Symptoms and Signs of Bipolar Disorder: Who Does It Affect?

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Bipolar Disorder: Who Does It Affect?

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a psychiatric diagnosis that includes episodes with both mood changes and altered activity or energy. Signs and symptoms of BD are two major behavioral episodes that may cycle in an individual; Mania and/or Depression. Mania episodes may present as reckless behavior (feel indestructible, full of energy, starts tasks but seldom finishes any, pressured speech, driving a car recklessly, stealing, an increase in sexual affairs, for example). Most persons in this phase of BD cause friends and relatives concern but the BD affected person denies any problems and refuses to see a medical caregiver. Over half of BD patients with a maniac episode will follow with a depressive episode (crying spells, sadness, guilt, forget about personal hygiene, become withdrawn from friends and family); some individuals contemplate suicide (a medical/psychiatric emergency).

The causes of Bipolar disorder are not fully understood; there are theories about multiple gene involvement and chemical imbalances in the brain. Currently, there is no definitive cause(s), only theories.

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REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.