Bipolar disorder is a disorder that often is confused with depression. People with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called “mood episodes.” Each mood episode represents a drastic change from a person’s usual mood and behavior. An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode, and an extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe and are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time.
There are two types of Bipolar disorder. Bipolar I (pronounced bipolar one), has the individual cycling through mood episodes of depression and mania. Bipolar II (pronounced bipolar two), has individuals primarily feeling depressed but then experiencing a lower level of mania periodically. In either case, the potential for the individual engaging in risky types of behavior is a concern.
Treatment needs to begin with an accurate diagnosis. Talk therapy aids in the process of defining the type of bipolar someone may be experiencing, if indeed it is present. With an appropriate diagnosis and psychiatric evaluation, possible medicinal intervention can also be rendered to moderate symptoms. This can free the individual from suffering debilitating consequences of untreated bipolar disorder.