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Doctor insights on: Why Bipolar People Are Nice Then Mean

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What does it mean to be bipolar?

What does it mean to be bipolar?

Ups and downs: Bipolar disorder means you have mood dysregulation. Atleast once in your life you will experience a manic episode which is atleast one week of symptoms which include but are not limited to:rapid speech, impulsive behavior, flight of ideas, no sleep without feeling tired, in addition, you may have symptoms of major depression which includes depressed mood, lack of energy, hopelessness. ...Read more

Dr. Donald Jacobson
779 doctors shared insights

Manic Depressive Disorder (Definition)

Though depression is not required for diagnosis most people have both manic and depressive episodes and may have mixed episodes with features of both. Length of episodes vary, but are separated by "normal" periods of emotion and behavior. See my answers to similar ...Read more


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Can being bipolar mean you have to have a boring life?

Can being bipolar mean you have to have a boring life?

No, not at all: I don't believe I have ever met anyone who was bipolar who had a boring life. Life might be particularly colorful if one is manic or hypomanic. ...Read more

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Am I a high-functioning bipolar or just mean like my sister says?

Am I a high-functioning bipolar or just mean like my sister says?

See a psychiatrist: One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be irritability, aggression, and impulsive behavior, but the disorder is much more complex than that. See other answers in my virtual practice for additional info. You should see a psychiatrist for a full evaluation. ...Read more

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My sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. What does this mean?

My sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. What does this mean?

It means: She needs your love and support. Bipolar is a mood disorder characterized by mood swings from depression to mania (too much energy and euphoric mood). Both moods are dangerous! she needs you to help her get the treatment she needs to have stability in her life. ...Read more

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What does having a past medical history of "multiple bipolar disorder" mean?

What does having a past medical history of "multiple bipolar disorder" mean?

Multiple Episodes: Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. Sounds as if you have experienced frequent episodic changes from your normal mood. Many factors act together to produce the illness or increase your risk. Treatment is essential and can be effective over the long-term. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why are mean drunks diagnosed bipolar?

I'm wondering why are mean drunks diagnosed bipolar?

Not automatically: People's behavior when intoxicated is highly variable -- and "mean drunks" are not automatically diagnosed bipolar. If someone has bipolar disorder though, chances of alcohol further destabilizing mood are high. I've also seen many alcoholics who are "mean" or irritable when intoxicated, but who are not bipolar. ...Read more

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My chart reads bipolar vs Schizoaffective disorder. what does this mean?

My chart reads bipolar vs Schizoaffective disorder. what does this mean?

These are both: disorders that effect mood. With 400 characters or less - I could not do your question justice. This is such an important issue - please ask your therapist or doctor to sit down with you to discuss your diagnostic assessment to date. Educating and keeping the patient informed is an important part of treatment. I would encourage you to write down your questions & then ask your provider. Take care. ...Read more

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Can you please tell me the means of identification and characteristics of bipolar disorder?

Can you please tell me the means of identification and characteristics of bipolar disorder?

Signs: In bipolar i there has to have been at least one manic episode in one's life. During a manic episode one may have extreme elevated mood, irritability, decreased need for sleep, a lot of energy, impulsive/reckless behavior, hypersexuality and rapid speech. In severe episodes they may have psychosis. The person can then cycle into periods of depression. The frequency of these cycles can vary. ...Read more

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What exactly does it mean if a person has bipolar and they are manic?

An exhausting "ride": Generally, people dealing with bipolar disorder cycle through biologically driven periods of clinical depression and mania. When going through a manic episode they typically have endless energy-may be up for days, engage in reckless behavior (wild shopping sprees, drug/alcohol binges, risky sex, etc.) , poor judgment, and their mood swings from irritable/angry to elated/euphoric. ...Read more

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What does a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder mean for a young person?

What does a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder mean for a young person?

Better prognosis: Early intervention prevention of many factors early treatment genetic marker recognition prevention of all the factors and avoid those sleep regulation destigmatising mental health educating themselves as they do on cell phone on their 2 pound computer called brain and treating it early so they won't mess with drugs alcohal and will be wow generation wise outstanding wizard and take brain serious. ...Read more

Dr. Alan Ali Dr. Ali
4 doctors agreed:
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What does a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder mean for somebody's life?

Dr. Alan Ali Dr. Ali
4 doctors agreed:
What does a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder mean for somebody's life?

Bipolar: Like any chronic illness, whether physiological or psychological, maintenance therapy to prevent recurrences and relapses is vital for optimal functioning. ...Read more

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Can you tell me if I have been prescribed lamotrigine does it mean I have bipolar disorder?

It is important: To know what condition you are being treated for. You may or may not have a bipolar spectrum disorder. I sometimes treat patients with recalcitrant depression with lamictal. Please get more info from your provider. Take care. ...Read more

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What else could a very low lithium in blood (0.15 nmol/l) mean besides possible bipolar disorder?

Lithium Level: Lithium is an essential mineral nutrient. It's not often measured specifically except when someone with bipolar disorder is taking pharmaceutical lithium -- which has a strict therapeutic range. A low serum lithium does not automatically mean bipolar disorder, but has been associated with increased risk for suicide, homicide, & some cases of autism. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11838882. ...Read more

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Schizoaffective - can you explain what that means exactly? I've been living my life as bipolar patient for so long I feel as if my life was a lie.

Hard to determine: It is difficult to determine if a patient is suffering from schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder, especially at a young age. Basically in SA disorder the patient has psychotic symptoms (paranoia, hallucinations) SEPARATE from their mood episodes (manic or depressive), while in bipolar with psychosis the patient has the psychotic symptoms ONLY when in a mood episode (manic or depressive). ...Read more

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How can I tell if i'm bipolar i've been taking Lexapro (escitalopram) ifeel very happy but than i feel down and mean?

How can I tell if i'm bipolar i've been taking Lexapro (escitalopram) ifeel very happy but than i feel down and mean?

Assessment: Rather than trying to diagnose yourself, encourage you to tell all these symptoms to your medical provider, if you have not had a comprehensive psychological evaluation by a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist - would recommend this. This will help to clarify your diagnosis -but the diagnosis may take more than a session to determine. ...Read more

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I have all the symptoms of depression, does this mean I have depression? Or does it mean I have possible bipolar? I'm scared :(

DEPRESSION: This is a hard question to answer. Bipolar disorder may first present as depression, showing mania or hypo mania later on, sometimes years later. One way to help sort it out is to look at family history. If there is a history of bipolar illness in your family, you have a greater chance of having it. See a psychiatrist skilled in assessment and treatment of mood disorders. ...Read more

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I was diagnosed with major depression and bipolar disorder what does this mean?

Bipolar disorder: Presents with periods of major depression ; periods of elevated mood or irritability and high energy. If both the diagnoses were for this period of time, it is likely that you are in a phase when you are depressed. ...Read more

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Because i get down all time without my citalopram can it mean bipolar. I'm ok on my meds. What is mania ?

Because i get down all time without my citalopram can it mean bipolar. I'm ok on my meds. What is mania ?

Mania: Mania certainly can feel happy.....even euphoric and incredibly energizing. Those with bipolar disorder often go off their meds because they feel so great. Why take meds when you feel like you're on top of the universe? The problem is, mania can lead to some very bad, impulsive decisions, and in extreme cases, psychotic episodes. This is why those with bipolar disorder need to stay on their meds. ...Read more

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Could use your help docs! my dad is bipolar and schizophrenic. So does that mean i might have it? Is it hereditary?

Hereditary worries: The research suggests that both are hereditary, which means that there's the probability that it is genetically transmitted. But it also depends on environmental circumstances as well as to whether a person manifests or becomes actively bipolar or schizophrenic. Consider some counseling so that you can manage stress to help with your worries and to prevent what you can, and to get more education. ...Read more

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My dad is bipolar and schizophrenic. so does that mean I might have it. so are mental disorders hereditary?

My dad is bipolar and schizophrenic. so does that mean I might have it. so are mental disorders hereditary?

You may or may not: have bipolar or schizophrenia. Although there appear to be hereditary predispositions to develop mental illnesses, not all children of the mentally ill develop the diseases. If you are concerned, talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist to find out if you have any of the symptoms associated with these disorders. ...Read more

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When your mind wanders in and out and you have a racing heartbeat what could that mean bipolar, anxiety, add?

When your mind wanders in and out and you have a racing heartbeat what could that mean bipolar, anxiety, add?

Seek PCP consult: It is always advisable to seek a medical consultation prior to assuming a mental illness. There are any number of physical/organic conditions that may mimic/cause psychological symptoms. These should be ruled out first. ...Read more

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Bipolar is treated with several kinds of anti-seizure medicine. Does this mean bipolar is a seizure illness? Functional or epileptic?

Bipolar is treated with several kinds of anti-seizure medicine. Does this mean bipolar is a seizure illness? Functional or epileptic?

Bipolar and epilepsy: So far there is no strong evidence that bipolar disease is caused by a part of your brain having seizures. Nonetheless many patients with epilepsy have also mood disorders including bipolar. The response to anti-seizure medication (to treat bipolar symptoms) is not restricted the persons who have the diagnosis of epilepsy.
...Read more

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I have bipolar ii. Am depressed and my dr. Says I am "flat". Didnt think to ask what she meant by that. What could it mean when someone is "flat"?

I have bipolar ii. Am depressed and my dr. Says I am "flat".  Didnt think to ask what she meant by that.  What could it mean when someone is "flat"?

Low emotional rxn: Bipolar disorder often entails emotions that are unstable. A person may be over-reactive to circumstances or people. Medications and therapy can help manage that. However, the medications can also decrease emotional responsiveness.

A person with flat affect has no or nearly no emotional expression. He or she may not react at all to circumstances that usually evoke strong emotions in others. ...Read more

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30mg vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) can make me a little hypomanic but not really 10mg. Does getting manic on a stimulant mean your bipolar???

30mg vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) can make me a little hypomanic but not really 10mg. Does getting manic on a stimulant mean your bipolar???

Not necessarily: If Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) 30 mg is making you "hyper," eg, talking too much/too fast, unable to slow down, don't feel tired, the dose is too high. If this doesn't happen on 10 mg, or when you don't take Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine), it's the stimulant side effects that kick in on too high a dose that make you feel "manic." Review with prescribing doctor and ask about a lower dose. I hope this helps Best wishes. ...Read more

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If I like to pace and wring my hands in response to movement or when I'm just bored does that mean bipolar? It helps me feel better and sleep.

Anxiety: Compulsive types of behaviors are very different from Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar is genetic, and includes long periods of staying awake (in mania), sometimes promiscuous behavior, excess spending or other excesses. We wouldn't normally make that dx unless we see you in a manic or hypo-manic state and there are no other factors that explain it. Please check back with your prescribing doctor. ...Read more

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What does it mean if i can't get over my bipolar depression/suicidal thoughts?

What does it mean if i can't get over my bipolar depression/suicidal thoughts?

Get Help: National suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-talk. I would encourage you to talk to a primary care doctor to get a referral for a psychologist/or a qualified mental health professional to figure out what's happening with you. If thoughts of suicide become overwhelming, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room -- they will do psych eval at the er and discuss your options. ...Read more

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What do you suggest if my father is bipolar and schizophrenic. so does that mean I might have it. so are mental disorders genetic?

What do you suggest if my father is bipolar and schizophrenic. so does that mean I might have it. so are mental disorders genetic?

Usually one or the: other diagnosis is made, not both. If there are delusions/hallucinations characteristic of schizophrenia AND extreme shifts in mood, the dx is schizoaffective disorder. To confuse things, psychosis can occur at either end of the severe moods in bipolar, so you need a professional to tease these out. Genetics do play a part so do some research. At 41, you are less at risk for a schizo dx. ...Read more

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I'm taking risperidone. Does this mean I Have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? I was diagnosed as having a major depressive episode.

Diagnosis?: Just because you are on Risperdal does not mean you are bipolar or schizophrenic. Risperdal is an anti psychotic medication and people with major depressive disorder can have psychotic symptoms during a depressed episode. I would discuss this with the doctor who prescribed the Risperdal to clarify the target symptoms and your working diagnosis ...Read more

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My 15 month old has an attention span of like 2 seconds and is very mean to other kids her dad has ADHD bipolar and ptsd is the cause for concern?

My 15 month old has an attention span of like 2 seconds and is very mean to other kids her dad has ADHD bipolar and ptsd is the cause for concern?

No, yes, and maybe.: A toddler with short attention is not a concern, but yes a toddler who's mean to others is a problem. Parents with such a child can work with a pediatrician plus learn special parenting skills to get rid of the meanness. A history of psychiatric illness is both bad and good. It's bad to have, but it's good that the illness is known, so parents can try to prevent the child from getting the illness. ...Read more

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I take 75mg topamax (topiramate) 2/day for bipolar. Yesterday i had 4 glasses of wine and had a simple partial seizure while drunk, with motor/visual disturbances. Does this mean i'm prone to seizures?

I take 75mg topamax (topiramate) 2/day for bipolar.  Yesterday i had 4 glasses of wine and had a simple partial seizure while drunk, with motor/visual disturbances.  Does this mean i'm prone to seizures?

See your doctor: Not sure why you are so confident that it was a "simple partial seizure." four glasses of wine is too many on one occasion, especially for a woman, and especially for someone being treated for bipolar disorder. You need a full neurological evaluation, especially an eeg and probably a ct scan, as well as several different blood tests. If you didn't see a doctor after this event, you should asap. ...Read more

Dr. Alan Ali
1,770 doctors shared insights

Bipolar Disorder (Definition)

Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that in its most severe form causes dramatic shifts in mood, ...Read more