Many people around the world suffer from bipolar disorder. But what you may not realize is that many celebrities, inventors, and people throughout history have also had this disorder. Before the 1990s, the disorder was better known as "manic depression," but the symptoms for the disorder remained largely the same -- periods of high energy (mania) and periods of serious lows (depression).
Many of these people have been successfully treated for the disorder and no longer have any symptoms of it. Others are still actively taking medications for it.
Listed in alphabetical order, with their profession and birthdate, where known. This is not a complete list by any means, but it does give you a flavor of how prevalent and widespread bipolar disorder is.
Famous People with Bipolar ... Read more »
Medication can be an effective part of the treatment for several psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence. A doctor's recommendation to use medication often raises many concerns and questions in both the parents and the youngster. The physician who recommends medication should be experienced in treating psychiatric illnesses in children and adolescents. He or she should fully explain the reasons for medication use, what benefits the medication should provide, as well as possible risks and side effects and other treatment alternatives.
Psychiatric medication should not be used alone.
The use of medication should be based on a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and be one part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Before recommending any medication, the child and adolescent psychiatrist interviews the youngster and makes a thorough diagnostic evaluation. ... Read more »
Sometimes it's difficult to talk to a healthcare professional about things, and some people have especial difficulty with mental health issues. However, only you know yourself. It's essential to talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your personal risk factors and/or experience with bipolar disorder. By talking openly and regularly with your healthcare provider, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your healthcare provider:
Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
... Read more »
Bipolar disorder is diagnosed as any other mental disorder is, through a simple symptom checklist administered informally by a mental health professional. While a family physician or general practitioner can screen for bipolar disorder, it is best diagnosed and treated by a trained, experienced mental health professional (like a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist). Such a professional will ask you about your symptoms, your family history, and take a brief history about what's been going on in your life.
There are no laboratory or medical tests for bipolar disorder. It not defined as a traditional medical disease, like diabetes or cancer. Instead, it's classified as a "mental disorder," meaning it is composed of a constellation of symptoms.
Bipolar disorder is often diagnosed based on the following:
The ... Read more »
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop bipolar disorder with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing bipolar disorder. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.
Risk factors for bipolar disorder include:
Bipolar disorder can run in families. There is a high likelihood that there is a genetic component to this disorder. Eighty to ninety percent of individuals with bipolar disorder have a relative with either depression or bipolar disorder.
Medications and Medical Conditions
Medications such as corticosteroids, medical conditions such as thyroid disease, and neurological diseases such as Parkinson's ... Read more »
There are a variety of methods one can put to use to help yourself with bipolar disorder. Individuals should take an active role in their own treatment and self-care – feeling better and getting better is an active, daily process. While medications and psychotherapy are usually recommended to treat bipolar disorder, there are additional steps one can take to improve one's condition.
Learning more about bipolar disorder is the easiest thing a person can do to help themselves. There is a wealth of information online, but there are also some very good self-help books that provide an in-depth understanding of bipolar disorder and techniques that can be used to improve your daily life.
Getting support and understanding
During a manic phase you may be quite unaware that ... Read more »
Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depression, and that's probably a better term for it because it describes exactly what people feel with this issue -- mania and depression. A person with manic depression -- or the modern term, bipolar disorder -- experiences alternating highs (mania) and lows (depression). A manic period can be brief, lasting from three to 14 days, or longer, lasting up to several weeks. The depressive periods may also last from days to weeks or even six to nine months. The periods of mania and depression range from person to person many people may only experience very brief periods of these intense moods, and may not even be aware that they have bipolar disorder.
The “highs” or manic episodes are ... Read more »
Bipolar disorder strikes about two million people in the United States. Both men and women are affected at the same rate. Differing rates of bipolar disorder have not been reported for different races. Although race was once considered a factor for developing bipolar disorder, it did not seem to have an effect when other factors such as socioeconomic status and age were taken into account. Lower socioeconomic status may be slightly linked to a higher rate of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is more common in those who have a sibling or parent with the illness and in families having several generations affected with mood disorders.
The estimated average age for the onset of bipolar disorder is during the early 20s, although the illness may begin as ... Read more »
The cause of bipolar disorder is not entirely known. Genetic, neurochemical and environmental factors probably interact at many levels to play a role in the onset and progression of bipolar disorder. The current thinking is that this is a predominantly biological disorder that occurs in a specific part of the brain and is due to a malfunction of the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). As a biological disorder, it may lie dormant and be activated spontaneously or it may be triggered by stressors in life.
Although, no one is quite sure about the exact causes of bipolar disorder, researchers have found these important clues:
Genetic factors in Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder tends to be familial, meaning that it “runs in families.” About half the people with bipolar ... Read more »
Bipolar disorder is characterized by dramatic mood swings between feeling of high energy, mania and irritability, to low lows of sadness and hopelessness. The mood swings can occur frequently (everyday) or less regularly (changing just once or twice a month).
What characterizes an abnormal mood swing such as this is that the moods are experienced as extremes. Bipolar disorder isn't just the occasional feeling up being "energetic" one day and a little sad the next. For people with bipolar disorder, the symptoms are really life-altering, functioning their ability to go to work, carry on their relationships with others, and feel good about themselves.
Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs are called mania, and those of the ... Read more »
There are a number of common types of phases that most people with bipolar disorder experience to one degree or another. The most commonly experienced type of bipolar disorder is one where the individual cycles back and forth between a state of mania (or hypomania, a lesser form of mania) and depression.
During this phase, people have an elevated mood, or “high,” which includes feelings of increased self-esteem and uniqueness. They often overestimate how much they can do and the quality of their ideas. Judgment becomes impaired and patients feel powerful over painful consequences. They feel “bulletproof” and have little regret or concern for their actions. They may have many ideas and lots of energy to carry them out.
The abundance of thoughts may be difficult to ... Read more »
Treatment can help most people with bipolar disorder. Almost all people with bipolar disordereven those with severe formscan stabilize their mood swings through the use of medication.
Treatment for bipolar disorder falls into three categories:
Acute treatment suppresses current symptoms and continues until remission, which occurs when the symptoms are diminished for a period of time.
Continuation treatment prevents a return of symptoms from the same episode.
Maintenance treatment prevents a recurrence of symptoms. The risks of long-term medication use must be weighed against the risk of getting sick again (relapse).
The types of treatment that are commonly used for bipolar disorder include:
- Learn more about mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder
- Learn more about combination therapy for bipolar disorder
- Learn more about ... Read more »
The most commonly diagnosed form of depression is Major Depressive Disorder
, which is characterized by a depressed mood for more than two weeks, among other symptoms. The depressed mood affects all facets of the person’s life, including work, home life, relationships and friendships. A person with this kind of depression often finds it difficult to do much of anything or get motivated, so even going to seek treatment for this condition can be challenging.
Another type of depression is called Dysthymia
. Dysthymia is similar to Major Depressive Disorder, but the symptoms occur over a much longer period of time – more than 2 years. This is considered a chronic form of depression, and treatment can be challenging as an individual with Dysthymia has often already tried ... Read more »
Teenagers experience depression in a manner very similar to adults, but they may experience their emotions more intensely and with greater volatility. Feeling down about a relationship issue or an upcoming exam is normal. Feeling down for months at a time for no particular reason, however, may be a sign of undiagnosed depression.
Teen depression is a serious issue, but can be helped when you know the symptoms. Though the term "depression" can describe a normal human emotion, it also can refer to a mental disorder. Depressive illness in teenagers is defined when the feelings of depression persist and interfere with the teen's ability to function.
Depression is fairly common in teens and younger children. About 5 percent of children and adolescents in the general population ... Read more »
Cognitive behavioral therapy
(also known by its abbreviation, CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. It is used to help treat a wide range of issues in a person's life, from sleeping difficulties or relationship problems, to drug and alcohol abuse or anxiety and depression. CBT works by changing people's attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that we hold (our cognitive processes) and how this relates to the way we behave, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
An important advantage of cognitive behavioral therapy is that ... Read more »