Bipolar disorder is less common than depression. It is so uncommon that not everyone is aware of this disorder and its symptoms. In Europe and North America, only about 1% of the population experiences this condition in their lives, and the rate of this condition is relatively similar in countries all over the world.
This condition affects men and women, the rate of this disorder in both sexes are nearly the same. This disorder usually affects those individuals in a higher socioeconomic class. What is scarier about this condition is that, about 15% of those patients who have been diagnosed with such condition end up committing suicide. This number roughly equals to those who commit suicide because of major depression.
Bipolar disorder usually starts at late teens or 20s. In the first mood episode of this behavioral condition, most men who experience this disorder show and experience mania, while women usually experience deep depression.
Manic episodes and depressions usually last from several weeks to months. People who experience this condition and go untreated will experience four episodes of mania that can last up to 10 years. This condition can be life-threatening, thus it is very important to distinguish its signs before it develops fully and totally affects the person’s state of mind.
The common sign of bipolar disorder is extreme mood swings, making this condition a serious and potentially crippling disorder. Although the severity of the symptoms of this condition makes the disorder more of a variety than a concrete form of illness, the disorder is separated in four categories for medication, treatment, and study purposes.
These four categories are: bipolar I, bipolar II, Cyclothymia and the Bipolar NOS or Not Otherwise Specified.
This article will talk more about bipolar I, its definition, symptoms and how people who experience this condition should cope with it.
A diagnosed patient of Bipolar II once said that his condition seemed to be the ruling factor of his life. J.D. said that he have to second guess in everything he do as he can’t determine if it is his mind or his emotion acting on it.
J.D. had been diagnosed to have symptoms of bipolar II at the age of 14 years, but he was later re-diagnosed with Bipolar I. Since his diagnosis, he then studied his situation and understands how it controls his being.
Bipolar I can cause at least one manic episode
This stage is the common stage where people start to think more about this condition. The DSM of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders once identified the criteria for this condition. These are:
• None to multiple hypomnanic episodes in the patient’s diagnosis time
• One to multiple episodes of mania in the patient’s diagnosis time
• And none to multiple major depressive episodes in the patient’s diagnosis time
Manic episodes are what separate bipolar disorder I from bipolar II, though both stages have depressive and manic episodes. Symptoms of manic episodes should be identified for proper treatment. The symptoms are:
• Racing thoughts, distractibility, irrational thoughts, uncontrolled anger and paranoia
• Impulsive behavior like stealing
• Feels irritable and anxious for a long period of time
• And/or feels “on a high” or abnormally happy.
These signs can impose harm to the patient’s health in a different ways. It is very important for the people around a suspected bipolar patient to identify these signs to help the person cope his or her condition.