bipolar disorder

Condition Uncommon
Description
Conditions (5)
Symptoms (5)
Treatments (28)
Tests (8)
Risk Factors (5)

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Dr. Dheeraj Raina answered:

What is bipolar disorder?

Major Mental Illness

Bipolar_disorder
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.
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what is bipolar disorder?

Manic depressive

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder which is characterized by abnormally high (manic) and abnormally low (depressive) episodes.
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2 Answers
Dr. Dheeraj Raina answered:

What is bipolar disorder ?

Major Mental Illness

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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.
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Have bipolar disorder a test?

History

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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.
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Dr. Alan H. Ali answered:

Do i have a bipolar disorder?

Bipolar

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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.
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what causes bipolar disorder?

Multifactorial

So far no one has established a genetic link with bi-polar disorder, and many have tried. It is certainly true that it runs in families, but that can be a result of the family environment. There is a reasonable theory that the manic episodes are a way of combating the depressive feelings and that both are the result of chronic internal stress leading to depletion of neurotransmitters.
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Can kids get bipolar disorder?

Yes

While unusual, children can develop symptoms of Bipolar disorder in childhood. While most individuals develop symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in adolescence or early adulthood, a small number do get it as young as 8 years old
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Dr. Paul Pancner answered:

Is bipolar disorder hereditary?

Genetics

Bipolar disorder has been found to have some hereditary basis. This doesn't mean that there is a 100% chance that the offsoring of someone with bipolar d/o will enx up with it as well, but rather there is more likelihood as compared to the general population. I believe bipolar d/ o is now the 2nd highezt of mental d/o, being surpassed by adhd
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What can cause bipolar disorder?

Multifactorial

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As with many medical conditions the causes of bipolar disorder are not fully know. It is believed they are polygenetic, with multiple genes interacting resulting in some degree of vulnerability or resistance to the condition. This biology then interacts with environmental factors, both positive and negative which can have different effects based upon when In life or how many/often they occur.
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How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?

Clinical exam

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Although in the future we may have blood tests or functional MRI scans that can diagnose the disorder, for now the only way to diagnose bipolar is to see a counselor or doctor who can diagnose the condition based on history and exam.
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