Bipolar Disorder - Medical Malpractice LawyersLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Bipolar Disorder - Medical Malpractice
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depressive disorder or manic depression. It causes severe shifts in a person's mood, energy, behavior and thinking so that there are extreme highs in the mood and energy level along with severe lows that occur at other times in the disease. The moods can cycle over days, weeks or months and can be so intense that the person is unable to function in society.
During a manic episode, impulsivity is a problem. There may be impulsive shopping problems, poor sleep and an elevated mood above what is acceptable for the situation. During a time of depression, the person can be very fatigued, be unable to get out of bed and will feel hopeless and helpless when it comes to their life outlook.
Bipolar disorder often runs in families. It often begins in the late teens or early twenties and can start with a depressive disorder or a manic disorder. Many people with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed in the beginning, so they don't always get the best treatment at first. When diagnosed properly, many of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can go away with proper treatment. Bipolar disorder is a completely treatable disease so that a person with the disorder can have a happy and successful life with the right kind of treatment. Most people with manic depression are in the depressive phase with manic spikes in activity. The disorder affects mood but also affects sleep, appetite, judgment, concentration, sex drive and memory. Those with medicated bipolar disorder also need to get plenty of sleep, eat correctly and have a relatively stress-free life in order to properly manage the disease.
Doctors define four types of episodes of mood during bipolar disorder. You can have mania, hypomania (which is not as bad as mania), depression and mixed episodes. The symptoms of mania are increased creativity, high energy, euphoria and sometimes delusions of grandeur. It feels good to the person experiencing it but it also has a tendency to spiral way out of control. Reckless behavior is common and the person can make bad business investments. Hallucinations or hearing voices are not uncommon.
The symptoms of hypomania are a lot like mania but are less intense. There is still a feeling of high energy and euphoria but the person doesn't lose touch with what is real and what isn't real. Bad decisions can be made in hypomania. Hypomania is sometimes a sign that full blown mania is coming on. It can also mean that a full blown depressive attack is coming on.
Depression and bipolar disease are actually two different diseases. Both have hereditary components but bipolar disease has a much more hereditary background, with some cases being autosomal dominant. Antidepressants alone do not help people with bipolar depression and they need medication to control the highs as well as the lows. Antidepressants alone can trigger manic phases and things like Tegretol, Valproic acid and Lithium must be used to block the manic episodes. These latter drugs, and others, are considered mood stabilizers and work well to control the highs of manic disease.
In the depression seen in bipolar disorder, there tends to be more irritability, guilt feelings and und unpredictable mood swings or restlessness than in regular depression. There is more weight gain and sleep excessiveness with bipolar depression than with regular depression. Common feelings include hopelessness, empty feelings, sad feelings, irritability, tiredness, inability to feel happy or pleasure, changes in weight, sleep disorders, mental sluggishness, thoughts of death or suicide, feelings of guilt and concentration difficulties.
There are three types of bipolar disorder. The first is Bipolar I disorder, which involves only mania or mixed episodes in a person who has had at least one depressive disorder. Bipolar II disorder involves more depression and fewer or no full blown manic attacks. There are more hypomanic attacks than manic attacks. In cyclothymia, there are patterns of low mood and elevated mood that don't reach the level of full blown manic or depressive attacks.
The treatment of bipolar depression includes giving mood stabilizers that control manic phases and some of the depression. Antidepressants can be used to control depressive episodes. People with bipolar disorder need to have lifestyle changes that do not promote mania. Working on a long term basis with a psychiatrist is needed.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here