Bipolar Disorder Factoids
1. Manic depression is now more commonly termed bipolar disorder. The name is due to the two polar opposites of mood swings from very high, mania, to very low, depression.
2. Mood shifts may occur as infrequently as only a couple of times in a year, or as rapidly as a couple of times per day. Some people may experience some symptoms of both moods at the same time.
3. The variation in symptoms and mood changes means that bipolar disorder is categorized into different types -- bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymia.
4. Bipolar I involves severe symptoms of depression and mania, drastically affecting quality of life.
5. Bipolar II is easier to manage, with less interference in the ability to perform daily activities. Manic episodes are more mild, called hypomania, and symptoms of depression occur most often.
6. Cyclothymia involves mild changes in depression and mania which cause some difficulty in daily life but are easy to manage and are much less severe than types I and II.
7. Symptoms of mania include feelings of euphoria, extreme optimism, increase ambition and drive to accomplish goals, inflated self-esteem, poor judgement, risky or aggressive behavior, less need to sleep and increased physical and sexual activity, difficulty concentrating, impulsive spending, racing thoughts and rapid speech, and psychosis.
8. Symptoms of depression include feeling sad, hopeless, anxious or guilty, irritability, eating too much or too little, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, fatigue, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, and chronic pain.
9. Both mania and depression can significantly affect performance at work or in school, and may contribute to frequent missed days.
10. Children experience bipolar disorder differently than adults, and it may be difficult to recognize bipolar disorder in children. The condition usually displays as intense high and lows within the same day, characterized as extremely giddy or silly and then explosive anger and aggression, as well as long periods of crying.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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