Tag Archive Bipolar

ByAnxious Minds

Taking Manic Depression Seriously

Manic depression, or bipolar depression is considered one of the worst types of depression that people can suffer from.

Characterised by sudden and extreme changes in their mood, Manic depression is said to be called as such because manic refers to the ‘ups’ while depression refers to the ‘downs’.

A lot of people experience erratic changes in their moods, some times these mood swings may not just be caused by PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) or stress. Doctors actually have diagnosed mood swings as a common symptom of depression.

But when these mood swings have gone to utmost absurdity, from getting irked by the simplest of things. For example, not getting your favourite ice cream flavour. This may not be just a sign of brattiness, but when getting irked means you swear at the ice cream vendor and throw absurd tantrums, this may be the onset of manic depression. The manic, or ‘ups’, in manic depression is described as to be the times when a person suffering from manic depression may experience overly high periods, consisting of heightened energy, a sudden outburst of euphoric mood, extreme irritability, racing thoughts, or aggressive behaviour.

According to therapists, someone suffering from manic depression may have these manic periods where they experience sudden outbursts of euphoric and elevated mood swings and may go through this for as long as a week, sometimes even longer than that.

When it comes to the  ‘low’ or ‘down’ periods, as its name suggests can actually bring someone who is suffering from manic depression may experience very similar symptoms to those who are suffering from actual depression. People who are suffering from manic depression may experience episodes showing a depressed state of mind, a feeling of worthlessness and being unloved, which may start to corrupt the individual’s mind. Various symptoms, including showing guilt, extreme sadness, anxiety attacks, feeling of not belonging, extreme pessimism and obvious loss for pleasure are all ways in which manic depression could start to appear.

According to therapists, an individual who is depressed consistently for more than a week can officially be diagnosed as someone who is suffering from manic depression.

In spite of being one of the most common, yet severe types of depressive disorder, Manic depression, according to doctors can be treated. There is no reason to worry too much about it, just follow the proper procedures that the therapist will instruct you to do, take the properly prescribed medications in order to help you (or your friend or loved one) overcome manic depression before it becomes too late. Also, individuals who are suffering from manic depression should always be able to see their therapists on a regular basis so as to be able to release their pent-up emotions to some one who can interpret and understand what they’re going through a lot better, compared to “normal” people.

Although positive results for a manic depressive patient can still be achieved from natural alternatives, a proper and more lasting relief from manic depressive symptoms can still be best acquired through seeing cognitive behaviour therapists. Contrary to some beliefs, when it comes to psychiatric treatments, psychiatrists, preferably cognitive behaviour therapists are arguably the best ones to consult for manic depression, as well as the ones who’ll most probably be able to cure manic depression.


ByAnxious Minds

Managing Bipolar Disorder

Effectively managing the manic-depressive illness.

To be able to function properly in society, you have to consider that you need to have a good physical health. You may have heard this over and over again. However, you have to consider that physical well-being is not the only thing you need to obtain in order to function productively in society. It is a fact that there are quite a lot of people who are considered to be physically healthy but cannot function well in society. You have to consider that your mental health is also very important.

The brain is the most important part of the human body and without it, you will not be able to live. The brain is needed for your basic motor skills, for speech, and also for controlling your moods and emotions. The brain simply acts like a microprocessor in a computer and your nervous system as the wires that connect all of your body to it. However, there are certain mental disorders that can affect your daily life where you will have no control over some aspects of your body.

An example of a mental disorder is bipolar disorder. This particular illness can affect the area of your brain that controls your way of thinking, your emotions and your moods. Bipolar disorder can significantly and negatively affect your daily functions. Normally, people have some ups and downs in terms of moods. If something pleasant happens, you feel happy, and if something bad happens, you will feel depressed about it. This is a normal reaction of the brain and the body. However, with bipolar disorder, the moods can cycle from being manic to being normal to being depressive and back to being manic at some intervals.

Bipolar disorder can have a negative impact on your daily life as it can impair the way you think. It can affect your social life, your relationship, and can also negatively impact your performance at work and at school. You should also consider that bipolar disorder is a very dangerous disorder that can lead to death. There have been cases where severe bipolar disorders have forced people suffering from it to think of death and suicide during the depressive episodes and some have actually attempted to commit suicide.

Bipolar disorder can cause harm to the person suffering from it and also to the people around them. This is why it is important that the family should actively participate in the treatment. Treatments can include psychotherapy and medications. During the therapy sessions, the family of the people who are suffering from bipolar disorder should be actively involved during the long and sometimes hard process of treatment. You have to consider that bipolar disorder is a long term illness and has no cure. The treatments are usually needed throughout their entire life and it also needs carefully managing it.

Family and friends should know how to support the person suffering from this disorder and should understand all about bipolar disorder in order to effectively treat them and also effectively manage the illness. It is also important that you should choose a reputable psychotherapist in order to make sure that they can effectively treat the patient.

Bipolar disorder is a kind of illness that needs support from members of the family. It does not entirely mean that the person suffering from it needs to be alone in the treatment process. It is important to realize the fact that the family plays a very important role during the treatment process. Without family support, the treatment for the illness can have little or no effect at all. You should consider that people suffering from this mental disorder are suicidal and during the treatment process, they will need emotional support in order to get their thoughts off about death and suicide.

These are the things you should consider when you have a family member suffering from bipolar disorder. With the proper treatment and support, you can be sure that they will be able to recover from their illness and effectively manage it throughout their lives. In time, they will be able to live independently and function productively in society again.


ByAnxious Minds

Going Nuts or Just Normally Moody? (Bipolar Tests)

Bipolar disorder is an illness that is illustrated by extreme mood changes, from being manically euphoric to the very depressed and vice versa. This disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness. Changes in the mood to the extremes are constantly occurring, this can happen within hours, days, or months. Bipolar disorder typically appears in the late teenage years and continues until death. There are also cases wherein the illness starts as early as childhood or as delayed as late adult years.

Although a lot of people experience mood swings every now and then, only a small group really experience radical changes in their moods which are highly characteristic of bipolar disorder. This illness can heavily affect everyday living of the sufferer. It can have a huge impact on their relationships with significant others, occupation, academics, and their day to day interaction with other people.

Are you quite curious if you’re afflicted with this unlucky pestilence of a disease? Here are some of the signs and symptoms that you can check yourself with:

Signs and symptoms of depressive phase

* pessimistic, have long moments of crying
* a feeling of hopelessness
* low self-esteem
* diminished libido
* progressive decrease in energy and activities of daily living
* apathetic
* antisocial
* cognitive difficulties
* always anxious and irritable
* changes in weight (weight loss or gain)
*either insomnia or oversleeping
* abuse of drugs or alcoholic substances
* suicidal ideations

Signs and symptoms of manic phase

* extremely euphoric
* aggressive
* impulsive, irresponsibly wild
* excessively adventurous and involved in activities that are life threatening (sex, drugs, violence, excessive spending)
* insomniac
* flight of ideas, exceedingly talkative
* very outgoing
* self-centred; sometimes with hallucinations or delusions
* easily distracted, restless
* no idea that the their behaviour is causing problems

If you have any of these symptoms and these odd behaviours are causing disruptions in your normal life, it is best for you to seek professional help.

There may be numerous tests out there that are used to differentiate a bipolar sufferer from the run-of-the-mill sad and/or energetic individuals, but there is no exact specific test. This is because the signs and symptoms of this illness are very similar to other mental aberrations like ADHD, borderline personally disorder, schizophrenia, or substance abuse disorders.

To diagnose the disorder, physicians provide a battery of tests to potential patients. The following are the basic tests that these professionals use:

* Medical examinations. This is used to assess the patient for other probable grounds of the mood swings he or she experiences.
* Oral and written psychiatric questionnaire or evaluations
* Family history. Bipolar disorder has a tendency to run in families
* Medical history. There may be medications that the patient is using or has used that could have triggered the mood swings.
* Interview family members and significant others regarding the patient’s behaviour. These people are usually the first witnesses of the disorder unfolding in the patient.

Although the doctor may be armed with these tests to help him diagnose a patient, it is quite difficult for the doctor if the patient him or herself doesn’t recognize the problem. It is therefore imperative for the doctor to have an absolute and careful history of the patient’s mood swing episodes. Compared to normal happiness, a person suffering the mania stage is extremely happy for four consecutive days at the very least. These patients are also easily distracted, very talkative, and has a flight of ideas.

The disorder is suspected to individuals who have previously suffered from a depression and had a quick and excellent response to the treatment, but had frequent relapses which are followed by a disintegration to respond to antidepressant treatment.

But with early diagnosis, the disorder can be easily controlled. A combination of psychopharmacologic medications and psychotherapy may just do the trick. A strong emotional support from family and friends is also imperative for the patient who’s suffering from this disorder. Just make sure you choose the right medical professional to help you or a friend in need. You may find the best help even from only searching through the net as some institutions have websites of their own.

Just remember, anybody who is suspect to any mental disorder is innocent until examined and diagnosed by a legitimate doctor.


ByAnxious Minds

Taking a Bipolar Online Quiz is Important

School children often dreads the hour when a quiz is given by their teacher, especially the ones who didn’t study their lessons. As a child grows, he or she still has to keep up with various examinations done in and out of the classroom.

What’s in an examination or a quiz that most individuals fear? Well, if it’s just a quiz for a school subject, you will only worry about the grades that you will get. But what if it’s a quiz about your mental health?

A lot of people shy away from the subject of mental illness. Having a mental illness of some sort does not make you insane. That’s the common misconception that people has to live with. Oftentimes, they are ashamed to let other people know that they have a problem. And if you’re diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there’s really no reason to be afraid or ashamed about it.

Bipolar patients have extreme episodes or mood swings, and though these things may not affect them, it can be very alarming to their family members. Friends, co-workers, relatives, and neighbours may also notice the mood swings especially if it’s already severe. The symptoms felt by bipolar patients are not the same all throughout. It differs from one individual to another. Others can experience mild symptoms while others have to go through severe episodes.

Bipolar disorder does not choose its patients. Men and women can have this illness because of certain factors. Though further studies are still underway, factors like genetics, biochemistry, environmental events, and seasons can cause bipolar disorder.

Not all people are aware that they have the disorder. In fact, a great number of bipolar sufferers are not yet diagnosed. Most bipolar patients were diagnosed with the illness only after years of having it. If bipolar remains untreated, it can cause major disruptions in his or her everyday life; whether at home, at work, or in any other place. With the right professional attention, the bipolar patient can receive treatment and/or medication that are necessary to control their symptoms. Bipolar disorder cannot be cured; it can only be controlled and stabilised.

Bipolar disorder is not well-known to the public. In fact, according or many surveys, a lot of people are not even thinking about mood disorders. For every five respondent, 80% did not even address it as an illness or disorder. Most college students and people in their 40’s are aware of the disorder, but other age groups have very little knowledge about bipolar and mood disorders.

This may be one reason why many cases of bipolar disorder are left undiagnosed. Many individuals may regard their condition as simple mood swings. When mood swings are already extreme, then you’d better think twice.

The internet is a great avenue to help you in your problem. Try to observe the symptoms that you’re exhibiting, and if you think you have the disorder, you can look into online quizzes. There are many sites that feature bipolar quizzes and you can use the search engines available like Google and Yahoo.

By taking several online depression quizzes, you will find out the different symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. And after the quiz, you will get the results easily. Bipolar online quizzes usually asks the following questions:

– Are you suffering from extreme changes in mood?
– Do you have a family member with bipolar?
– Have you experienced the symptoms in intervals?

If after a careful self-evaluation you think that you do have bipolar, then perhaps it’s time to visit a doctor. You have to consult the right person with the right background, and those that have dealt with bipolar disorder in the past. A psychiatrist can also help you in your struggle. They can provide you with the right medication and treatment that will work for you.

Bipolar quizzes are a great way to assess your situation. Mild mood swings are natural and should not be a cause of worry. However, quizzes like this can’t give you an accurate diagnosis. Bipolar is difficult to diagnose, that is why a lot of diagnosis are delayed. The symptoms felt by a bipolar patient can mimic those of other illnesses. Professional diagnosis is required. Take a quiz, and know your state.

ByAnxious Minds

Diagnosed with Bipolar Mood Disorder? Start Mending Fences Now

It’s easier to face the hardships of life when your love ones are there for you. If an individual suffers from an illness, the first ones to assist him in his situation is his dear family. That is why many people are counting on family members and relatives especially if they’re going through a difficult phase.

What happens if you’re diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder? Just as the word suggests, it’s a mood disorder. For some time, you might have observed your mood swings. Oftentimes, other family members can notice these things easily but they don’t give it much importance. When the behaviour becomes radical, this can already cause a disruption in the family or even at work.
Whenever you have an episode, you will likely do abnormal things, and you can even hurt your love ones. You tend to make wrong or bad decisions which are hard to fix. Trying to pick-up pieces after an episode is really hard. This is probably why most bipolar patients want to isolate themselves and are ashamed to come face to face with their family members and friends. But isolation will only make things a lot worse.

Instead of closing your doors to the people that greatly cares and loves you, you have to reach out to them. Reach out to the people you’ve hurt and try to explain what happened. Making apologies is the best way and tell them that you’re already seeking help. Once a person is diagnosed with the disorder, his or her instant reaction is to deny it and not inform others. Sharing the knowledge of the disorder with others can be very hard. And not every bipolar patient thinks of it as an excellent idea. But with the aid of your therapist or doctor, you can arrive at a better decision.

Keeping things secret is not good, especially if it’s about bipolar. In fact, it can be very harmful in the long run. It would be better to inform trusted family members and friends so that they will understand the situation. Bipolar disorder can greatly affect an individual, and the worst thing that can happen is suicide. There are facts that you need to be aware of if you have bipolar disorder like:

1. Suicide attempts usually occur during mixed or depressed episodes
2. Some suicide happens during or after coming out a mania or depressive episode; and this happens when the patient is feeling a lot better
3. 25 to 50 percent of bipolar patients attempts suicide at least once
4. One out of five bipolar patients commits suicide
5. Patients who misuse drugs and alcohol are at a greater suicide risk

If a bipolar patient has suicidal tendencies, his condition requires control of the symptoms. Suicidal thoughts are not really ‘you’ as a person, but can be associated with the symptoms of bipolar disorder. This is a sign which means that you need professional attention. The thoughts will not go away alone, what you need is a proper treatment and/or medication.
As part of a treatment regimen, you need to build your own support network. You have to use your available resources to get a good start. Your support foundation can consist of family members, friends, therapists, doctor, and members of the community (local or national). You’re at the community’s centre and acts as a driving force. You can build or maintain this community with the support of the people around you.

Your support group knows your feelings and thoughts. These people have encountered and struggled with the same problems. People with the same disorder can give you practical advice and support. They will teach you coping skills, how to open up, and understand your situation completely. You can also arrange for a meeting with fellow bipolar patients.  You must remember that treatments and medications are greatly needed in your condition. And to make things a lot better, finding a support group can help you in living a normal life. Don’t sulk in your home. There are a lot of people out there who cares about you. All you have to do is to reach out to them, make them feel that you’re exerting an effort to make things a lot better for you, your family, and the community as a whole.

ByAnxious Minds

Childhood Treatment options for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, has in past years only been found in adults, while children with similar symptoms have been mistakenly diagnosed as have attention deficit disorder (ADD), or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  However, in recent years, psychiatrists and pediatricians have found that bipolar disorder definitely rears its ugly head in childhood as often as it does in adolescent or adult years.

Diagnosis of bipolar in childhood increases the chances for bipolar patients to have successful treatment and ordinary, uninhibited lives as adults.  However, treatment options of bipolar in childhood is a controversial subject.  Many doctors wish to medicate first, and regulate with therapy in addition to medications.  However, many parents and some psychologists disagree with these methods.

Overall, many parents discover that once their child has been put on bipolar medications, the child seems to lose some of their personality traits that endear them to the parents.  Children, and adults, who have been overly medicated or medicated when not absolutely necessary lose a sense of who they are.  Some medications can make children overly despondent, seeming “out of it” or “spacey.”  This causes concern for parents and doctors, and raises the question of whether or not the child is really better off on medication.

Play therapy can be quite effective in helping children with bipolar disorder live more successful childhoods.  This play therapy typically involves placing children in various hypothetical situations in which they must work out a logical and emotionally healthy solution.  While play therapy is very successful in some children, it is not enough for others.  In certain childhood cases of bipolar disorder, the mood swings and symptoms are so severe that the child is not able to control their actions or emotional reactions to stimuli and situations.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a fairly new method of therapy for bipolar patients in which the patient learns to recognise symptoms of their illness, triggers for mood swings and inappropriate behaviour, and alternatives to inappropriate behaviour.  Cognitive behavioural therapy also allows the patient to discover what he or she can do to avoid manic or depressive episodes, and how to manage the episodes more effectively.  In adults, this treatment option is very viable, and works well both in conjunction with and without medication treatment.

However, cognitive behavioural therapy requires a level of problem solving and critical thinking that is not often present in childhood.  For this reason, it is not commonly used in children with bipolar disorder under a certain age or maturity level.  Some believe that the techniques learned through cognitive behavioural therapy could be equally viable in treating childhood bipolar disorder if the exercises and learning could be geared toward children.  This, however, could prove difficult.

In the end, treatment options must be discussed with pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, parents, and teachers.  Everyone involved in childhood must be involved in the treatment process in order for it to be successful.  If a parent or teacher has concerns about the effects of childhood treatment for bipolar disorder in their child or student, those concerns should be expressed immediately so that changes in treatment can be made.  Additionally, parents should not be afraid to change doctors if they feel their child is not benefiting from treatment or medication.