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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

                                                       General Information

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder (a chemical imbalance in the brain) that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. The mood episodes associated with the disorder persist from days to weeks or longer, and can be dramatic, with periods of being overly high and/or irritable to periods of persistent sadness and hopelessness.

Severe changes in behavior are tied to mood changes. These periods of highs and lows, called episodes of mania and depression, can be distinct episodes often recurring over time or may occur together in a so-called mixed state. Often people with bipolar disorder experience periods of normal mood in between mood episodes.

A manic episode is diagnosed if an elevated mood occurs with three or more primary symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least one week. With an irritable mood, four additional symptoms must be present for a diagnosis.

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Bipolar Disorder

                        Signs and symptoms of a manic episode can include the following:

• Increased energy, activity, and restlessness

• Excessively high, overly good, euphoric mood

• Heightened level of multi-tasking

• Racing thoughts and talking faster than normal, jumping from one idea to another

• Distractibility, inability to concentrate well, or focus on a single thought or idea.

• Little sleep needed

• Unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and powers

• Poor judgment

• Spending sprees

• A lasting period of behavior that is different from usual

• Increased sexual drive

• Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, food, and sleeping medications

• Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior

• Denial that anything is wrong

Bipolar Disorder cont'd

A depressive episode is diagnosed if five or more primary depressive symptoms lasting most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of two weeks or longer.

Signs and symptoms of a depressive episode can include the following:

• Lasting sad or empty mood

• Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex

• Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being "slowed down"

• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

• Restlessness or irritability

• Sleeping too much, or having trouble sleeping

• Change in appetite or unintended weight loss or gain

• Thoughts of death or suicide, or

• Suicide attempts

It can be helpful to think of bipolar disorder as a spectrum of moods.

At one end of the spectrum is severe depression, next is moderate depression, and then mild low mood, which may be called the blues when it is short-lived and dysthymia when it is chronic.

Next is the normal or balanced mood, then hypomania (mild mania that may feel good and be relatively brief and less severe), and then severe mania, which can include hallucinations, delusions, or other symptoms of psychosis.

Some people may experience symptoms of mania and depression together in what is called a mixed bipolar state. Symptoms often include agitation, trouble sleeping, a significant change in appetite, psychosis, and suicidal thinking. A person may have a very sad hopeless mood even while feeling extremely energized.


Hypnotherapy works as a perfect adjunct to traditional psychological and psychiatric approach and can provide a way to control the symptoms associated with Bipolar Disorder. Helping the sufferer to cope and manage their inner turmoil.

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