Studying the mood disorder called bipolar disorder can help you understand how persons with this disorder cycle through extreme moods of depression and mania. Explore bipolar disorder in this lesson, and test your understanding with a quiz.
There’s something wrong with Ronni. She sometimes feels really depressed for a while and is overcome with sadness. She eats all the time, sleeps too much and isn’t really interested in anything at all.
But then, after a while of feeling depressed, Ronni will all of a sudden switch completely. She feels energized and loses her appetite. She barely sleeps at all but doesn’t feel tired. Her thoughts race, and she talks a mile a minute.What’s going on? Ronni might be suffering from bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, a mood disorder that involves cycling between depression and mania. Mood disorders involve a disturbance in one’s emotional reactions or feelings.
Mostly, this means that a person is feeling more or less than usual.At some times in our life, we have all felt very depressed, and there may have been times when we have felt excited or energized like mania. But for most of us, when we are depressed or euphoric, we generally know why. We can attribute our depression or our mania to something that has happened to us, like a relative passing away or getting the job we really wanted.But someone with bipolar disorder might not have a reason for feeling the way they do. They just change moods no matter what’s going on. Let’s look closer at the types and treatments of bipolar disorder and what a manic state actually is.
Ronni has bipolar disorder. She switches between bouts of depression and periods of mania. But what exactly does that mean? What is mania? Many people think that manic patients are really happy and euphoric during their mania. This might be true, but there’s more to it than just that.Some manic patients feel irritable and hostile, for example, instead of happy and euphoric. Even more common are the patients who switch back and forth between euphoria and irritability during a manic phase.
So what is mania exactly? Besides happy or hostile moods, some common symptoms include:Grandiose plans are often made. People in manic states might decide to start a business with no real plans or to run a marathon without having trained. People experiencing mania often have racing thoughts and rapid speech.
They are also easily distracted. Little or no sleep and feeling like there’s no need for it is another common symptom.Sleep patterns vary from person to person, so the changes in sleep experienced during mania can vary. There can be a decrease in the hours of sleep needed.
Persons can stay awake for extended periods of time. Inflated self-esteem is common and can become delusional so that a person harbors feelings of enormous grandeur and power. A patient might also display reckless behaviors, like indulging in foolish ventures, major spending sprees and sexual indiscretions.
Remember Ronni? She’s suffering from bipolar disorder because she goes between depression and mania.
She feels really sad and fatigued for a while and then experiences a period of time where she’s energetic and moving really fast.There are several types of bipolar disorder. The two most common are bipolar disorder I and bipolar disorder II. The depression part of these two types are pretty similar: They involve feeling sad or low, a change in sleep patterns and/or appetite, fatigue and/or loss of interest, among other symptoms.What distinguishes bipolar type I from type II is the manic episodes. In bipolar type I, the mania is severe and is very noticeable even to people who don’t know the person all that well. But in bipolar type II, the mania symptoms are less severe and might only be noticed by the people closest to the patient.
Since Ronni has severe mania, she has bipolar disorder type I.Bipolar disorder is usually treated with a combination of medication and therapy. The medications used for bipolar disorder, mood stabilizers, are good at reducing manic states, but are not as effective at managing depression. But with both medication and therapy, a person can live a full and happy life.
Bipolar disorder, which is also called manic depression, is a mood disorder that involves swinging between mania and depression. Manic states can involve feeling euphoric and/or irritable and hostile. They also involve grandiose plans, racing thoughts or speech, distractibility, little to no sleep with an increase in energy, inflated self-esteem and reckless behavior.
Bipolar disorder type I comes with a more severe mania than bipolar disorder type II. Treatment usually includes mood stabilizer medications and talk therapy.
When you have finished this lesson, you should be able to:
- Define bipolar disorder
- Understand why people have manic episodes
- Recognize the depression brought on by the disorder
- Identify the two types of the disorder