Bipolar Disorder was formerly called Manic Depressive Disorder. It is characterized by periods of elevated mood, the manic phase of the illness, sometimes followed by periods of depression. There is no clear consensus on how many types of bipolar disorders exist and the current Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM IV). The disorder is differentiated between Bipolar I and Bipolar II Disorder, which relate to the severity of the disorder. The categories are further broken down into the most recent episode, whether it is manic, depressive or mixed (both manic and depressive).
The manic episode is characterized by elevated mood, often to the point of euphoria. The individual usually has a decreased need for sleep and their pattern for speech is usually elevated. Sleep difficulties are often associated with racing thoughts. There is a feeling of increased energy with little need for sleep and the individual may feel grandiose and omnipotent. The dangers in the manic state are often the possibility that decisions are driven by grandiose or delusional ideas.
The depressive episode is characterized by feelings of sadness, disturbance in sleep and appetite, loss of interest and inability to have pleasure, feelings of loneliness and feelings of despair and helplessness.
There is a strong genetic contribution to the development of a bipolar disorder. Twin studies indicate that there is a 40% greater chance of having a bipolar disorder with identical twins. With fraternal twins, the occurrence of bipolar disorder is much lower, suggesting a strong environmental influence in the development of the disorder.
Abnormalities in the structure and function of brain chemistry underlie the disorder. Often, hospitalization may be required in severe cases. There are a variety of mood stabilization medications that are used. Unfortunately, compliance to the medication is often a concern, since individuals resist having the manic euphoric feeling dissipate. Additionally, substance abuse often coexists with bipolar disorder. The individual self-medicates with alcohol or drugs.
This disorder cannot be cured, but can be controlled. The illness is lifelong. If untreated, the disorder tends to worsen and the person may suffer more frequent and more severe episodes than when the illness first appears. It is essential to get the correct diagnosis and to be seen by a professional who has experience in treating bipolar disorder. Clinicians at our practice work conjointly with psychiatrists to treat bipolar disorder.
Call us today for more information on bipolar disorder treatment in Baltimore MD at 410-828-6062.