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Q: What is Bipolar Disorder?

A: Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic-depressive illness, is a disorder of the brain that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives. Bipolar disorder is a treatable mental disorder. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, nearly six million adult Americans are affected by bipolar disorder. It usually begins in late adolescence (often appearing as depression during the teen years), although it can start in early childhood or later in life. An equal number of men and women develop this disorder (men tend to begin with a manic episode, women with a depressive episode), and it is found among all ages, races, ethnic groups and social classes. The disorder tends to run in families and appears to have a genetic link like depression and other serious illnesses.

According to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5, some symptoms include the follow:

Symptoms of Mania (Manic Episode)

  • Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
  • Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence
  • Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
  • Grandiose thoughts, inflated sense of self-importance
  • Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
  • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, distractibility
  • Reckless behavior
  • In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations

Symptoms of Depression (Depressive Episode)

  • Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Bipolar disorder is a very treatable Mental Illness and there are many FDA approved medications for management of Bipolar Disorder. Dr. Gajwani has expertise in management for bipolar disorder and has participated in many clinical trials and studies that refine treatment for bipolar disorder.

We hope the information provided was helpful to you. Please call to discuss further at (281) 778-9530.

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