The bipolar disorder illness affects the lives of many individuals. Not only those who have been diagnosed but family members and others in continual close contact with sufferers will be well familiar with the trials and tribulations of life with bipolar disorder. However this mental illness also known as manic depression can be treated, and people can lead full and productive lives. Many are exceptionally talented individuals, famous celebrities and top achievers in their fields.
What is bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. In some individuals a chemical imbalance occurs in the brain affecting mood, energy levels and ones general ability to perform normally. Exactly why and how this happens is still under review but there seems to be both heredity and environmental components. Characteristic of bipolar is the oscillating between opposite ends of the mood spectrum. The severity duration and consequence of the mood swings allow for numerous variations within the bipolar spectrum the most well known of which are bipolar 1 and bipolar 11. From the manic highs through the milder hypomania to the depressive lows there are many in-betweens.
We all have periods of elation and despair, a natural part of living but different from these normal ups and downs, the bipolar symptoms are severe and the ramifications can be widespread and potentially damaging to the individual, their relationships, job or school performance etc.
Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some people have their first symptoms of depression during childhood, and some develop them late in life. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life. The risk of suicide including teen suicide is high in untreated cases.
The bipolar disease does not seem to discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race ethnic groups or social classes. However there seems to be a genetic component as bipolar runs in families. Most sufferers having other close relatives with either unipolar or bipolar depression.
Some things in life we don’t get a choice in like whether or not we are genetically predisposed to bipolar disorder but there is an awful lot we do have control of which can have a very beneficial effect on the outcome. There will be aspects of day to day living complicated by bipolar but certainly not insurmountable and there will also be many benefits from the exceptional gifted abilities of many bipolar disorder individuals.
The aim of this site is to provide those interested with the knowledge of potential pitfalls. If you know what might happen you and your loved ones working as a team can put coping strategies in place in advance to minimize any damage.