What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that affects a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and ability to perform everyday tasks. The disorder affects approximately 3% of U.S. adults, and often emerges in a person’s early 20s, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Research from the National Institute of Mental Health also indicates that bipolar disorder may be linked with genetics, stress, and brain structures. The condition causes “mood episodes,” periods that affect an individual’s sleep patterns, behavior, and activity levels. Mood episodes generally fall into two categories: manic and depressive. During a manic episode, an individual may experience high energy levels, difficulty sleeping, agitation and/or irritability, and/or feeling “up” or elated. Comparatively, during a depressive episode, an individual may experience feelings of sadness and/or hopelessness, low energy levels, trouble concentrating, eating too much or too little, fatigue, and/or suicidal thoughts.
There are several subtypes of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I Disorder: Classified by manic episodes that last seven days or longer and/or severe manic symptoms, as well as depressive episodes that last at least two weeks.
- Bipolar II Disorder: Classified by a series of depressive and hypomanic episodes.
- Cyclothymic Disorder: Classified by periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms that last at least two years.
- Other Disorders: Classified by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not correspond to any of the aforementioned categories.
Proper diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder from a professional is essential. Untreated bipolar disorder symptoms can both endanger the person suffering from symptoms and also put incredible stress and strain on their loved ones. If you or a loved one is experiencing bipolar disorder symptoms, meeting with the mental healthcare clinicians at Achieve Concierge will help you receive an accurate diagnosis and explore effective treatment options.