Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood. Symptoms can include an extremely elevated mood called mania. They can also include episodes of depression. Bipolar disorder is also known as bipolar disease or manic depression.
Bipolar disorder can have two extremes: up and down. To be diagnosed with bipolar, you must experience a period of mania or hypomania. People generally feel “up” in this phase of the disorder. When you’re experiencing an “up” change in mood, you may feel highly energized and be easily excitable.
Some people with bipolar disorder will also experience a major depressive episode, or a “down” mood. When you’re experiencing a “down” change in mood, you may feel lethargic, unmotivated, and sad. However, not all people with bipolar disorder who have this symptom feel “down” enough to be labelled depressed. For instance, for some people, once their mania is treated, a normal mood may feel like depression because they enjoyed the “high” caused by the manic episode.
While bipolar disorder can cause you to feel depressed, it’s not the same as the condition called depression. Bipolar disorder can cause highs and lows, but depression causes moods and emotions that are always “down.” Discover the differences between bipolar disorder and depression.
There are three main types of Bipolar.
Bipolar I is defined by the appearance of at least one manic episode. You may experience hypomanic or major depressive episodes before and after the manic episode. This type of bipolar disorder affects men and women equally.
Bipolar II patients experience one major depressive episode that lasts at least two weeks. They also have at least one hypomanic episode that lasts about four days. This type of bipolar disorder is thought to be more common in women.
Cyclothymia patients have episodes of hypomania and depression. These symptoms are shorter and less severe than the mania and depression caused by bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Most people with this condition only experience a month or two at a time where their moods are stable.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and irrational, excessive urges to do certain actions (compulsions). Although people with OCD may know that their thoughts and behaviours don’t make logical sense, they’re often unable to stop them.
There are four types of OCD: contamination, perfection, doubt/harm and forbidden thoughts.
Testing of a patient’s biochemistry and biomarkers of oxidative stress can measure imbalances which nutrients may be able to assist in conjunction with conventional treatment options.