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bipolar disorder

n. (context clinical psychology English) A psychiatric diagnostic category, previously called manic depression, characterised by mood swings between great energy (mania) and clinical depression.

bipolar disorder

n. a mental disorder characterized by episodes of mania and depression [syn: manic depression, manic depressive illness, manic-depressive psychosis]

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly manic depression, is a mental disorder with periods of depression and periods of elevated mood. The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania, depending on its severity, or whether symptoms of psychosis are present. During mania an individual behaves or feels abnormally energetic, happy or irritable. Individuals often make poorly thought out decisions with little regard to the consequences. The need for sleep is usually reduced during manic phases. During periods of depression there may be crying, a negative outlook on life, and poor eye contact with others. The risk of suicide among those with the illness is high at greater than 6 percent over 20 years, while self-harm occurs in 30-40 percent. Other mental health issues such as anxiety disorders and substance use disorder are commonly associated.

The causes are not clearly understood, but both environmental and genetic factors play a role. Many genes of small effect, contribute to risk. Environmental factors include a history of childhood abuse and long-term stress. It is divided into bipolar I disorder if there is at least one manic episode and bipolar II disorder if there are at least one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode. In those with less severe symptoms of a prolonged duration the condition cyclothymic disorder may be present. If due to drugs or medical problems it is classified separately. Other conditions that may present in a similar manner include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia and substance use disorder as well as a number of medical conditions. Medical testing is not required for a diagnosis. However, blood tests or medical imaging can be done to rule out other problems.

Treatment commonly includes psychotherapy, as well as medications such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. Examples of mood stabilizers that are commonly used include lithium and anticonvulsants. Treatment in hospital against a person's consent may be required at times as people may be a risk to themselves or others yet refuse treatment. Severe behavioral problems may be managed with short term antipsychotics or benzodiazepines. In periods of mania it is recommended that antidepressants be stopped. If antidepressants are used for periods of depression they should be used with a mood stabilizer. Electric shock therapy (ECT) may be helpful for those who do not respond to other treatments. If treatments are stopped, it is recommended that this be done slowly. Many individuals have financial, social or work-related problems due to the illness. These difficulties occur a quarter to a third of the time on average. The risk of death from natural causes such as heart disease is twice that of the general population. This is due to poor lifestyle choices and the side effects from medications.

About 3 percent of people in the US are estimated to have bipolar disorder at some point in their life. Lower rates of around 1 percent are found in other countries. The most common age at which symptoms begin is 25. Rates appear to be similar in females as males. The economic costs of the disorder has been estimated at $45 billion for the United States in 1991. A large proportion of this was related to a higher number of missed work days, estimated at 50 per year. People with bipolar disorder often face problems with social stigma.

Usage examples of "bipolar disorder".

It started with a serious bipolar disorder, what used to be called manic-depression.

The neck had been attached to a woman named Lucy, and Twilly didn't know about the pharmaceuticals and the booze and the bipolar disorder.

The doctors couldn't figure whether he was a bipolar disorder or conduct disorder.

Berrill said Joel had a bipolar disorder, suffered from major depression, and was hypomanic (frenzied and out of control) during his four-year killing spree.

I dont want to alarm you, but frankly it was the opinion of the psychiatric consult that your wife was suffering from a bipolar disorder, or a drug disorder, or both.

All of which could be the depressive component of a bipolar disorder.

They fascinate because they nakedly reveal that Mother Nature, afflicted with bipolar disorder, is as likely to snuff us as she is to succor us.

Few of them even suspected the existence of the Black Labs that occupied the cellars of the building, the place where Jeanette Campbell did research that went far beyond simple cures for ADD, narcolepsy, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and the like.