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A 61-year-old member asked:

What is bipolar disorder?

15 doctor answers40 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Moranville
Psychiatry 36 years experience
Manic depressive : Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder which is characterized by abnormally high (manic) and abnormally low (depressive) episodes.
Dr. Otto Placik
Plastic Surgery 34 years experience
Bipolar disorder: The classical description of bipolar disease is the "very high and very low" disease with highs described as feeling like superman and lows as profound depression with a high rate of suicidal ideation. However, more recently it has been associated with a more schizophrenic presentation not necessarily presenting with the very dramatic ups and downs (typically less of the manic phase).
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Plastic Surgery 42 years experience
Mania/Depression: Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition which causes cycling of the mood between depression and mania. Mania is characterized by extreme hyperactivity, exuberance and often insomnia. Depression usually exhibits the opposite. The cycles can be rapid or more slow and the extremes can be muted. It is important to diagnose properly because treatment differs from that of depression alone.
Dr. Bassam Amawi
Psychiatry 49 years experience
Manic depressive: Mood swing with patient can fluctuate between higher ( high) and lower (lows) or ffeling irritable.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Mood Disorder: Mania or hypomania: 1 may show aggression, agitation, v judgment ; impulse control, distractability, rapid thoughts ; speech, ^ libido, v sleep, spending sprees, high risk behaviors, elation, ^ physical activity or psychosis. When depressed 1 may have low mood, v energy level, v concentration, amotivation, ^ or v sleeping, ^ or v in appetite, poor self esteem, feelings of hopelessness or >.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
helplessness, lack of joy, irritability, impaired functioning, guilt & suicidal thoughts or psychosis.
Jan 11, 2014
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Bipolar: Bipolar I and bipolar II, In the first, manic phases are more severe, and in the second, depressive phases are more severe. There is also cyclothymia which is a low grade version of bipolar disorder in general, where mood swings are not as severe in either direction, manic or depressive.
Dr. George Klauber
Specializes in Pediatric Urology
Manic depression: Psychiatric condition where subject experiences both episodes of severe depression & mania or hypomania. These episodes are frequently cyclical or seasonal. Subject often attributes depressive episodes to external causes such as unpleasant boss or feeling ill. Manic episodes can vary from being"life & soul of the party" to being extremely obnoxious & "impossible". Best treated by a psychiatrist.
Dr. Dheeraj Raina
Psychiatry 29 years experience
Major Mental Illness: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong mental illness which features recurrent episodes of severe depression and of hypomania/mania - which is best explained as the opposite of depression. Bipolar disorder usually has a strong biological basis. The diagnosis is best made by a psychiatrist. The phrase, "he/she is bipolar" used by lay people often implies emotionality, not the diagnosis.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Bipolar: Bipolar I and bipolar II, In the first, manic phases are more severe, and in the second, depressive phases are more severe. There is also cyclothymia which is a low grade version of bipolar disorder in general, where mood swings are not as severe in either direction, manic or depressive.
Dr. Aaron Ament
Psychiatry 58 years experience
EVALUATE: Bd is a biochemical/phisiologic illness, generally long- lasting, generally with recurrent serious depression and/or very energized, ill considered and sometimes psychotic behavior. The DX is made too casually these days, based on an episode of angry behavior and DX should be made ; confirmed with an expert. Treatment is generally manditory to manage.
Dr. Dheeraj Raina
Psychiatry 29 years experience
Major Mental Illness: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong mental illness which features recurrent episodes of severe depression and of hypomania/mania - which is best explained as the opposite of depression. Bipolar disorder usually has a strong biological basis. The diagnosis is best made by a psychiatrist. The phrase, "he/she is bipolar" used by lay people often implies emotionality, not the diagnosis.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Bipolar: Bipolar I and bipolar II, In the first, manic phases are more severe, and in the second, depressive phases are more severe. There is also cyclothymia which is a low grade version of bipolar disorder in general, where mood swings are not as severe in either direction, manic or depressive.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Bipolar: Moods swing to extremes, between episodes of depression lasting around few weeks & phases of mania lasting few weeks each. Milder forms are called bipolar type 2 or cyclothymia, more severe forms are accompanied with psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices or seeing things that are not there. Your mental health counselor can assess & give more definite diagnosis.
Dr. Daryl Tanski
Specializes in Psychiatry
Risk: In the general population incidence is 1 to 4%. Beyond that, a face to face evaluation is needed. The mood disorder questioner (mqd) is in public domain as a good screen tool and/or conversation starter with a md.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Please get help.: Bipolar Disorder is treatable. Recommend comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. If you do in fact have bipolar disorder a mix of psychotropic medications and talking therapy can be very helpful. Take care.

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A 41-year-old member asked:

What can I do to control my bipolar disorder?

1 doctor answer9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Miroslava Fox
Clinical Psychology 15 years experience
Medication/PsychT: Medication and psychotherapy both help with bipolar disorder in different ways. Medication will help with mood fluctuations and psychotherapy will help with symptom recognition and prevention as well as establishing routine/schedule, improving sleep, coping with the diagnosis of bipolar and looking for the triggers of mood swings.
A 31-year-old member asked:

How do you define bipolar disorder?

2 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Matt Vukin
Psychiatry 16 years experience
See DSM criteria: You can look up the exact criteria used in research studies to learn more about it by searching online. The phrase "bipolar" is often overused, cheapening a formal diagnosis. It encompasses large swings in mood/energy/speed of thoughts/behavior which may last days/weeks at a time. See your local psychiatrist or primary care doctor for screening. Meds are most helpful but counseling can help.
Iran
A 19-year-old female asked:

Have bipolar disorder a test?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Psychiatry 39 years experience
History: No lab or radiologic test, nor physical exam, can test for bipolar. Perhaps one day as there are strong indications it is a brain condition with a genetic background. But for now, it's a patient's history of modd changes, cognition and behavior that makes the diagnosis. In truth, this method works quite well, having been refined since antiquity.
Chicago, IL
A 48-year-old female asked:

How to cope with bipolar disorder ?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Colantino
Internal Medicine 61 years experience
Bipolar: You cannot cope with bipolar disorder without professional help, appropriate treatment and supervision provided by a skilled psychiatrist. Medications, appropriate dosing, psychotherapy, prolonged follow-up are necessary. If you don't already have a psychiatrist, ask your physician to refer you to one. It's crucial to get symptoms under control as soon as possible.
A 42-year-old member asked:

What can be done for bipolar disorder?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Bipolar: Manic depression is treated with psychotherapy & medications.

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