There's no denying the exhilaration that mania brings. For many with bipolar
disorder, there's a period of denial -- a disbelief that the wonderful surge of
energy and euphoria marks a disease that truly needs treatment.
"Mania is a fascinating thing ... it's the brain creating its own
hormonal high," says Carrie Bearden, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist and
assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA. "Most people first become manic
in their early 20s, at a time in life when they're not thinking...
Bipolar I. Considered
the classic form of the illness, bipolar I causes recurrent episodes of mania
and depression. The depression may last for a short time or for months. You may
then go back to feeling normal for a time, or you may go right into a manic
Bipolar II. If you have bipolar
II, you will experience depression just as in bipolar I. But the episodes of
mania are less severe (hypomania). People with bipolar II have
more depressive episodes than hypomanic episodes.
Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. If you have rapid-cycling
bipolar disorder, you will experience at least four episodes of depression,
mania, or both within a 12-month period. You may go directly from an episode of
depression to an episode of mania, or you may have a short time lapse between
the two extreme moods. The mood swings are the same as with other types of
bipolar. But the frequency of mood swings distinguishes rapid-cycling bipolar
disorder from the other subtypes.
Some people may have bipolar disorder with mixed
symptoms, in which episodes of depression and mania occur together. Symptoms
include sadness, euphoria, and irritability. Other symptoms can include
agitation, lack of sleep, appetite changes, and possibly, thoughts of suicide.
This makes the disorder challenging to treat and very frustrating for you and
for those around you. It can also lead to hospitalization if your daily
functioning becomes impaired.
People with bipolar disorder-men more often than
substance abuse problems, especially during manic
episodes.4 Abusing alcohol or drugs may affect
treatment and interfere with taking medicines as prescribed. Other disorders
that may occur along with bipolar disorder include:5