Bipolar Disorder

People with Bipolar Disorder experience intense emotional states, which occur in distinct periods called ‘mood episodes.’ An overly joyful state is called a Manic state, associated with impulsive behavior like spending sprees. An extremely sad state is called a Depressive episode. These episodes usually come back over time, as Bipolar Disorder lasts a lifetime. There are a few types of Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar 1 disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed states that last at least 7 days, or by a severe manic state that requires hospitalization.

Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypo-manic episodes, with no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.

Some people may be diagnosed with Cyclothymia (a mild form) and others with Rapid-cycling Bipolar disorder.

Proper diagnosis and treatment can help people live healthy and productive lives. It is very important to reduce the frequency and severity of episodes by seeking proper treatment. Bipolar disorder cannot be diagnosed with a brain scan, but brain-scans can help to rule out other contributing factors such as a stroke or brain tumor. The first step is to consult a doctor (preferably a Psychiatrist) who will conduct a physical exam, order required lab tests and do a detailed interview to arrive at the proper diagnosis.