Symptoms and Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
By Marcia Purse, About.com Guide
- What is Bipolar Disorder?
- What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
- Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
- Forms of Bipolar Disorder
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Whether you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed, or you've met someone who has bipolar disorder, you are wondering if you or a loved one may have this illness, or you just need to learn more about bipolar disorder, this is the place to start.
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
Researchers probably will never pinpoint one specific cause for bipolar disorder, but they do know many factors that contribute. Here are some of them.
- Overview - What Causes Bipolar Disorder?
- What's the Heredity Factor?
- Genetic Susceptibility to Bipolar Disorder
- Steroids Can Trigger Mania or Hypomania
- Genetic Risk of Suicide in Bipolar Disorder
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can take many forms, but the one thing that distinguishes it from almost all other illnesses is the presence of mania or hypomania in addition to depression.
Forms of Bipolar Disorder
In the United States, there are three "official" forms or classifications of bipolar disorder, and three more that have been officially proposed. In addition, some scientists recommend changing the classifications entirely, and the international system of classification is entirely different. Here are clear, easy-to-understand descriptions of the major types (U.S.), information about the proposed types, and a discussion of the classifications and why they are so complicated.
- Bipolar I Disorder
- Bipolar II Disorder
- How Bipolar I and Bipolar II Differ
- Bipolar III Disorder - Cyclothymia
- About the Classifications of Bipolar Disorder
Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder
Sometimes the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is long in coming. It may not be evident to either the doctors or the patient for weeks, months or years if the first symptom is depression. Since there are no medical tests yet to detect manic depression, a doctor or therapist must depend on his observations and what the patient (and sometimes the patient's family) reports.
- How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?
- Ruling Out Other Physical Conditions
- Ruling Out Other Psychiatric Conditions
- What Led To Your Bipolar Diagnosis? Share and Read Stories
The Impact on Your Health
It is not uncommon for those with bipolar disorder to have one or more additional disorders or conditions. Some conditions, such as schizoaffective disorder, can be mistaken for bipolar disorder, or vice versa. Others may complicate both the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the patient's life.
- Impact on Weight
- Anxiety Disorders
- Substance Abuse and Addictions
- Attention Deficit and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD and ADHD)
- Schizoaffective Disorder
Bipolar Disorder in Children
Children with bipolar disorder can display a dizzying array of symptoms, and more often then not, they also have Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD). This can make a diagnosis very difficult. However, research is constantly being done to help define and diagnose this illness in children.