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A 31-year-old member asked:

what's the difference between bipolar disorder and bipolar affective disorder?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Neil Liebowitz
Psychiatry 39 years experience
Nothing: We all use variations of the same terms to mean the same thing.
Dr. William Holmes
Child Psychiatry 34 years experience
No Difference: According to my understanding of these terms, there is no difference. The term "affective" simply refers to one's emotions.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Can you please explain bipolar disorder?

7 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Neurobiological prob: Bipolar disorder is a complex, neurobiologic problem that impedes temperament control and has significant mood and anxiety problems. These symptom complexes can cycle quickly or slowly. Bpd starts in childhood and persists into adulthood. It is broken down into subgroups depending on the current cycle stage. It is highly heritable and usually requires intense medical & psychological treatment.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What are the different types of bipolar disorder?

5 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Three: Generally there are 3 kinds: bipolar i, bipolar ii and bipolar nos. The difference depends on the symptoms of mania (severe insomnia, extreme energy, racing thoughts, pressured speech, elated and/or irritable moods). In bipolar i the mania lasts 3-4 days or is severe enough to need hospital stay. In ii the mania is called hypomania and is of shorter duration. In nos not all symptoms of mania exist.
A 21-year-old member asked:

So what does "soft" bipolar look like?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Depends: The term "soft" bipolar has been used by some psychiatrists to explain situations in which individuals who suffer from a mood disorder have episodes in which they experience some symptoms of mania or hypomania. For example, these individuals may have episodes of insomnia with high energy or racing thoughts. However the episodes may be very brief (1-2 days at most). This idea remains controversial.
A 28-year-old member asked:

Is it possible for a bipolar person who's on meds to still have an episode?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Yes: There many possible explanations for relapse in bipolar patients (bpd). Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, caffeine, illnesses, insomnia, psychosocial stressors, and other medications used intercurrently that interact with maintenance medications can throw bpd into imbalance.
CA
A 32-year-old member asked:

What happens if bipolar disorder is untreated for a long time?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Depends: It depends on the severity of the bipolar illness but often times there is a significant and clinical worsening of one's symptoms that can affect work as well as personal life. So it would be a good idea not to go off treatment for this. Not treating bipolar usually has negative consequences for the patient and loved ones involved.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016
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