FAQ - bipolar disorder
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How can I treat bipolar disorder without telling my family?

So I'm 17 and, after examining the symptoms and a few long talks with my bipolar friend, I'm almost positive I have the disorder. I really feel like I need to get help, but can't bring myself to talk to my family. Is there any way I can get treatment without letting them know?

If you are really worried about it, you should go to a psychiatrist to make things clear.  (+ info)

What is Bipolar disorder? How is it different from depression/anxiety?

How is Bipolar Disorder different from social anxiety & depression. How do you tell the difference?? What are the different symptoms? How is it diagnosed? Is this disorder treated the same way as anxiety & depression?

Hi - Bipolar disorder is different from depression/anxiety in that our mood levels go from very low to very high. it's called cycling and it can continue for long periods of time, or could disappear in no time and hen leving us change six or seven times in one day.

The low end is the hard part./ I get very depressed and just wantto sit and watch television and let everything else go. One can be completely housebound due to the depression of Bipolar, and then, suddently, in a day or two be out and about, all over town, making new friends, buying things they don't need, interviewing for jobs they'd love to have, but could never fulflill. A few of us have ended up traveling across the country incognito, then suddenly appearing in the middle of an airport, stark naked.

Just remember, take the smalest dosage of the bipolar meds that you can get by with, learn to role with the ups and dows and find a good doctor. Also, sometimes, it's difficult to work at a regular job, many of us work at home, or become involved in fine arts, like painting, music, writing, etc. Make the most of it, it could be a lot worse. just learn to undersand bipolar and then begin to anticipate what triggers certain moods.

I do want to add one more imoprtant item and that is the number of completed suicides in bipolar patients is rather high - that's why it is so important to have a psych and a therapist - one to keep track of your meds and the other to keep aware of how things are going on an everyday level.

good luck,
welcome aboard
good luck,
kathy  (+ info)

Can Bipolar Disorder or Depression be inherited from parents?

As much as I hate so say it, my girlfriend shows symptoms of bipolar disorder, or depression; I really can't tell the two apart. Her mother has diagnosed bipolar disorder, and so does her grandmother. I was wondering if that kind of thing can be passed down genetically.

Yes it definitely can be passed down.  (+ info)

Can bipolar disorder come back if a person is properly medicated?

I have had bipolar disorder since my late teens. I have been on lithium for a year and a half now. Tried a host of other drugs before that to no avail. But now I am stable and functioning well. Do you think it could come back if I stick with treatment?

For bipolar to "come back" it has to go away first. One big thing to dealling with bipolar is realizing and accepting that you have it, it has not gone away, and never will. Thinking in the mindset of it going away is why so many people end up going off their meds eventually, even when they are keeping them stable.

Is it possible for the mood swings to come back. Yes. Could be triggered by something. I know i have triggered a severe mania from stress, after having been stable. Also, your body can addapt to the meds and meds can become less effective. You have to continue to keep an eye on your moods, and spot when they start to get off again. SOmetimes changing dose is enough. Sometimes changing meds again is needed. Our body chemistry just changes over time....just how it is.  (+ info)

What's the difference between schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type and bipolar disorder w/psychotic features?

What's the difference between schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type and bipolar disorder w/psychotic features?
Diagnosing is hard :p
You guys are probably way better at it than me.
Everyone got their DSM-IV-TR out? Okay, what've you got?

With Bipolar Disorder delusions and hallucinations are possible ONLY when the person is either VERY deeply depressed or VERY Manic.. in other words at the very far extremes of the spectrum. With Schizoaffective disorder the person has the true mood swings of Bipolar but has hhallucinations or delusions at any time, not just when manic or depressed. It is thought to be a combination of Bipolar and Schizophrenia.  (+ info)

How many symtoms of Schizophrenia can Bipolar disorder have?

I heard some people are often misdianoised as schizophrenics,but really have bipolar disorder

What are the symtoms that bipolar disorder can have that are schizophrenic?
Can bipolar`s hear voices?

So far everyone here is inaccurate. Schizophrenia is mostly composed of psychosis. Psychosis is a break from reality which can include hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing things that aren't there), and delusions (believing things that aren't real like that you are jesus or that people are the devil, etc). Bipolar disorder can include psychosis during either a severe manic or severe depressive episodes. Someone with Bipolar who is manic and psychotic will resemble a schizophrenic very closely..... if diagnosed schizophrenic during an episode it will usually be changed to Bipolar once the episode is over and the mood swings are more apparent.  (+ info)

How important is counselling for bipolar disorder?

My boyfriend has bipolar disorder and goes to his psychiatrist once a month. His visits are real quick like 10 minutes long. She just asks how are you today, are your pills working, any stressers? Then she sends him out the do. Other than that "therapy" he doesnt do any talk counselling. So is counselling an important thing when it comes to bipolar disorder?

I've had bipolar for years and while the medication is invaluable good counseling is extremely important.

I've learnt that my sessions will be shorter when I'm stable and longer when I'm not. Then again I have co-morbid disorders and a different therapist.

If what he's receiving now is working for him then don't fix what's broken. If it isn't encourage him to find someone else.  (+ info)

Is bipolar disorder something you are born with?

I was wondering if bipolar disorder is a condition you are born with, or if it is developed over time and circumstances? Once someone is diagnosed as being bipolar, do they ever fully "recover" or stop having symptoms?

Thank you!

Some people are born pre disposed to bipolar, those with a family history having a higher incidence or chance of developing it. Stressful events, pregnancy and illness can be present at the onset of symptoms and help 'launch' a bipolar episode. The above can also aggravate the condition once it has been diagnosed.

Most recent research indicates that its actually a biochemical imbalance in the brain and there is no 'cure' as yet, though the disorder is treatable with a regime of therapy and maintenance medication. The condition is life long, so it is likely a person will require medication and therapy for the rest of their life, but to be adjusted as circumstances require.

The mental condition of a sufferer with the illness will fluctuate over time, but again, the illness is manageable with proper and timely medical treatment, a good diet, proper sleep and avoidance of episode triggers and highly stressful situations.  (+ info)

How do I get checked for bipolar disorder?

I have bad anxiety and depression, but I want to rule out that possibilty that it's bipolar disorder.

You need to speak with a mental health professional. Typically, a psychiatrist makes these types of diagnoses. You can ask your family doctor for a referral or contact a psychiatrist's office directly. At your appointment, the doctor will assess the symptoms you've been experiencing. This is in the form of an interview. The diagnosis is based on a specific set of symptoms such as episodes of mania and depression. There are many resources available including private psychiatrists' offices and community mental health centers. If you feel that you have any of the symptoms of bipolar disorder or any other psychiatric illness, please see a mental health professional. These disorders are treatable with proper medication and psychotherapy.  (+ info)

What are some other symptoms of bipolar disorder?

I have been diagnosed with bipolar type I, which I understand has hallucinations and is more extreme than bipolar type II. I know the symptoms that every website lists for bipolar- increased energy, decreased need for sleep, etc...for mania and decreased energy, feelings of hopelessness or guilt, etc...for depression. What I'm looking for is individual experiences with this disorder. For example, I get really involved in things like painting, then feng shui, then collecting several different things, then geneology, then physics, etc... when I'm manic. I switch from one thing into a completely different thing and completely lose interest in the thing before. Does that make sense? I know that each person's experiences will vary, but I would like to hear about behaviors besides those listed in the typical diagnostic criterea.
These answers are great. I have to laugh because I can relate to so many of you!

If you have halluncinations - you may have schizophrenia becuase halluncinations only occur during psychosis in bipolar patients.

I hope you are taking something to manage the symptoms even though the medication may not act right away.  (+ info)

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