3 Things You May Not Know About Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Sidhu, Bipolar Disorder, Revîv Functional Psychiatry & Functional Wellness

If it seems that bipolar disorder is suddenly all around you, it has more to do with increased diagnosis and awareness, not an epidemic of the condition itself. It’s rather common, in fact, since almost 3% of the American adult population is affected by bipolar disorder.

Yet, it’s a condition that’s still shrouded in myth and misconception. For those who haven’t experienced the disorder themselves, it’s difficult to understand how the condition affects those who suffer from it.

There’s much that isn’t known about bipolar disorder, such as what, exactly, causes it. There appear to be physical differences between those with bipolar disorder and those without, but the significance of these changes isn’t fully understood. Having a close relative with bipolar disorder increases your chances of having the condition, so there’s likely a strong genetic basis at work, too.

Given the mystery that the medical field still deals with regarding bipolar disorder, it’s not surprising that people have misunderstandings about the condition and those who experience it. Here are 3 things you may not know about bipolar disorder, to help you better appreciate the condition.

There’s more than one type of bipolar disorder

To characterize the disorder as a swinging, pendulum-like change between depression and mania dramatically oversimplifies the condition.

There are also people with bipolar disorders and symptoms that aren’t easily classified into these three types. This “type” of bipolar disorder is called Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders.

Someone who has four or more episodes within a year has a type of bipolar disorder called rapid-cycling. More common in women, this type can include severe depressive or manic episodes, hypomania, or mixed-state experiences.

Bipolar disorder can be hard to diagnose

Since bipolar depressive episodes resemble depression, and since a person is more likely to seek help during a depressive cycle, bipolar disorder is often mistaken for depression. Since a health care practitioner may see only the patient’s depressive episodes, it may take time for a clinician to recognize manic cycles as well.

There’s no standard drug treatment or dosage for bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is often treated with medication, but there’s not a single drug that works for all people with the disorder. Nor do medications come with uniform dosages that create the desired effects. Mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants may all be used, alone or in combination, but it may take some time to find the right medication, the right combination, or the right dosage.

Seeing a psychiatrist, like Dr. Sidhu at Revîv Functional Psychiatry & Functional Wellness, is the most effective way to confirm you have bipolar disorder. While physical exams, blood tests, and brain scans can give valuable information, a psychiatric interview typically reveals the patterns that confirm bipolar disorder.

If you or a loved one is struggling with the extremes of bipolar behavior, contact Revîv Functional Psychiatry & Functional Wellness by phone or online today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sidhu.

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