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Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depressive

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:55 pm
by meeko
Bipolar Disorder used to be more commonly known as Manic/Depressive Disorder. Bipolar goes between different mood sets. Mania or hypomania and depression. Sometimes there are things called 'mixed states'. Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that can be treated with medications. In general most bp patients are misdiagnosed first as depression patients. This is because when someone is experiencing mania or hypomania they generally are not reporting these to their dr.s.

Mania- Tons of energy, lack of sleep without feeling tired, 'pressured speech' aka you can't stop talking even if you want to it just keeps coming out, and thoughts flying through your head at warp speeds. It's hard to pay attention and get things that are important done. My most hated part of mania includes the lack of ability to control my actions due to a lowered ability to make rational and reasonable judgements. So, people with mania can spend all the money they have on everything and anything and not think of any consequences, heightened sex drive can cause unsafe situations and relationship problems. You also have more than one type of manic path... you have those who feel a 'high' and 'euphoric' feeling and seek to keep those great feelings going. You also have those who get angry and paranoid and go into major bouts of uncontrolled rage and anger. Some people turn to drugs during manic episodes and some people have psychotic breaks while manic. Psychotic breaks are a major determining factor between true mania and hypomania aka hallucinations and delusions. Plus there's a large inability to sit still and stay put. Doing just one thing gets too boring too fast. All in all, mania is an extremely elevated mood. Lasts for at least one full week.

Hypomania- slight to moderately elevated mood is the player here. Unlike mania, hypomania allows for the bipolar to maintain levels of functionality that cannot be cannot be maintained during a full blown mania. They may seem very productive, high energy, irritable, talk more rapidly with increased rates of thoughts, hypersexuality, and lessened need of sleep. In hypomania NO delusions or hallucinations exist. Lasts at least in general 2 weeks.

Depression- low moods, sadness, anger, guilt, isolation, hopelessness, loneliness. Suicidal ideation may or may not be present. Fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of interest in things they were passionate about, pain, irritability, social anxiety, anxiety in general, increased/decreased sleep. Lasts at least 2 weeks.

Mixed episodes-when mania/hypomania occur at the same time. Can be any mixture of above symptoms, some reports have shown suicidal ideation and other issues occurring is higher during mixed episodes.

Rapid Cycling-having 4 or more episodes a year. An episode is a manic/hypomanic episode, or a depressive episode.

Ultra Rapid Cycling- Episodes last days at a time.

Ultra-Ultra Rapid Cycling- Episodes that cycle throughout the day.

So, basically what happens is a bipolar person will switch between these mood sets. So now that we have the definitions... for the types of bipolar disorders:

Bipolar I- One or more manic episodes. A depression episode and a hypomanic episode are not required for diagnosis.

Bipolar II- No manic episodes, but one or more hypomanic episodes and one or more major depressive episodes. Hypomanic episodes appear as a period of high productivity. Functioning is generally maintained.

Cyclothymia- A history of hypomanic episodes with periods of depression that do not meet criteria for major depressive episodes. There is a low-grade cycling of mood which appears to the observer as a personality trait, and interferes with functioning.

Some bipolar persons due to the depressive episodes may self injure or threaten or attempt suicide. Take all of these seriously and not as a joke. Get help as soon as you can, even if you think they are just manipulating the situation. They may not see it as a manipulation or a joke.

*Bipolar is very stigmatized*

Be wary when you make jokes concerning bipolar. For example, people you know may be bipolar and properly medicated, so when you make off handed comments like 'oh, Barb must have had her bipolar-o's this morning, or oh, Sue is being so bipolar nice one minute a jerk the next'. Take in mind, people with bipolar cannot control their emotions it's a mental illness and can be treated, but not cured. Making fun of bipolar is like making fun of a cancer patient. It's rude and uncalled for. So please think twice before joking about a serious illness.

Thank you for reading this. :D

Re: Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depressive

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:16 am
by meeko
Ok, so this is some of my personal experience with bipolar. Not everyone's bipolar is like mine. All of us are different and even I vary in how I react in different episodes.

Generally the best way I have learned to explain how being manic feels is kind of like being drunk. When you are drunk your inhibitions go down. You don't think of consequences, so if it feels good, do it. Well... being manic for me is like being drunk all the time. I like the good feeling and I want it to feel stronger and last longer. I guess I become a bit of an adrenaline junky too while I am manic. I do things like drive recklessly... as if I can make the vehicle I am driving fly. I know, I know trucks can't fly, but when I'm manic I believe some kind of unrealistic things. Hypersexuality becomes a major issues when I'm manic, I'm not going to explain that one. I also don't get much sleep if any and I feel like I can go for days without slowing down. I don't get hardly anything done even though I have too much energy to contain. I count myself lucky that to get that high feeling of mania higher and more entrancing that I haven't gotten into legal troubles such as drugs or theft. I had some friends who got in trouble when they are manic because they get involved in illegal activities. What really sucks about all this truly is though is that you can't help it. I mean... imagine feeling on top of the world and not being able to come down. Sounds great, but you are not only feeling like you are on top of the world you are trying to live like you have the means to do it when you don't. For example... my last manic episode I went on an uncontrolled spending spree and didn't have the ability to see the consequences of my actions. So, I bought geckos a laptop a nook all kinds of things like this in a two week period and I make close to minimum wage. I had no thoughts of how will I pay my bills how will I eat. Nothing mattered as long as I felt good I had to do it. I have had psychotic breaks but don't really want to talk about those, it's not pretty and recalling those times makes me feel like I lost my mind. I tend to get hyperactive like a the squirrel from over the hedge, you know Hammy? Yeah, I feel like he does when he drinks the soda. Just feel like I'm moving so fast and the world is standing still.

And for those wondering I'm a bipolar 1 person, so yes, I suffer from hallucinations and thoughts of grandeur.... or as I like to put it, I get lost from reality for a while. Fortunately that doesn't happen too often with me as I take my meds as I am supposed to and I also use a mood tracker. It helps show me patterns in mood and behavior such as sleep pattern. This is a good tool for anyone with bipolar as it sets you up to see warning signs of mood shifts and you can cut them off and stay more even. Ok that's it for now. More on the subject later. :):