Are You Born With Bipolar Disorder Or Just Develop It As I
Thanks for writing to JA.
Your question is a tricky one… in that it sounds like you might be doing some self-diagnosis and that you’ve had a history of treatment for unipolar depression over the years. Your history is certainly an important part of that mix.
All that is to say, it is inappropriate and unethical for a Licensed Mental Health Professional to diagnose over the internet . That being the case, I can provide some insight into Bipolar Depression:
Generally speaking, Bipolar Depression is considered a brain-based disorder that may be exacerbated by environmental factors. That is, there may be a strong biological component to the disorder, but it can become worse with environmental and/or ameliorated when the environment is stable and supportive.
Those with Bipolar Depression often manifest symptoms in adolescence. Rarely would an individual be a seasoned adult and only begin to manifest symptoms of the disorder. Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest that medications used for Unipolar depression might exacerbate manic or manic-like symptoms for Bipolar individuals.
In sum, to answer your question directly, most LMHP believe that folks with Bipolar are likely to have been born with it. It can be made better or worse by the environment in which they live – but the manifestation of the disorder would be more immediate than delayed.
I hope that helps.
Thanks for writing back.
When To Seek Help From A Doctor
People with bipolar disorder may not realize that they have the condition, even if their manic or depressive behavior disrupts their lives.
Once a doctor diagnoses the condition, people should regularly consult with them to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment.
People with bipolar disorder should call 911 or a local emergency number if they have thoughts of suicide or self-harm. A person can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255.
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Types Of Bipolar Disorder
People are diagnosed with three basic types of bipolar disorder that involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from manic episodes to depressive episodes.
- Bipolar I disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days or when manic symptoms are so severe that hospital care is needed. Usually, separate depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of mood disturbance with mixed features are also possible. The experience of four or more episodes of mania or depression within a year is termed rapid cycling.
- Bipolar II disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive and hypomanic episodes, but the episodes are less severe than the manic episodes in bipolar I disorder.
- Cyclothymic disorder is defined by recurrent hypomanic and depressive symptoms that are not intense enough or do not last long enough to qualify as hypomanic or depressive episodes.
Other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders is a diagnosis that refers to bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three major types of bipolar disorder outlined above.
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What Are The Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are four types of bipolar disorder, including:
- Bipolar I disorder: People with bipolar I disorder have experienced one or more episodes of mania. Most people with bipolar I will have episodes of both mania and depression, but an episode of depression isnt necessary for a diagnosis. The depressive episodes usually last at least two weeks. To be diagnosed with bipolar I, your manic episodes must last at least seven days or be so severe that you need hospitalization. People with bipolar I can also experience mixed states .
- Bipolar II disorder: People with bipolar II experience depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes. But they never experience a full manic episode thats characteristic of bipolar I disorder. While hypomania is less impairing than mania, bipolar II disorder is often more debilitating than bipolar I disorder due to chronic depression being more common in bipolar II.
- Cyclothymic disorder : People with cyclothymic disorder have a chronically unstable mood state. They experience hypomania and mild depression for at least two years. People with cyclothymia may have brief periods of normal mood , but these periods last fewer than eight weeks.
- Other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders: If a person doesnt meet the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I, II or cyclothymia but has still experienced periods of clinically significant abnormal mood elevation, its considered other specified or unspecified bipolar disorder.
Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
If you think you or someone in your family may have bipolar disorder, its helpful to know what symptoms to look for. The type of bipolar disorder a person has determines the symptoms they will experience. In general, the main symptoms of the different types of bipolar disorder are mania and depression.
The symptoms of bipolar mania include:
- restless and impulsive behavior
- an unrealistic perception of abilities
- happiness, even to the point of euphoria
- participating in risky behavior, such as gambling, drunk driving, or impulsive sex
- talking quickly
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How Does Pregnancy Affect Bipolar Disorder
Women who have bipolar disorder are at risk for experiencing an episode after giving birth, especially a depressive episode.7,1 Women who experience a depressive or manic episode after giving birth are also more likely to have episodes after other pregnancies.2 Women with bipolar disorder are at high risk of developing postpartum psychosis, which is a medical emergency.
Talk to your doctor or nurse if you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant. Some medicines are not safe to take during pregnancy.
Symptoms In Children And Teens
Symptoms of bipolar disorder usually emerge in early adulthood, though they can occur at any age. Sometimes, they can appear in children.
Signs that a child may have bipolar disorder
- lose interests in things they used to enjoy
- think about death or suicide
There are many reasons why children and teens can experience mood changes or moods that seem extreme. The hormonal changes in puberty can lead to fluctuations in mood, and the symptoms of ADHD and other conditions can resemble those of bipolar disorder.
If youre concerned about yourself or a young person, seek medical help early. Whatever the reason for mood changes in a young person, getting a correct diagnosis can help manage the symptoms and prevent long-term complications.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.
There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of symptoms.
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You Have Bouts Of Over
This is mania. Itâs a high that goes way beyond âhappyâ or âjoyful.â Some people have it often, others hardly ever.
Hypomania is a milder form of this feeling. It doesnât turn into psychosis like mania can, but itâs part of a bipolar diagnosis. You might feel great and get a lot done, but those around you might see changes in your mood and activity levels.
To get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, you must have had at least one manic or hypomanic experience.
Signs of manic behavior include:
- Your mood isnât comfortable. It might feel good at first, especially after depression. But it quickly becomes erratic and out of control.
- Your judgment swerves way off. You take extreme risks. You make bad decisions with no thought for what might happen. For instance, you might spend money recklessly or have risky sex.
- You get bad-tempered and angry.
- You feel strung-out or edgy.
- You find it hard to sleep.
- You feel like your mind is a freeway. You might talk super-fast and hop subjects, or think you can do too many things at once.
Some episodes can mix mania and depression. For example, you might feel hyper-energetic and full of despair at the same time.
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How Does Bipolar Disorder Affect The Brain
Bipolar disorder affects over two million Americans, and those with the condition often experience periods of sadness and hyperactivity. But what causes these mood changes? Why do those with bipolar disorder have such intense mood swings and emotional highs and lows? And what’s happening inside of the brain to cause these emotional rollercoasters?
Here’s what current research says about bipolar disorders and the brain.
Have you considered clinical trials for Bipolar disorder?
We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Bipolar disorder, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available – and be a part of finding a cure.
Are There Clinical Trials Studying Bipolar Disorder
NIMH supports a wide range of research, including clinical trials that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditionsincluding bipolar disorder. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge to help others in the future. Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct clinical trials with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to a health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit the NIMH clinical trials webpage.
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Symptoms Of Pediatric Bipolar At School
Bipolar disorder will sometimes look a little different at school, where your child is around peers and adults to whom they are not related. During a manic phase, symptoms at school might include:
- Appearing at times to be a social butterfly making new friends easily and charming adults with a precocious personality
- Acting overly bossy with friends getting irrationally upset over slight disagreements or friends not taking orders
- Disobeying teachers and other authority figures acting out of control exhibiting excessive hyperactivity
- Behaving inappropriately removing clothing in the classroom or singing loudly during class
- Being unable to sleep during naptime or settle down to quietly read
- Being unable to make transitions becoming upset or violent when unwelcome change occurs
- Difficulty focusing on schoolwork often seeming unable to sit still
- Jumping between acting goofy even when other students arent playing along to being angry and aggressive, often with seemingly no provocation
- Acting in ways that are dangerously impulsive throwing themselves off the jungle gym, climbing the highest tree, or trying to escape from school, for instance
During a depressive phase, you might see signs at school like:
So Are All Bipolar People Creative Or Genius
But while it is true that there has been research into links between bipolar disorder and creativity, , and plenty of creative people have had the disorder, this does not mean that people with bipolar are born with an easel in one hand and a Smith Corona in the other. Hell, doctors cant even decide whether people are born with bipolar at all.
So, as much as I would like to say that bipolar is responsible for huge talent, incredible charisma and Einstein-esque genius I dont think it plays a part in any of these things that I definitely do possess.
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Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is a general category for a person who only has symptoms of bipolar disorder that dont match the three other categories. The symptoms are not enough to make a diagnosis of one of the other three types.
The signs of bipolar disorder can generally be divided into those for mania, and those for depression.
List Of People With Bipolar Disorder
Numerous notable people have had some form of mood disorder. This is a list of people accompanied by verifiable sources associating them with some form of bipolar disorder , including cyclothymia, based on their own public statements this discussion is sometimes tied to the larger topic of creativity and mental illness. In the case of dead people only, individuals with a speculative or retrospective diagnosis should only be listed if they are accompanied by a source reflective of the mainstream, academic view. Individuals should not be added to this list unless the disorder is regularly and commonly mentioned in mainstream, reliable sources.
- Alan Garner, novelist, wrote about having bipolar disorder in a collection of critical and autobiographical essays.
- Paul Gascoigne, English footballer, wrote about his treatment for bipolar disorder in his second book.
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Can Lifestyle Habits Increase The Risk Of Bipolar Disorder
Lack of sleep increases the risk of having an episode of mania in someone with bipolar disorder. In addition, antidepressants, particularly when taken as the only medication, may also trigger a switch into a manic state.
Excessive use of alcohol or drugs can also trigger bipolar symptoms. Research has shown that about 50% of bipolar sufferers have a substance abuse or alcohol problem. Sufferers often use alcohol or drugs in an effort to reduce unpleasant feelings during low mood periods, or as part of the recklessness and impulsivity associated with manic highs.
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Heritability Of Bipolar Disorder
Of course, I had the genetics for bipolar disorder passed down to me from my father. Having a parent with bipolar disorder increases your chances of getting bipolar dramatically.
- The chances of bipolar disorder when one parent has bipolar 30-35%
- The chances of bipolar disorder where both parents are bipolar 70-75%
- When one twin has bipolar, the chances of a fraternal twin having bipolar disorder 14%
- When on twin has bipolar, the chances of an identical twin having bipolar disorder 65%
The average persons chance of having bipolar disorder is 1%.
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Virginia Woolf Suffered Psychiatric Breakdowns
The 20th-century English novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf is said to have expanded the boundaries of the novel with works such as Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse. She suffered mood swings and breakdowns throughout her life.
An article in the American Journal of Psychiatry explains her behavior: From the age of 13, Woolf had symptoms that today would be diagnosed as bipolar disorder she experienced mood swings from severe depression to manic excitement and episodes of psychosis. In her own time, however, psychiatry had little to offer her.
At the age of 50, Pauley began experiencing episodes of depression and mania. It is thought that steroids used to treat hives kick-started her symptoms, which were diagnosed as bipolar disorder. She describes her experiences in her bestselling memoir Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue.
If were lucky, the next generation wont drag around that personal stigma, she tells bp Magazine. They also are going to grow up with a wider array of medications that addresses whatever causes this malady of ours.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
The defining sign of bipolar I disorder is a manic episode that lasts at least one week, while people with bipolar II disorder or cyclothymia experience hypomanic episodes.
But many people with bipolar disorder experience both hypomanic/manic and depressive episodes. These changing mood states dont always follow a set pattern, and depression doesnt always follow manic phases. A person may also experience the same mood state several times with periods of euthymia in between before experiencing the opposite mood.
Mood changes in bipolar disorder can happen over a period of weeks, months and sometimes even years.
An important aspect of the mood changes is that theyre a departure from your regular self and that the mood change is sustained for a long time. It may be many days or weeks in the case of mania and many weeks or months in the case of depression.
The severity of the depressive and manic phases can differ from person to person and in the same person at different times.
Signs and symptoms of manic episodes
Some people with bipolar disorder will have episodes of mania or hypomania many times throughout their life others may experience them only rarely.
Signs and symptoms of a manic episode include:
Most of the time, people experiencing a manic episode are unaware of the negative consequences of their actions. With bipolar disorder, suicide is an ever-present danger some people become suicidal in manic episodes, not just depressive episodes.
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What Is The Outlook Of Bipolar Disorder
The prognosis for bipolar disorder is often poor unless its properly treated. Many people with bipolar disorder who receive appropriate treatment can live fulfilling and productive lives.
Bipolar disorder results in approximately nine years reduction in expected life span, and as many as1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder commit suicide. An estimated 60% of all people with bipolar disorder have drug or alcohol dependence.
This is why its essential to seek medical care and stay committed to treatment for bipolar disorder.
Regular and continued use of medication can help reduce episodes of mania and depression. By knowing how to recognize the symptoms and triggers of these episodes, theres a better chance for effective treatment and finding coping methods that may prevent long periods of illness, extended hospital stays and suicide.
Genetics And Bipolar Medications
A separate issue that has been noted with our newer understanding of genetics is that genetics may play a role in how a person responds to medications for bipolar disorder. For example, those with two inactive copies of the CYP206 gene may be poor metabolizers of drugs such as risperidone and aripiprazole. As noted above, how much a person responds to drugs such as lithium may run in the family.
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