Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that results in mood and energy changes, including episodes of mania and depression. When in manic episodes, individuals with the disorder have an unrealistic high state of mind, and can lose touch with reality. At the other extreme, they may think they have super powers, or a little less extreme, impulsively shop for items they do not need and usually cannot afford.
Facts about Bipolar Disorder
How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?
- Bipolar Disorder usually develops in the adolescent or young adult years in an individual’s life. “Hypomania,” an episode of illness, is a phase of the disorder that includes a period of abnormally increased energy and productivity. Unlike mania, hypomania doesn’t involve psychosis and does not interfere with an individual’s ability to function. Hypomania, if left untreated, can progress to severe mania, and more often, episodes of depression.
A full manic episode is diagnosed if, for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least a week, an elevated mood occurs with three or more symptoms relating to sleep, energy, thinking and behavior, and that these symptoms interfere with the individual’s ability to function. Four or more symptoms are needed for diagnosis if irritability is present.
- A depressive episode is diagnosed if, for most of the day, every day, for two weeks or more, an individual has five or more depressive symptoms.
How Common Is Bipolar Disorder?
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
- Doctors cannot point to a single cause of bipolar disorder. An underlying defect in brain circuitry, involving areas that control mood, thinking and behavior is one theory for the cause. Stress may also play a role in development and, in women, hormonal fluctuations may worsen symptoms. The theory that bipolar disorder is a genetic disease was advanced when two Scottish researchers isolated a gene that doubles the risk of developing the disorder. However, it is believed that no single gene leads to the risk of bipolar disorder. No specific series of genes have been identified that increase the risk for development of the disorder.
How is Bipolar Disorder Treated?
- In addition to those medications, psychosocial treatment (like cognitive therapy) can be helpful for education and guidance.
At Pasadena Villa, we treat issues with Bipolar Disorder with the most advanced and effective methods available, always making sure the resident’s needs are the number one priority.