Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression during its discovery, affects millions of lives today. Living with this disease can be life changing, leaving the victim feeling isolated with no knowledge on how to cope or why one has such raging emotions and fear that can lead to an outburst of depression, sadness and some cases of harmful rage.
This comes from within and out of the blue. This disorder affects every race, all ages from the very young to the old. Male and females are affected, but not equally (Smith and Segal, 2011, p. 1).
Understanding bipolar and how it affects your mind and physical health is very helpful in coping with it. This helps one understand more about the symptoms associated with the disorder and alongside various medical treatments, therapy and support from loved ones, this disorder is very manageable.
As mentioned above, bipolar disorder leads to unusual changes in emotional status of affected individuals. There are common symptoms of the disorder that can help family members identify the illness. Long periods of extreme happiness or a high is a common sign of the disorder.
Patients of this disorder often get agitated very fast and for no good reasons alongside having a jumpy feeling. Restlessness and lack of sleeps is also a common sign. Other patients have impulsive behaviors and unrealistic beliefs on their capacities.
As the disorder progresses, the affected individuals lose interest in certain activities such as sex. Some have trouble making decisions and concentrating on something, be it in school or at work (Read, 2010, p. 1). In extreme cases, patients may start talking about death and thinking of committing suicide.
There are several types of Bipolar Disorder. The most common types are bipolar I and bipolar II. Bipolar I is classified as the most severe in all forms of depression. Bipolar II is the more common type and is similar to Bipolar I, but it is less severe. Diagnosing Bipolar in children is more difficult than it is in adults. I will use a little boy named Timmy as an example.
Happy five year old Timmy playing with other children his age until something happens, he changes suddenly into a violent, raging little wild boy. His fits are brushed off as temper tantrums until they become more often and serve in nature such as, hurting himself or another child. I have witnessed Timmy banding his head against the wall till it bleeds.
This comes and goes leaving a happy little boy running and playing normally. At the age of 15 Timmy is diagnosed with bipolar I. More studies need to be done on the disorder in the infancy stage. Temper tantrums may be the beginning stage, but in fact he is dealing with bouts of depression and mood swings, coupled with bouts of aggressive behavior.
There are no cures for bipolar disorders, but treatments for living with this disease are available. Lithium has offered much success alongside counseling and therapy. Learning how to live with this disease will help you live a happier and productive life. The best help is having a good support system in place. Family and friends can help you cope with and understand this condition.
Keeping a record of what times, the places and maybe who contributes to your spiral down the road of depression may also e of great help in such occurrences (NIMH 2010, p. 1). However, this disorder may be undiagnosed for many years and labeled as normal behavior especially at early ages. Under the age of six it is not understood and most often it is dismissed.
Smith, M and Segal, J. (2011). Understanding bipolar disorder. Retrieved July 09, 2011,
NIMH. (2010). Bipolar disorder. Retrieved July 09, 2011, from,
Read, K. (2010). Warning signs of bipolar disorder. Retrieved July 09, 2011, from,