Bipolar Disorder is a very difficult disorder for many families to deal with. The features, problems, emotions, highs and lows all take its toll. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), there are three types of mood disorders that include manic symptoms:
- Bipolar I: Includes major ups and downs, highs and lows, depression and mania. You will see a lot of “swinging” from low to high.
- Bipolar II: Considered less severe than the above, but includes many of the same features.
- Cyclothymia: Similar to the above, however, mania is less severe and is referred to as hypomania.
For many people, the most annoying feature of the above categories is the depression because it takes the individual so low. However, for many families or friends, the most difficult feature to deal with is the mania because it can be very hard to have a conversation with, live with, or even cope with an individual who is manic. Mania can look like a person is on very strong stimulants such as Cocaine or Meth. It’s very important to decipher if the hyperactive behavior is due to drug abuse or manic symptoms. A mental health evaluation will help you determine the cause of the mania.
Treatment for severe mood disorders often include medication and therapy. I encourage you to research your medications or the medication of your loved one (www.drugs.com) in order to understand why you have been prescribed the medication. It is also good to learn about side effects as many of the side effects can cause depression, agitation, and anxiety. For many people, various medications have to be tried before a right one is obtained. So if a medication doesn’t seem to be working for you at the moment, please call your doctor or pharmacist and have it changed. You can request the medication be changed completely or the milligram reduced or increased. A doctor who does’t want to do this or becomes agitated, is not a good doctor.
To watch a short video of a therapy session with a man experiencing mania, visit my sister-site: Caregivers, Family, & Friends at Psychcentral.
As always, feel free to contact me with questions or comments,
All the best
- Psychiatric Medications in Prison (blogs.psychcentral.com)