In today's society there are many different psychological disorders that people face on a daily basis. Often times the individuals know they even have the disorder until someone else recognizes it. One particular disorder is the Bipolar disorder. It has many different classifications and definitions, symptoms, and treatments. It is very important to notice this disorder in its beginning stages so it can be controlled. The bipolar disorder has often been classified and defined by many different terms.

Its been also known a manic depressive illness, characterized by extreme and disabling highs, considered to be mania, and low points, known as depression. It effects a considerable amount of Americans, which usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood and continues through life. Its been proved that many individuals who have this disorder experience multiple manic episodes, and even end their lives in suicide. The disorder is distinguished from Major Depressive Disorder by the presence of manic or hypo manic episodes. It comes from Schizoaffectice Disorder by the absence of psychotic symptoms, such as delusions, hallucination's, during periods of stable mood. This disorder has a wide spectrum of disorders.

One that includes in the spectrum is its beginning stage of Bipolar One. Bipolar One is characterized by a past of a least one manic episode, and usually depressive episodes. The next stage is Bipolar Two is characterized by the hypo manic episodes taking turns with depressive episodes. Cyclothymia is characterized by highs which satisfy some, but not all criteria for hypomania and lows which satisfy some but not all criteria for depression. The wide variety of symptoms include a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least one week or any duration if hospitalization if it becomes necessary. During the period of mood disturbance, three or more of the following symptoms have persisted, four if the mood is only irritable and have been present to a significant degree: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep and only feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep.

The symptoms also include the desire to be more talkative then usual or pressure to keep talking, flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing, , increase in goal directed activity, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences, and many more. Doctors and researchers do not know exactly what causes bipolar disorder. But a variety of biologic, genetic and environmental factors seem to be involved in causing and triggering episodes of the disorder. Evidence indicates that differences in the chemical messengers between nerve cells in the brain, also called neurotransmitters, occur in people who have bipolar disorder. In many cases people with the bipolar disorder may have genetic disposition for the disorder. The abnormality may be in genes that regulate neurotransmitters.

Factors that may contribute to or trigger episodes of bipolar disorder include drug abuse and stressful or psychologically traumatic events. It has been concluded that the bipolar disorder tends to run in families. A family history appears to exist in most cases of bipolar disorder. Researchers are attempting to identify genes that may make people susceptible to the bipolar disorder.

Your doctor may ask you or a family member who has accompanied you about your signs and symptoms and to describe apparent episodes of mania and depression. Diagnosis also involves ruling out other mental health conditions that may produce some symptoms similar to bipolar disorder. These may include other mood disorders, sometimes schizophrenia, attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder or borderline personality disorder. Other problems, such as anxiety disorder or alcoholism, may affect people with bipolar disorder. The length, severity and frequency of mood swings vary from person to person. In about 15 percent of people with bipolar disorder, there is rapid cycling, with more frequent and shorter periods of mood disturbance.

It's also possible for mania and depression to be present at the same time. In this mixed state, you may experience combinations of agitation, disturbances in sleep and appetite, suicidal thoughts and psychosis. Psychosis is a major mental disorder in which the personality is disorganized and contact with reality is impaired, often including auditory hallucinations and delusions. Medication and psychotherapy are the main treatments.

Occasionally, electro convulsive therapy (ECT) also is used. Most people with bipolar disorder take medication to regulate their moods. Lithium (Eskalith, Litho bid) has been widely used as a mood stabilizer. Also used widely as a mood regulator are the anti seizure medications acid (Dep akene) and (Depakote).

Sometimes, doctors also use antidepressant medications to treat bipolar disorder. These may include (Paxil), (Prozac, Sara fem), (Zoloft) or (Wellbutrin, Zyban), among others. In other circumstances, doctors may use antipsychotic medications such as (Risperdal), (Zyprexa) or (Seroquel), among others. You may need to take medications for several weeks before they reach their full effect.

This approach is often used with medication. Your therapist will help you detect patterns leading up to episodes of bipolar disorder, trying to identify triggers for the episodes. These patterns might include your use of medications or anything that happens to you physically or emotionally. Psychotherapy helps provide strategies for managing stress and coping with uncertainties. This, along with basic education about the nature of the disorder, helps you understand why you may well need to keep taking medication over many years. Doctors use this form of treatment mainly for episodes of major depression associated with suicidal tendencies or when using medication has proved to be ineffective.

In this treatment, electrodes are taped to your head. Then, while you " re anesthetized and after you " ve received a muscle relaxant, a small amount of electrical current is passed through your brain for less than a second. This current produces a brain seizure, but because of the muscle relaxant your body remains calm. ECT profoundly affects brain metabolism and blood flow to various areas of the brain.

But how that correlates to easing depression remains unknown. ECT works quickly usually showing a response after several treatments, generally within the first week and significantly lowers the risks of untreated depression, including suicide. People with bipolar disorder often don't recognize how impaired they are when experiencing a mood episode and how greatly the disorder is affecting their lives and the lives of others. Friends, family and primary care physicians are important in recognizing possible signs of bipolar disorder and urging the person to seek professional help.

If a family member or friend shows the apparent signs of bipolar disorder, encourage that person to seek the care of a psychiatrist.