Bipolar Disorder: Most Popular Articles
In common usage, a sociopath is a person without a conscience, often a criminal, often violent. However, this image is an extreme. More...
Behaviors and symptoms that are warning signs of bipolar disorder in adults and children. Also: information on diagnosing bipolar disorder and treatment options for people with bipolar.
Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, was a vicious sociopath whose crime spree lasted more than 20 years.
In a nutshell, the difference between bipolar I and II disorders is that mania is present in bipolar I, while hypomanic episodes are present in bipolar II. This article explores the differences in more depth, using everyday language and examples to make everything clear.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder in children are not the same as adult symptoms. Here is a list of common bipolar symptoms in children.
Why do you get bipolar disorder? What are bipolar I and bipolar II, and what are mania, hypomania and bipolar depression? Answers can be found here.
Here are descriptions and examples of symptoms that indicate someone is manic or hypomanic, or going into mania or hypomania.
Hypomania in bipolar disorder: excessive energy, little need for sleep, exhilaration, irritability, excitement or aggression, and other symptoms.
Do you know someone who always makes you feel tired, angry or depressed? This person may be toxic, spreading negativity like a poison.
When someone takes too much lithium, a drug most often used as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder, lithium toxicity can result and be dangerous.
Can those with bipolar disorder qualify for disability from the U.S. Social Security Administration? Learn about your access to Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income if you have bipolar disorder.
Dysphoria is an elusive term at best - the dictionary definition does not make it clear at all. Here dysphoria is defined as it relates to bipolar disorder.
Important information about the antidepressant sertraline - brand name Zoloft - including side effects, overdose symptoms, drug interactions and more.
Can bipolar disorder be cured? Unfortunately the answer is no, but it can be treated. We explore this important mental health question more in the following article.
In bipolar disorder, the symptoms of mania and hypomania can include everything from abnormally high moods to grandiose thinking, and from being energetic on very little sleep to hypersexuality. Other symptoms of bipolar mania and hypomania include pressured speech, reckless spending and racing thoughts. This article lists bipolar hypomanic and manic symptoms.
: Flight of ideas is one of the symptoms of bipolar mania as well as schizophrenia and ADHD. Some web
Martial arts actor Jean-Claude Van Damme's bipolar disorder led him into cocaine addiction and charges of spousal abuse. Here's a short biography with the details.
Depression medication types are mostly named for the way they work, with a couple of exceptions. There are also some drugs not classed as antidepressants that still help to alleviate depression, but they aren't widely used to treat pure depression. Many of those drugs are used in treating bipolar depression. This article lists the various types of depression medications and the drugs that are included in each type.
An alphabetical menu of links to information on some of the drugs most commonly prescribed in the treatment of Bipolar Disorder.
Lamictal - generic lamotrigine - prescribed for epilepsy and as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder - can cause serious, even life-threatening rashes.
Bipolar disorder affects as many women as men. Here's how some symptoms may appear in women during mania and hypomania, bipolar depression, and mixed episodes.
Diagnosing bipolar disorder is not as easy as diagnosing a cold or even diabetes. It takes time and careful analysis of the patient's mental, medical and family history.
When a bipolar person has racing thoughts, it doesn't mean he or she is just thinking quickly. Racing thoughts can be very uncomfortable and disturbing.
Mania in bipolar disorder is a state of mind and mood characterized by excessive energy along with other significant symptoms that may include rapid speech, extravagant behavior, extreme irritability or hallucinations, for example.
Here is a brief but easy-to-understand definition of bipolar I disorder - the most severe kind of manic depression. Bipolar I disorder is also known as bipolar 1 and bipolar type 1. The article also covers how bipolar 1 is diagnosed.
While there is little research regarding Lamictal withdrawal, there are common withdrawal symptom complaints by patients with bipolar disorder.
Here is a look at the causes and symptoms of SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome, which can occur when a person stops taking or reduces dosage of certain antidepressants.
Here is a brief but comprehensive definition of paranoia, which may be present in bipolar disorder or schizophrenia as well as several other mental illnesses. Paranoia is a psychotic symptom.
Pressured speech is one of the symptoms of bipolar mania or hypomania. More...
Cyclothymia also known (incorrectly) as cyclothymia disorder and bipolar cyclothymia is a form of bipolar disorder that many people haven't heard of.
Topamax - generic topiramate - is an anticonvulsant used to treat epilepsy, migraine headaches, and is often prescribed off-label for bipolar disorder.
Several medications frequently prescribed for bipolar disorder can cause hair loss or thinning hair. This article lists several drugs that may cause hair loss or thinning hair, tells what happens to the hair, and discusses what can be done about hair loss (alopecia) or thinning hair due to side effects of medications.
Bipolar disorder - also known as manic depression or manic-depressive illness - is a serious illness that can be devastating if not controlled. This article presents what researchers now consider to be the most likely causes of bipolar disorder.
We hear jokes about hallucinations, but do you know what they really are? Hallucinations may occur in bipolar disorder and are frequent in schizophrenia. Here is a clear definition along with examples from patients.
Clonazepam, also sold as Klonopin and Rivotril, is medication for anxiety disorders. Side effects include clumsiness, dizziness or being lightheaded.
Hypersexuality can be a symptom of the manic phase of bipolar disorder. If it escalates into an obsession the person may develop a sexual addiction.
In Bipolar 2 disorder, also known as Bipolar II, the 'high' mood is less severe than the mania of Bipolar 1 and is called hypomania. Many of the symptoms of Bipolar 2 are the same as those of Bipolar 1, but there are some key differences between the two illnesses.
In common with too many other medications prescribed for manic-depressive illness, lithium does cause weight gain. Here are some theories why.
Textbook definitions of bipolar disorder may not be very enlightening. Here we begin our definition of manic depression in easy to understand language.
Psychosis can occur in either bipolar mania or in depression. Learn about psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and paranoia, along with the mental illnesses where psychosis is most common.
A look at the effect of Lamictal (lamotrigine) on weight. Answers the question of whether Lamictal causes weight gain.
Grandiosity is a symptom of bipolar disorder. Here is a concise definition of grandiosity.
Risperdal - generic name risperidone - is an atypical antipsychotic drug often prescribed for treatment of schizophrenia and the psychotic features of bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Patients taking Risperdal or risperidone should be aware of the potential side effects.
One of the criteria for diagnosing a manic or hypomanic episode of bipolar disorder is an expansive mood.
Depression is considered one of the primary symptoms of bipolar disorder. However, it is actually a set of symptoms characteristic of one aspect of bipolar disorder. An episode of depression, as it relates to bipolar disorder, is the downswing in a mood cycle. An episode of depression is very debilitating often leaving the sufferer completely dysfunctional. It is an extreme emotional state that impairs daily living so it is important to be familiar with the warning signs of depression.
Though there are some similarities between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the symptoms doctors look at when diagnosing one or the other of these illnesses are quite a bit different, either in content or in importance. This article lists and compares the diagnostic criteria.
In considering disability an important question is the value of the disability benefits that will be provided if your application is successful.
A treatment plan for bipolar disorder primarily consists of pharmacological intervention (medications) with therapy as a possible intervention.
The Social Security Administration has a formula consisting of five basic steps for determining if an individual is considered disabled.
In laymen's terms, a medication's half life is the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. More ...
Learn about the available strengths and manufacturer's recommended dosages for Lamictal, a mood stabilizer used in patients with bipolar disorder.
Clang associations are psychic associations resulting from sounds, often observed in the manic phase of manic-depressive psychosis.
People say the most infuriating things to those who have bipolar. Here are 10 common comments that are never helpful and are almost guaranteed to annoy.
The impact of bipolar disorder on sex can be frustrating or even devastating to self-esteem and relationships. The mood swings and the complications of treatment far too often push these normal tensions to extreme behavior and dysfunction. Mania often leads to hypersexuality and for some, sex addictions. Depression and medication side effects can kill libido bringing sex to a grinding halt. So what is a person to do?
Ideas of reference involve believing that casual events, remarks, and occurrences which happen in every day life illogically refer to oneself.
Serotonin Syndrome is a condition brought on by having too much of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the body. It is treatable, but it can be fatal.
Neurontin - generic gabapentin - an anticonvulsant medication that can be used for bipolar disorder. You should be aware of potential side effects.
Strictly speaking, suicidal ideation means thinking about suicide or wanting to take one's own life. But the term suicidal ideation is often used more broadly.
One approach doctors use for diagnosing your child with bipolar disorder by emphasizing irritability - persistent and severe irritability.
The symptoms of depression illustrated here will help you, as well as your friends and family, spot a depressive episode when it happens.
People with bipolar disorder are far more likely than the average person to experience any number of sleep disorders - including unusually vivid dreams, nightmares and night terrors, which especially prey on children.
Drinking grapefruit juice can cause serious problems with your medications. Here's why, and a partial list of drugs that can be affected.
SSRI discontinuation syndrome is a danger when you reduce the dosage of or stop taking an SSRI antidepressant such as Paxil or Lexapro.
Has your doctor prescribed treatment with ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) for manic depression? Are you considering it? Read what others have to say!
Trileptal (oxcarbazepine) - anticonvulsant approved in the U.S. for epilepsy. It is also prescribed off-label for bipolar disorder as a mood stabilizer
Poet Sylvia Plath suffered from extreme bipolar depression that profoundly affected her work and ultimately led to her suicide at the age of 30.
Euthymia has several similar definitions. The shades of meaning, while similar, don't always make sense in the context of mood disorders. More...
A definition of psychomotor retardation and its relation to lethargy in bipolar disorder.
Actor Anthony Michael Hall has been labeled as having bipolar disorder in dozens if not hundreds of articles on the internet. But is there any actual proof?
Major depressive episodes must be present to make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, along with either manic or a hypomanic episodes. A group of symptoms such as low mood, sadness, fatigue, insomnia and indecision must be present to confirm the diagnosis.
Lithium - sold under various brand names including lithobid and eskalith - is a naturally occurring element prescribed as a mood stabilizer in treating bipolar disorder. Patients taking Lithium should be aware of the potential side effects of this drug.
Delusions are false beliefs firmly held. Delusions are one aspect or symptom of the psychotic features of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.
Lamictal - generic lamotrigine - is an anticonvulsant epilepsy medication approved for use as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Be on the lookout for a possible serious problem with rashes if you are taking Lamictal.
To get disability benefits your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or be expected to result in your death.
These red flags are the warning signs that a person may be planning suicide. People with bipolar disorder or manic depression often exhibit suicidal behavior.
Famed actress Vivien Leigh had manic depression which was one of the reasons her marriage to Sir Laurence Olivier failed.
A brief look at the various subsets, descriptions and classifications for bipolar disorder and mood disorders - as defined in the United States and internationally.
Bipolar depression symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia or sleeping too much, feeling lethargic, and decreased personal and social activities.
What is the experience of trying to find love with bipolar disorder? What are some of the challenges? Are there any ways to make the process easier?
This quiz is an informal checklist for you to use to determine whether you're likely to have experienced, or are currently in a state of, bipolar mania.
Ted Bundy, Josef Mengele and Diazien Hossencofft are all sociopaths who became infamous because of their crimes.
Bipolar disorder can seriously compromise the ability to work. Extreme symptoms of this illness make it difficult for some to hold a job for very long.
Mood stabilizers are one of the most important groups of medications for bipolar disorder. Mood stabilizers are medications primarily used for symptoms of mania and hypomania, but some have some antidepressant effects as well. This class of medications includes lithium and several drugs originally used for seizure disorders called anticonvulsants.
Some of the most common Zoloft side effects are sweating, stomach problems and headache. Blurred vision and others are among the less common, some of which can be serious. If you are taking Zoloft for bipolar disorder, depression or any other condition, knowing all the potential side effects is important.
Tests on thyroid and kidneys need to be run before a person starts taking lithium, and serum levels need to be monitored, as lithium toxicity can be very dangerous.
Facts about Depakote - generic divalproex sodium or sodium valproate - which is a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder (also for epilepsy and migraine).
Ben Stiller - best known for There's Something About Mary - is frank about having bipolar disorder. His parents - Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara - have also talked about being in therapy for depression.
Somnolence is a state of sleepiness that can be caused by a variety of psychiatric medication treatments.
Extrapyramidal side effects are a group of symptoms that can occur in persons taking antipsychotic medications. More ...
Common side effects of Xanax include dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, headache and slurred speech. This page lists Xanax side effects that are common, less common and rare, withdrawal effects, and overdose effects. The generic name for Xanax is alprazolam.
A list of famous people with bipolar disorder, past and present. Some celebrities are confirmed bipolars, some are now judged historically to have been manic depressive.
Delusions of reference refers to the strongly held belief that outside events, objects, behaviors of others, etc. have a particular significance to oneself. More ...
Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality, typically including delusions. Learn the full definition of psychosis, including how one may experience it, here.
Celexa - generic citalopram - is a medication used to treat depression. Celexa is a member of the SSRI drug family. These drugs work by making more serotonin available between nerve cells, which has been shown to ease depression. Article covers the benefits of Celexa, precautions and warnings, and information regarding pregnancy and Celexa.
In order for a kid to be diagnosed with any condition or illness, there is a checklist of symptoms a doctor will evaluate against the symptoms or problems the child is experiencing. This is also true for diagnosing your youngster with bipolar disorder. One approach doctors use for diagnosing your child with bipolar disorder is to consider cardinal symptoms.
Can those with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression benefit from interaction with animals? The answer is a resounding, YES! Not only can those with bipolar disorder benefit from the love of and for a pet, but they are also permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act to employ the assistance of a service dog.
One of the challenges in treatment is determining where the line is between supportive spirituality and harmful delusions.
Trazodone is an antidepressant most commonly used to treat insomnia, sometimes prescribed to help treat bipolar disorder. Trazodone's most common side effects include headache, mild dry mouth, nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness, unpleasant taste, and drowsiness. This list of the side effects of trazodone is organized from most common to rare.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, defines mental illnesses giving codes that are used for diagnosis and insurance purposes. Here is a look at the new edition (2013) of this manual, called the DSM-5, including some of the controversies surrounding it.
Press Release: University of Michigan researchers finds evidence of brain chemistry abnormalities in bipolar disorder. 30% higher concentration of certain signaling cells may help explain, treat manic depression.
The discovery that Lithium was a mood stabilizer for manic depression came 50 years before scientists unlocked the secret to how it works. For the last several decades, Lithium has been one of the most common medications prescribed for bipolar disorder.
Sudden, uncontrollable crying, and sometimes laughing, characterize a little-known illness called PBA, pseudobulbar affect. A majority of patients with these and other symptoms are misdiagnosed with depression and, less often, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Here is information on PBA and why it is confused with mental disorders.
Beginning your application for disability is easy and, as previously noted, you should begin this process as soon as possible due to the lengthy processing time and waiting periods for court dates. You have three options for initiating your request.
Information about Effexor (venlafaxine), an antidepressant used especially for treatment-resistant depression and also for long-term anxiety. Effexor is also sold in an extended-release version, Effexor XR.
Here's what you need to watch for that may signal someone you know is starting into or having a bipolar manic or hypomanic episode.
There are no specific criteria for a doctor to use when diagnosing bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (NOS). Bipolar disorder NOS is more of a catch-all category then an actual type of this disorder. Your doctor will use this diagnosis to document that you have symptoms of bipolar disorder, but your symptoms do not meet the requirements for a diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder, bipolar 2 disorder or cyclothymic disorder. The DSM gives a few examples for when this diagnosis may be given.
Manic depression - today more commonly known as bipolar disorder - is more than just mood swings. Manic depression can also feature mixed episodes, rapid cycling, psychotic features and other complications.
Catalogue of side effects for the medication Benztropine - brand name Cogentin - which is used to treat some of the side effects of certain antipsychotic medications. It is classed as an antiparkinsonian drug.
Atypical antipsychotics are, quite simply, the newer class of medications designed to control psychotic symptoms of disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar such as hallucinations and delusions. More...
Tricyclic antidepressants include amitriptyline (brand names Elavil, Endep and others), nortriptyline (brand names Pamelor and Aventyl) and several others. This article covers how tricyclic antidepressants work, allergies, pregnancy and breast-feeding, side effects common to the medication family, and interactions with drugs and alcohol.
Psychomotor agitation is a restlessness brought on by mental tension. Learn more about psychomotor agitation.
There are five check-points a doctor will review with you for diagnosing bipolar II disorder as per the criteria found in the DSM-IV.
Vincent van Gogh was a brilliant and prolific artist who lived in the late 1800s, with as many as 873 paintings and 1,049 drawings credited to his brief career. He is celebrated for his unique content and use of color. Psychosis and difficult moods plagued him, and he spent time in a mental institution. Bipolar disorder is considered the most likely explanation for the problems he had, including delusions and violent behavior.
The popular impression of manic depression is quite different from the reality. If you need to tell someone what bipolar disorder is, here are some helpful hints to assist you.
Depression doesn't just affect mind and mood - there are also physical symptoms. In this article we discuss unexplained aches and pains, weight gain or loss, decreased and increased appetite, and psychomotor agitation and retardation.
Concluding a 6-part series on the symptoms of bipolar depression, this article focuses on thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, and feeling dead or detached. While these may sound like different terms for the same thing, they actually are distinct forms of preoccupation with death.
A discussion of the signs of depression from a less clinical viewpoint, using imaginary people to describe the symptoms of major depression.
The Safe Place visualization is sometimes taught to the mentally ill in workshops. Here are the techniques involved in finding your own Safe Place.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder. Patients typically experience hallucinations and delusions and are often physically agitated and incoherent. More ...
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a severe inflammatory eruption of the skin and mucous membranes that may occur as a result of treatment with Lamictal (lamotrigine). More ...
The tendency for those with bipolar disorder to use street drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication is a very real issue.
Index to individual pages listing the side effects for medications which may be prescribed for bipolar disorder (manic depression).
Using the strict definition, a mixed episode can only be experienced by someone with Bipolar I disorder. However, many researchers - and many patients - agree that there are several types of mixed episodes that can be experienced by just about anyone with manic depression.
Difficult to define and difficult to diagnose, schizoaffective disorder combines elements of a mood disorder with those of schizophrenia. What distinguishes schizoaffective disorder from other similar conditions is the way in which the psychotic features and mood episodes present themselves.
If you have bipolar disorder and are considering having children, one of the questions you are probably asking yourself is whether you would pass your bipolar disorder on to a child. Studies do show that your child would be more likely to inherit bipolar disorder because you have it. This article examines the question of how likely it is that a child would inherit bipolar disorder.
Here is a brief but comprehensive definition of Melancholia and its presenting features - which may be present in both major depression and bipolar disorder.
Norepinephrine - also known as noradrenaline - acts in more than one way in the human body. At moments of sudden stress, when adrenaline kicks in to give you extra energy, norepinephrine is at work as well. It also works as a neurotransmitter.
A listing of Haldol side effects. Haldol - generic haloperidol - is an antipsychotic drug which helps to control mania, agitation and hyperactivity in bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter involved with sending messages between the motor nerves and muscles. It also has an important role in learning. More ...
Bipolar Disorder is a difficult condition to diagnose. There are a number of physical conditions that can mimic the presentation of or have similar symptoms to bipolar disorder. This is further complicated by the fact that there is no definitive medical test such as blood work or an x-ray to diagnose bipolar disorder. Therefore other medical conditions must first be ruled out for an accurate diagnosis. This article outlines these illnesses.
This article outlines the several issues that make diagnosing childhood bipolar disorder especially challenging.
Part 10 in an ongoing series tracking one person's life after being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. This week: diagnosis in doubt.
The thought of inpatient psychiatric care may be very frightening. Here, from someone who knows, is a detailed description of what you may encounter during inpatient psychiatric care at a hospital.
Bipolar depression is more complicated than people might realize. In part 4 of a 6-part series, we look at a group of moods that includes indifference, irritability, pessimism, anger and others. These difficult moods are just one group of possible symptoms that can be present during a depressive episode.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions which force certain parts of the body into abnormal, sometimes painful, movements or postures.
Typical antipsychotics were not called that until a new generation, name atypical antipsychotics, came out. They now have different uses for typical ones.
Prozac - generic fluoxetine - is an SSRI antidepressant medication used in the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Prozac side effects are wide-ranging from minor to serious. Patients taking Prozac should be aware of the potential side effects.
Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder caused by long-term use of certain medications called neuroleptic drugs, along with some other drugs that increase the brain's sensitivity to the neurotransmitter dopamine. It is characterized by uncontrolled facial movements such as protruding tongue, chewing or sucking motions and making faces. Tardive dyskinesia is a very serious side effect of antipsychotic medications in particular, and patients taking such drugs should know what to watch for.
Are you newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Did you find out someone you care about has bipolar? Do you want to understand more about manic depression? Start here to find the accurate and honest answers you want and need.
Mirtazapine is an antidepressant that is chemically unrelated to other antidepressants. Also sold under the brand name Remeron, the antidepressant mirtazapine operates by stimulating production of serotonin and norepinephrine. Since mirtazapine is different from other antidepressants, it has some different uses and warnings.
In Lesson 3 of Bipolar for Beginners, you'll learn about mania and hypomania, the two mood states that are critical to the diagnosis of all the bipolar disorders. This information is presented in easy to understand language and will help you increase your knowledge of bipolar disorder.
Lamictal (lamotrigine) is an anti-epilepsy medication often used as a mood stabilizer to treat adults with bipolar disorder. Lamictal may cause some rare but serious reactions.
This quiz is an informal checklist for you to use to determine whether you're likely to have experienced, or are currently in a state of, bipolar hypomania.
How you sleep has a great deal to do with depression and mania. Do you have a sleep disorder with your mood disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a complex mental illness where a patient experiences symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia separately. More...
Learn how to tell when your experiences are normal and when they’ve pushed into the extremes of depression or mania associated with bipolar disorder.
There are things you can do without any problem when you are in a normal or good mood that become weights around your neck when you're depressed. If you suffer from bipolar depression, you'll probably see yourself in this list of things you have trouble doing - things like getting dressed or taking a shower.
A concise profile of the medication Geodon (generic ziprasidone), an antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other psychotic disorders.
Jane Pauley's revelation that taking steroids for hives triggered previously unsuspected bipolar disorder focused public attention on the relationship between steroids and psychiatric disturbances. Here is additional information on the subject.
Catalogue of Seroquel side effects. Seroquel - generic quetiapine is an antipsychotic drug used in the treatment of schizophrenia and the the psychotic features of other mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. People taking this medication need to know the potential side effects of Seroquel.