder, the patient experiences at least one or more severe depressive episode along with at least 1 episode of hypomania. A full manic episode is never there.


This is a mild form of bipolar disorder. There is a disturbance in the mood of the patient along with the bouts of hypomania. The bouts of hypomania alter with mild to a moderate period of depression. This type of patient may feel stable, but there are noticeable shifts in the mood. There may be symptoms of mania, but they are not so severe. Also, the symptoms of depressive mood are not that severe to fit into the criteria of major depressive episodes.

Besides these three, there may be other specific and unspecific or related bipolar disorders. But, the symptoms don’t match the above types may not last long. But there are clinically significant abnormal and noticeable elevation and fluctuations in the mood of the patient. There may also be drug or substance induce bipolar or other psychological disorders. Know brief description of different types of Bipolar Disorder.

What are the causes of bipolar disorder?

There are many kinds of research going on this disorder to know the exact cause of bipolar disorder. However, there are certain factors that are considered responsible for this mental illness, and they are as follows:

bipolar 2

1. Genetics

If the child’s parents or siblings suffer from bipolar disorder than the chances of their developing this disease increases. However, the role of genes is not absolute. Sometimes, the child with a family history of bipolar disorder may never develop this disease.

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2. Stress

A Stressful event such as breaking up of a relationship, financial problem, or death of a family member may trigger bipolar disorder.

3. Drug abuse and certain medications may also act as a trigger.

4. Brain structure

Studies have shown the difference in the brain of people suffering from bipolar disorder and a healthy person. However, more studies are being done on this topic.

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder

There is no blood test or body scan to diagnose bipolar disorder. Still, your doctor may order you to have them to rule out other illness that is similar to bipolar disorder. Besides this, your doctor may also ask you certain questions and conduct a physical examination. If no another similar disease is found in your body, then the doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will evaluate your illness properly. Self-reports or symptoms, the experience of family members and close friends and other secondary signs of bipolar disorder found by the psychiatrist will help to diagnose the illness.

What is the treatment of bipolar disorder

If the physician notices the patient suffering from Bipolar Disorder, then they can treat this illness with certain medications, psychotherapy, and self-help. The main aim of the treatment is to reduce the frequency and severity of the episodes. This will provide the patient productive and a normal life in a short period. Treatment of the bipolar disorder includes the following


  • The most common drug given to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder is Lithium Carbonate. This is a long term drug given to treat long term episodes. Other medicines give are Anti-Convulsants and Anti-Psychotics.
  • Many physicians found the Cognitive behavioral therapy effective.
  • Besides all these treatments, Self-help is very important. One should recognize their symptoms by learning more about bipolar disorder.
  • Try to avoid stress or lower the stress using techniques like as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. You may also take help and support of the family member or friend you trust and can share your problem. Besides this maintain a healthy sleep, exercise, and diet routine.

How to Treat Bipolar Disorder?

So, here’s the complete pathophysiology of the Bipolar Disorder. So, the parents of the teenagers should keep an eye on the behavior of children to avoid these psychological complications. Stand by them in all their highs and lows. Not just teenagers but everyone has the same chance of acquiring this if you are not a stable person. Try to build a strong mental health. Treat all the good and bad in the same way and remember we have only one life. So, make it happy and spread the aura everywhere you go.


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