Thursday, August 05, 2010BIPOLAR DISORDER (MANIC DEPRESSION)
Bipolar disorder involves cyclical periods of depression and mania. This is why it is called bipolar disorder, meaning that the person has mood swings from one extreme (depression) to its polar opposite (mania). People with depression alone can have mood swings, irritability, or changes in energy; it is important to distinguish mood swings from a manic episode.
Symptoms of mania include:
Decreased need for sleep
Impulsive, risky behavior
Excessive, rapid speech
Inability to concentrate with racing thoughts
Restlessness and extreme irritability
Excessive time spent in social or work activities
In a classic presentation of bipolar disorder, the depression symptoms last at least 2 weeks, and the mania lasts at least 4 days. Some people have much more rapid cycles, with mood episodes that fluctuate quickly between mania and depression. Some people have mixed states of depression with manic symptoms. It is important to establish a proper diagnosis for your mood disorder, because this can effect treatment protocols.
Because of the increased energy and inflated self-esteem, most people with bipolar disorder often actually enjoy the manic periods, because it is such a change from feeling depressed. However, the impulsive, risky behavior can be very detrimental to a person’s safety and well-being. These behaviors can include gambling all of one’s savings, purchasing expensive items that one cannot afford, or engaging in sexual promiscuity. Some people with mania may not sleep for 3-4 days at a time, and can forget to eat or take care of themselves. They may work all day and night for days, or constantly go out to try to meet new people, to the point that it damages their health.
There are different types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I involves cycles of depression and severe manic episodes. Bipolar II involves cycles of depression and hypomania (symptoms similar to mania but less intense or of a shorter duration). The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is based on your symptoms, so your doctor will ask you questions to determine whether this condition affects you. Tests may be performed to rule out other causes of your symptoms. Once underlying causes are ruled out, we can then proceed to natural treatments to stabilize your moods.
Dr. Tara Peyman is a board-licensed naturopathic physician with an expertise in treating bipolar disorder and depression with homeopathic medicine. She has also developed natural treatment programs for diabetes and smoking cessation. Call for your comprehensive initial visit or a complimentary 15 minute phone consult: Tempe, Arizona: (480) 456-0402 or Mesa, Arizona: (480) 985-0000. Visit www.DrTaraPeyman.com for more information.