What is bipolar disorder?
We all have occasional highs and lows in our moods. But people with bipolar disorder, these peaks and valleys are more severe. They can go from feeling very sad, despairing, helpless, worthless, and hopeless (depression) to feeling as if they are on top of the world, hyperactive, creative, and grandiose. The extreme mood swings can hurt their job and school performance, damage their relationships, and disrupt their daily life. Fortunately, bipolar disorder is treatable, but without treatment it tends to worsen.


Bipolar disorder is divided into several subtypes. Each has a different pattern of symptoms. Types of bipolar disorder include:
1. Bipolar I disorder is characterized by at least one manic episode or mixed episode. Usually—but not always—Bipolar I Disorder also involves at least one episode of depression.

2. Bipolar II disorder is less severe than bipolar I. the person doesn’t experience full-blown manic episodes. Instead, the illness involves episodes of hypomania and severe depression.

3. Cyclothymia is a mild form of bipolar disorder. It consists of cyclical mood swings. However, the symptoms are less severe than full-blown mania or depression.

Mania and depression are the opposing phases in bipolar disorder.
Manic phase of bipolar disorder
Signs and symptoms of the manic or hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder can include:
Being easily distracted
Inflated self-esteem
Poor judgment
Increasing goal-directed activities, such as taking on new projects
Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
Rapid speech
Racing thoughts
Aggressive behavior
Inability to concentrate
Behaving impulsively and taking part in a lot of pleasurable,
high-risk behaviors, such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive business investments
Decreased need for sleep
Careless or dangerous use of drugs or alcohol
Frequent absences from work or school
Delusions or a break from reality (psychosis)
Poor performance at work or school

Depressive phase of bipolar disorder
Signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder can include:
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex
A long period of feeling worried or empty
Suicidal thoughts or behavior
Feeling tired or "slowed down"
Sleep problems
Low appetite or increased appetite
Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
Being restless or irritable
Changing eating, and other habits
Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting
Chronic pain without a known cause
Frequent absences from work or school
Poor performance at work or school


Treatment helps most people with bipolar disorder gain better control of their mood swings and related symptoms. People with the disorder need long-term treatment to maintain control of bipolar symptoms. Therefor, Bipolar disorder requires lifelong treatment, even during periods when the person feels better. An effective maintenance treatment plan includes medication and psychotherapy for preventing relapse and reducing symptom severity.


Medications for bipolar disorder include those that prevent the extreme highs and lows that can occur with bipolar disorder (mood stabilizers) and medications that help with depression or anxiety.
Medications for bipolar disorder include:
Anticonvulsants such as valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex (Depakote) and lamotrigine (Lamictal)
Antipsychotics such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel)


Psychotherapy is vital part of bipolar disorder treatment. It can provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families. These include:
Cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) helps people with bipolar disorder recognizing episode triggers and learn to change harmful or negative thought patterns and behaviors.
Family-focused therapy includes family members. It can help identify and reduce stress within your family. It can help your family learn how to communicate better, solve problems and resolve conflicts.
Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy helps people with bipolar disorder improve their relationships with others and manage their daily routines. Regular daily routines and sleep schedules may help protect against manic episodes.
Education. Counseling helps people with bipolar disorder about the illness and its treatment. Knowing what's going on can help you get the best support and treatment, and help you and your loved ones recognize warning signs of mood swings.

Author's Bio: 

Dr.Arbasi is physician and specialize in hypnotherapy. http://hypnothai.wordpress.com