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Bipolar Disorder: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Common Red Flags That May Signal Your Child has...
The symptoms of bipolar disorder in children are not the same as adult symptoms. Here is a list of common bipolar symptoms in children from experts Demitri and Janice Papolos, along with a real-life example of a child's symptoms.
What's the Difference Between Bipolar I and...
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.
Learn the Behaviors and Warning Signs of...
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.
Bipolar Disorder: How To Recognize a Manic or...
Manic and hypomanic episodes are a part of bipolar disorder. Do you know how to recognize such an episode in yourself, a friend or loved one? Here are descriptions and examples of symptoms that indicate someone is manic or hypomanic, or going into mania or hypomania.
How Do Doctors Define and Diagnose Hypomania?
Hypomania in bipolar disorder is characterized by mood and behavior where a person may have excessive energy, little need for sleep, unusual exhilaration, irritability, excitement or aggression, and a variety of other symptoms. This article details the symptoms required for diagnosis and gives examples of how the symptoms may express themselves in daily life during a hypomanic episode.
How Toxic People Affect Your Life and How to...
Do you know someone who always makes you feel tired, angry or depressed? This person may be toxic, spreading negativity like a poison. Learn about toxic people, what they can do to you, and get some suggestions for dealing with them.
The Basic Information You Need to Know About...
What you need to know about bipolar disorder starts here: just what is it? Why do you get bipolar disorder? What are bipolar I and bipolar II, and what are mania, hypomania and bipolar depression? Answers to all these questions and others can be found here.
Signs of Bipolar in Women
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.
Is Bipolar Disorder a Qualified Condition for...
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.
The Warning Signs of Bipolar Mania
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.
Bipolar disorder medications A to Z
An alphabetical menu of links to information on some of the drugs most commonly prescribed in the treatment of Bipolar Disorder.
Lithium Toxicity - Types, Causes and Treatment
When someone takes too much lithium, a medication most often used as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder, lithium toxicity can be the result. The result can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the amount ingested, how long ago, and whether the patient was already taking lithium regularly. The three types of lithium toxicity are acute, chronic, and acute on chronic. This article describes each type, the possible symptoms, and the various treatments.
Depakote Drug Profile
Depakote - generic divalproex sodium or sodium valproate - is an anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) medication used as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder, as well as for epilepsy and migraine. Here are facts, precautions and warnings about Depakote.
What Is Bipolar I Disorder? How Is It Diagnosed?
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.
What are the Possible Causes of Bipolar Disorder?
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.
What is Dysphoria?
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.
What Are Racing Thoughts?
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.
The Impact of Bipolar Disorder on Sex
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?
Lamictal Rash Warning
Lamictal - generic lamotrigine - a drug which is prescribed to treat epilepsy and as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder - can cause serious, even life-threatening rashes. The black box warning sent to doctors is written in complex medical language. Here is the plain English version of the Lamictal rash warning.
What Is Bipolar 2 Disorder?
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.
Risperdal Side Effects
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.
What Is Mania? How Is Mania Diagnosed?
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.
Flight of Ideas
: Flight of ideas is one of the symptoms of bipolar mania as well as schizophrenia and ADHD. Some web
10 Things Not to Say to Someone with Bipolar...
People say the most infuriating things to those who have bipolar. Have you heard these? Or have you said them? These sayings are never helpful and are almost guaranteed to annoy. Take a look.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Textbook definitions of bipolar disorder may not be very enlightening. Here we begin our definition of manic depression in easy to understand language.
Neurontin Side Effects
List of Neurontin side effects. Neurontin - generic gabapentin - is an anticonvulsant medication which may also be prescribed as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Patients taking Neurontin should be aware of the potential side effects.
Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Zoloft /...
Ten important things about the antidepressant sertraline - brand name Zoloft - including information on side effects, withdrawal problems, overdose symptoms, drug interactions and more.
Lamictal Withdrawal Symptoms
While there is little research published regarding the effects of Lamictal withdrawal, there are a number of complaints by patients with bipolar disorder regarding the withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing Lamictal.
Warning Signs of Depression
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.
Vivien Leigh and Manic Depression
Famed actress Vivien Leigh had manic depression which was one of the reasons her marriage to Sir Laurence Olivier failed.
What is Cyclothymia?
Cyclothymia is a form of bipolar disorder that many people haven't heard of. Here is a brief but comprehensive definition of cyclothymic disorder, also known (incorrectly) as cyclothymia disorder and bipolar cyclothymia.
Trileptal - Medication Profile
Trileptal (oxcarbazepine), is an anticonvulsant medication approved in the United States for treatment of epilepsy. Trileptal is also being prescribed off-label for bipolar disorder as a mood stabilizer.
Bipolar Psychosis Symptoms
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.
Expansive
One of the criteria for diagnosing a manic or hypomanic episode of bipolar disorder is an expansive mood. More ...
Topamax / Topiramate Drug Profile
Topamax - generic topiramate - is an anticonvulsant approved for use in treating epilepsy and migraine headaches. It is also frequently prescribed off-label for bipolar disorder. Information on uses, major warnings, and the effectiveness of Topamax for weight loss.
Decreased Energy and Activity in Bipolar...
There are many possible symptoms of bipolar depression. This article examines depression symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia or sleeping too much, feeling lethargic, and decreased personal and social activities.
What Is Paranoia?
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.
Sylvia Plath - Poet, Author
Poet Sylvia Plath suffered from extreme bipolar depression that profoundly affected her work and ultimately led to her suicide at the age of 30.
What Is Pressured Speech?
Pressured speech is one of the symptoms of bipolar mania or hypomania. More...
What is Grandiosity?
Grandiosity is a symptom of bipolar disorder. Here is a concise definition of grandiosity.
Sex Sex Sex and More Sex
Hypersexuality is often a symptom of the manic phase of bipolar disorder. But if this escalates into an obsession, the person may have developed a sexual addiction.
Manufacturer's Recommended Lamictal Dosages
Learn about the available strengths and manufacturer's recommended dosages for Lamictal, which is used as a mood stabilizer in patients with bipolar disorder.
Lamictal / Lamotrigine Side Effects
The side effects of Lamictal - generic lamotrigine - are important for patients and their caregivers to know. While Lamictal is generally a safe and well-tolerated medication, some side effects are serious or even life threatening.
Do I Qualify for Disability?
The Social Security Administration has a formula for determining if an individual is considered disabled. There are five basic steps that must be met in order to qualify for disability. Here is an outline of these steps.
Why Shouldn't I Drink Grapefruit Juice With My...
Any number of medications can apply to this question: Prozac, BuSpar, Tegretol, Verapamil, Prednisone and a host of others - even Viagra! There are a large number of other medications affected by grapefruit juice as well, including all the cholesterol-lowering statins and even some antibiotics and birth control pills.
I’m Hypomanic and I Don’t WANT to...
Hypomania: feeling on top of the world is often rare and prized, but when one symptom is not wanting to sleep or take night-time meds, is it a problem?
Bipolar Mania Quiz
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. Use this as a tool for talking with a healthcare professional about possible manic episodes.
Why Does Lithium Cause Weight Gain?
In common with too many other medications prescribed for manic-depressive illness, lithium does cause weight gain. Here are some theories why.
Delusions
Delusions are false beliefs firmly held. Delusions are one aspect or symptom of the psychotic features of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.
List and Types of Depression Medications
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.
Suicidal Ideation
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 than this.
What is Serotonin Syndrome?
Serotonin Syndrome is a condition brought on by having too much of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the body. Although serotonin syndrome is treatable, it can be fatal, so symptoms need to be recognized right away.
Hallucinations - No Joke!
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.
Sociopath
In common usage, a sociopath is a person without a conscience, often a criminal, often violent. However, this image is an extreme. More...
Nightmares and Night Terrors
Nightmares and night terrors are more commonly experienced by people with bipolar disorder than by others. Children are especially prone to night terrors. Page 2.
Ideas of Reference
Ideas of reference involve believing that casual events, remarks, etc., refer to oneself. More ...
Thinning Hair or Hair Loss as a Bipolar...
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.
Clang Associations
Clang associations are psychic associations resulting from sounds, often observed in the manic phase of manic-depressive psychosis. More...
Connie Francis - Singer / Actress
Biographical sketch of pop / country singer Connie Francis who has had a highly successful career despite suffering from bipolar disorder.
SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome
Have you and your doctor discussed your stopping taking antidepressants? 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.
Lamictal and Weight
A look at the effect of Lamictal (lamotrigine) on weight. Answers the question of whether Lamictal causes weight gain.
Lithium Side Effects
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.
Difficult Moods in Bipolar Depression
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.
Delusion of Reference
Delusions of reference refers to the strongly held belief that outside events, objects, behaviors of others, etc. have a particular significance to oneself. More ...
Diagnosing a Child with Bipolar Disorder -...
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.
Religious Factors in Bipolar Disorder
One of the symptoms of bipolar mania and hypomania is an increase in religious activities. At the same time, a significant portion of those with psychotic disorders experience religious delusions. One of the challenges in treatment is determining where the line is between supportive spirituality and harmful delusions.
How Long Will It Take to Get Benefits?
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. The process of applying for and being awarded benefits takes so long that it is generally wise to apply as soon as it appears that your medical problems are going to keep you from working for at least a year.
Trazodone Side Effects
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.
Love, Roses & Real Support
“I am currently dating someone who has bipolar disorder. He's been honest since the beginning about everything. Something, that to me, means a lot. I was just wondering, though, how do I show him I accept him and his disease, that I support him and care about him? Does anyone have any tips?” In response, members of the About Bipolar Disorder community, offer insights and tips from their personal experiences.
What Disability Benefits Will I Get?
Part 9 of Understanding Disability Benefits. In considering disability, an important question that always arises is the value of the disability benefits that will be provided if your application is successful. Given the cost in time and frustration, is the return worth the investment? The answer to these questions will greatly depend on your specific circumstances.
Psychomotor Agitation
Psychomotor agitation is a restlessness brought on by mental tension. Learn more about psychomotor agitation.
How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?
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.
Haldol / Haloperidol Side Effects
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.
Lamictal Drug Profile
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.
Does Bipolar Disorder Affect Dreams?
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.
Clonazepam Side Effects (Klonopin)
Clonazepam is a medication that may be used to treat anxiety disorders, including anxiety occurring with bipolar disorder. Common side effects can include being clumsy or unsteady, feeling dizzy or lightheaded. More side effects, from mild to severe, are listed here. Also sold under the brand names Klonopin and Rivotril.
Euthymia
Euthymia has several similar definitions. The shades of meaning, while similar, don't always make sense in the context of mood disorders. More...
Depression, Bipolar - Or PBA?
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.
I Can’t Hold a Job! What Do I Do?
For many people with bipolar disorder, the ability to work is seriously compromised. Debilitating depressions, manic-based bad decisions, struggles with medications and side effects as well as psychotic features, panic attacks and other extreme symptoms of this illness make it difficult for some to obtain or hold a job for very long. A possible solution may be disability -- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Physical Symptoms of Bipolar Depression
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.
Red Flags: Warning Signs of Suicide
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.
Sex Sex Sex and More Sex - Part 2
Hypersexuality in bipolar disorder may lead to sexuality addiction. This can require additional treatment. Page 2.
What Is a Major Depressive Episode?
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.
Psychosis
Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality, typically including delusions. Learn the full definition of psychosis, including how one may experience it, here.
Service Dogs for Bipolar Disorder
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.
Zoloft Medication Profile
A compact look at Zoloft medication - generic sertraline hydrochloride - an SSRI antidepressant approved for use in treating depression, panic disorder, OCD, PTSD, PMDD and social anxiety disorder. Zoloft medication may also be prescribed for the depressive side of bipolar disorder.
Mood Stabilizers for Bipolar Disorder
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.
Medication Half-Life
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 ...
Celexa (Citalopram) - Medication Profile
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.
Weight Loss Drugs, Depression & Bipolar...
The weight loss drugs Belviq and Qsymia seem to offer hope to people who have gained significant weight from psychiatric medications. However, these drugs may not be a good fit for people with mood disorders such as bipolar and major depression, sleep disorders, or anxiety disorders, due to problem side effects and potentially dangerous drug interactions.
Atypical Antipsychotics
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...
Grandiosity
Grandiosity is a symptom of the manic episodes of bipolar disorder. More ...
Diagnosing Bipolar II Disorder
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.
Will My Child Inherit My Bipolar Disorder?
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.
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder. Patients typically experience hallucinations and delusions and are often physically agitated and incoherent. More ...
Diagnostic Differences Between Bipolar Disorder...
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.
Challenges in Diagnosing Children's Bipolar...
This article outlines the several issues that make diagnosing childhood bipolar disorder especially challenging.
Seroquel Side Effects (Generic: Quetiapine)
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.
Zoloft / Sertraline Side Effects
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.
Jean-Claude Van Damme - Actor
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.
Typical Antipsychotics
Typical antipsychotics were not called that until a new generation, name atypical antipsychotics, came out. They now have different uses for typical ones.
Changes in Cognitive Skills
Depression can have a profound effect on cognitive skills like concentration, memory, organization and decision-making, and these, in turn, may seriously impair behavior. This article looks at ways bipolar depression can cause problems in thinking.
Xanax Side Effects
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.
Evidence of Brain Chemistry Abnormalities in...
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.
Somnolence
Somnolence is a state of sleepiness. More ...
What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
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.
Abilify / Aripiprazole Drug Profile
Abilify - generic Aripiprazole - is approved to treat schizophrenia and the manic and mixed episodes of bipolar disorder. It is also approved for maintenance use in bipolar disorder, and as adjunctive treatment in adults (only) with major depressive disorder. Article covers major warnings and side effects, therapeutic advantages and other key information.
Symptoms of Bipolar Depression
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.
Geodon (Ziprasidone) Drug Profile
A concise profile of the medication Geodon (generic ziprasidone), an antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other psychotic disorders.
Cogentin / Benztropine Side Effects
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.
Experiences With ECT - Electroconvulsive Therapy
Has your doctor prescribed treatment with ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) for manic depression? Are you considering it? Read what others have to say about their experiences with ECT.
Celebrities with Bipolar Disorder
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.
How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated?
A treatment plan for bipolar disorder primarily consists of pharmacological intervention (medications) with therapy as a possible additional intervention. At times, psychiatric hospitalizations may be necessary. There are also treatment options that are less common and those that are usually considered only in extreme circumstances.
How To Recognize Symptoms of Depression
It is important for both a person with bipolar disorder and his or her friends and family members to know how to recognize symptoms of depression. The symptoms of depression illustrated here will help you spot a depressive episode when it happens.
What is Tardive Dyskinesia?
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.
What is the DSM-5?
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.
Lithium: The First Mood Stabilizer
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.
What is a Mixed Episode?
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.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
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 ...
How Do I Start My Disability Application?
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.
Extrapyramidal Side Effects
Extrapyramidal side effects are a group of symptoms that can occur in persons taking antipsychotic medications. More ...
Psychomotor Retardation
Psychomotor retardation is a visible slowing of physical activity.
Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is a complex mental illness where a patient experiences symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia separately. More...
Self-Medicating: When the Cure IS the Disease
The tendency for those with bipolar disorder to use street drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication is a very real issue.
Medication Side Effects Index - drugs...
Index to individual pages listing the side effects for medications which may be prescribed for bipolar disorder (manic depression).
Mania and Hypomania: The "Up" Moods of Bipolar
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.
Mood Disorders and Sleep
How you sleep has a great deal to do with depression and mania. Do you have a sleep disorder with your mood disorder?
Tricyclic Antidepressants
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.
Celebrities with Bipolar Disorder - C & D
Found here is the C and D portion of a registry of celebrities who have bipolar disorder (manic depression). In 1993, Joy Ikelman began compiling this list 'to provide inspiration for those who have bipolar disorder'; and has now passed the torch to the About Bipolar Disorder Guides. The compilation includes both living and deceased celebrities. This registry is a work in progress.
Ben Stiller - Actor / Comedian
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.
Prozac / Fluoxetine Side Effects
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.
5 Bad Reasons Not to Take Medications
There are more than five bad reasons not to take medications, but in this article we look at some of the most common reasons people either refuse to start or stop taking meds. The common thread in these bad reasons is that they can all lead to serious, even life-threatening problems. Part 1 covers two reasons people don't want to take medications at all.
Singer Rosemary Clooney's Struggle with Bipolar...
Singer Rosemary Clooney was profoundly affected by the bipolar disorder that interrupted her career in the late 1960s.
Mirtazapine Antidepressant Information
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.
Celebrities with Bipolar Disorder - A & B
Found here is the A and B portion of a registry of celebrities who have bipolar disorder (manic depression). In 1993, Joy Ikelman began compiling this list “to provide inspiration for those who have bipolar disorder” and has now passed the torch to the About Bipolar Disorder Guides. The compilation includes both living and deceased celebrities. This registry is a work in progress.
What Is Disability?
Disability is a very broad term that compares actual ability to normal functioning. It is also used to refer to a number of federal and state programs that provide assistance to those who are disabled. The two most common programs that fall under the umbrella of disability are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Medicare and Medicaid are also components of these programs.
Celebrities with Bipolar Disorder - U to Z
Found here is the U to Z portion of a registry of celebrities who have bipolar disorder (manic depression). In 1993, Joy Ikelman began compiling this list “to provide inspiration for those who have bipolar disorder” and has now passed the torch to the About Bipolar Disorder Guides. The compilation includes both living and deceased celebrities. This registry is a work in progress.
Cyclothymia
Cyclothymia is a version of bipolar disorder where moods alternate between hypomania and depression that is not terribly severe. More ...
Lithium Drug Profile
Lithium is used as a mood stabilizer in treating bipolar disorder. This drug profile outlines what you need to know when taking Lithium, including the most common possible Lithium side effects, necessary tests, precautions and warnings, and use during pregnancy and nursing.
Serax - Oxazepam - Anti-Anxiety Drug
A summary of information about the anti-anxiety medication Serax - generic oxazepam - a benzodiazepine shown to be safer than some related drugs.
Diet Tips for Weight Loss
People taking bipolar disorder and other psychiatric medications who want to lose weight will have to make some dietary changes. Other meds can cause this, too. This is necessarily not the same as 'going on a diet' - it can also be a matter of making changes to your daily food intake that will promote weight loss. Here is a collection of tips that will help bipolar people examine their diets and make healthy changes.
Ativan / Lorazepam Side Effects
Catalogue of side effects for the medication Ativan - generic Lorazepam - which is an antianxiety medication and also a mild tranquilizer and sedative. This prescription drug may be used in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Can Bipolars Adopt? Yes!
Mental illness is NOT an automatic bar to adoption. Author Carrie Burr, who has bipolar disorder, details the process she went through in order to adopt her two children.
Things You HATE to Do During Depression
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.
Complex Features of Manic Depression
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.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Symptoms
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome symptoms indicate a very serious illness that needs immediate treatment. Stevens-Johnson syndrome may be caused by the drug Lamictal (lamotrigine), which is used to treat seizure disorders like epilepsy and as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder.
Paranoia
Paranoia is one of the psychotic features of bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia. Learn the full definition of paranoia.
The Bipolar Disorders - Forms and Moods
Within the spectrum of bipolar disorders, there are three main forms: bipolar 1, bipolar 2 and cyclothymia, which are characterized by either mania or hypomania and depression. This is a far cry from the days when manic depression was the term that covered all types.
What's Wrong With Me? Do I Have Bipolar Disorder?
It is perfectly normal to have days where you feel low and days when we are on top of the world. The emotional rise and fall of life is part of the human condition. So how can you tell when your experiences are normal and when they’ve pushed into the extremes of depression or mania associated with bipolar disorder?
What Is Rapid Cycling?
In bipolar disorder the term rapid cycling has several definitions depending on just how rapidly the cycles alternate.

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