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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental condition identified by recurring extreme mood changes. The condition presents itself differently in every patient, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, and frequency of mood swings occurring only occasionally or even every few hours. The condition may develop at any point in life, although initial symptoms often occur before or during the mid-twenties.Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressant disorder – primarily because those who suffer from the condition may have mood swings of euphoria, mania or depression. The symptoms of bipolar disorder seem to be more extreme among individuals who have pre-existing anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.There is no known cause for bipolar disorder, although there are certain known risk factors. Some bipolar individuals may be genetically pre-disposed to develop the condition, while others may develop it as the result of a traumatic event. Still further, researchers believe that certain physical components may lend themselves to the development of bipolar disorder, such as hormone and chemical imbalances.

Treatment

If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is imperative that you seek immediate treatment from a psychiatric health provider. Bipolar disorder can be especially dangerous if left untreated, and because the illness is long-term, patients are often unable to recover or improve on their own.

Identifying bipolar disorder means undergoing physical examinations, as well as documenting changes in moods. A psychological assessment may also be necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. If tests are positive for the condition, treatment will begin.

Although there is no cure for manic-depressant disorders, there are effective ways of managing symptoms using FDA-approved mood stabilization drugs and anti-depressants. Many patients and their families also benefit from being educated about bipolar disorder and undergoing cognitive behavior therapy and family-focused therapies for coping measures.

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