|Bipolar Disorder - What is It?
relate to the word mood. We are all happy, excited, sad or depressed at
some point in our lives. Bipolar Affective Disorder (Manic Depressive Illness)
is a biochemical imbalance that causes gross mood changes from the high
reaches of mania to the lows of severe depression. For the one percent
or twenty million Americans who have this condition it can mean hospitalizations,
a life time of medication, disability at an early age and the reduced income
associated with it. Bipolar Affective Disorder can be life threatening.
Disorder is nobodys "fault" - your parents are
not to blame
for the way they raised you, nor are you to blame
to deal adequately with the stresses of life. The cause
Affective Disorder is unknown and at the present
is no cure. There are, however, effective treatments available.
There are several
recognized forms of Bipolar Affective Disorder as shown in The Bipolar
Spectrum below. Following it are definitions of common terminology regarding
day soon there will be a cure for this illness that has impacted harshly,
not only on bipolars, but on their families, friends and society.
THE BIPOLAR SPECTRUM
BIPOLAR I: Both mania and major depression
BIPOLAR II: Major depression and hypomania
BIPOLAR III: Cyclothymia. Mild depression and hypomania
BIPOLAR IV: Depression and usually no mania. Mania may be triggered by
BIPOLAR V: Depression and no mania. Some blood relatives have had mania
BIPOLAR VI: Mania and no depression
any disorder of "affect" or "mood" most often caused by biochemical imbalance.
the inability to experience pleasure; a loss of interest in once pleasurable
drugs developed primarily to treat and relieve symptoms of depression.
drugs used to treat severe distortions in thought perception and emotion
that characterize psychoses. (also known as neuroleptics).
two poles. In bipolar affective disorder wide mood swings from mania to
depression usually with periods of normal mood. Impaired insight
into mood during an episode is
Comparatively mild mood swings from depression to mania. Often cyclothymics
are always up or down, not staying in a normal mood for long.
fixed false belief regarding the self or the world persistently held despite
clear evidence to the contrary. In depression, often of guilt, sin or crime.
In mania of grandeur and unlimited powerto save the world.
A mental disorder of lowered mood, slowed thinking, decreased pleasure,
guilt feelings, hopelessness, despair, and problems in sleeping and eating.
exaggerated feeling of physical and emotional well-being.
The "normal" mood when not manic or depressed.
A perception of sounds, sights, physical sensations or smells that do not
"less than manic" but still highly energized, in an unusually good or unusually
irritable mood, making impulsive decisions and having mildly impaired judgement.
Falls somewhere between euthymia and mania.
drug used for stabilizing the mood swings of Bipolar Affective Disorder.
Illness: previous name for Bipolar Affective Disorder. Still commonly used.
A state of psychological and emotional well-being that enables an individual
to love, work, relate to others effectively, and resolve conflicts.
A bipolar episode with features of both mania and depression,
tendency to view the actions of others as deliberately threatening or demeaning;
suspicious thinking based on misinterpretation of an actual event.
Symptoms: Symptoms or feelings of the mind that cause distress and interfere
with normal functioning...eg. racing thoughts and elation in mania, and
poor concentration and loss of
A major mental disorder characterized by gross impairment of an individual's
perception of reality and relate to others. It can be bilogical or emotional
A bipolar who has severe episodes of depression and mania occurring more
than four times in one year.
A sense of self-worth. The valuing of oneself as a person.
An assembly of individuals with a common problem who aid one another through
personal and group support.
Symptoms: Disruptions of the body's physical functioning...eg. insomnia
and loss of appetite.