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The Treatment, Diagnosis and Prognosis of Bipolar Disorder

Updated on January 31, 2016
Some victims experience both manic and depressive identifying factors.
Some victims experience both manic and depressive identifying factors. | Source
Most outsiders see a person full of creativity. Seeing all symptoms together helps to diagnose the condition.
Most outsiders see a person full of creativity. Seeing all symptoms together helps to diagnose the condition.

The typical patient goes for years without getting the correct treatment

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depressive disease. This is a psychiatric disease identified by persons exhibiting both manic and depression episodes of mental states. Although it sounds highly unusual, both are exhibited in the individuals this disorder preys upon. Having both of these conditions occurring at times almost simultaneously is what makes recognizing and getting these folks help a daunting task.

Various levels of manic and/or depressive episodes are generally running some sort of interference with normal life functioning. Treatment begins with identifying the illness which is misdiagnosed more often than most people realize. There is no cure for it, but managing the symptoms does mean living a more healthy and fruitful life.

The first step is knowing the complaint exists. A final determination is made using several steps.

Attempting to Diagnose

Mania and depression are both encountered by casualties. This is unusual for most mental illness conditions. Most subjects treated on the mental health side of track have either one or the other. Those professionals able to identify both the depression and mania are responsible for correctly diagnosing the illness and getting the right type of help for those who need it..

There no physical or diagnostic tests to perform which confirm the diagnosis. While other ailments are easily identified using tools such as a blood test,detection is often difficult and precarious. For countless patients an error is made which results in a misdiagnosis. This happens more often than most people realize.

Bipolar shows more than one face on any given day. Mental health professions admit this is not a one visit and done to determine if it exists. This approach is where slip ups occur in countless circumstances.


The likelihood of a patient being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia happens frequently. One of the characteristics of an acute manic episode is it mimics an episode of psychosis. This is not unusual for a victim left untreated with a severe condition. A healthcare professional mislabels it as schizophrenia. This is not the providers fault.

There is no ill intent. Though, the medication prescribed for the incorrect diagnosis is more than dangerous. In some cases it is lethal. More importantly the patient gets the wrong remedy and never gets better.

A different doctor sees another patient during a depressive episode and ties the characteristics displayed to depression. This is the other half of the same error in judgement coin.

Medication is prescribed and although the patient takes it for months, with the side effects and all there is no improvement.. This typically takes place when a patient is seen without manic episodes or if the manic episodes are few and far between the depressive ones.

Encounters of depression

Depression attacks are typically followed by a manic encounter. The circumstances are identified via a variety of signs. For instance, one of the depressive traits is a frame of mind which includes guilt for unknown reasons. Elements of general anxiety along with isolating themselves from friends and family are seen. A feeling of persistent hopelessness and extreme sadness are certainly not unusual. This person loses interest in anything. Even things previously enjoyable in their life. Chronic irritability and actual physical pain occurs. Extreme social anxiety and a suicidal outlook on life are common for these people.

Severe cases

Severe cases of this state of the disorder for patients are capable of resulting in delusions and hallucinations. All of these things, especially the delusions and hallucinations, account for the large numbers of misdiagnosed events. Major encounters typically run a minimum of two weeks, but it is possible for a continuation from six months to a year without treatment intervening to put a stop to the misery. Suicidal thoughts are always a possibility with this mental state of affairs.

Events of mania or manic

Mania is the opposite side. This is where patients believe they are cured of whatever ailment brought the depressive mood. This patient believes there is no longer any form of the illness existing. Countless medical staff have actually documented events as tied to creativity in people. Seen as normal individuals classified as goal striving, creative and realizing any objective they set. There is no holding them back from anything. Jumping in head first to all events full of gusto and motivation.

Severe episodes

Speech is pressured and unable to keep up with thoughts. Thoughts are racing and jumbled. Increased energy along with decreased needs for sleep as seen. There is generally and extremely reduced attention span for any one activity and easily distracted describes this form of severe mania .Patients sometimes go for days with little or no sleep at all while continuing to function at high levels in other aspects of daily lives. The beginning makes them capable of daily living, then the bottom drops out.

There are spending sprees without the ability to pay for items. One of the most dangerous symptoms is engaging in behavior described as risky for most people and abnormal for patient. It is possible substance abuse will occur during this interim. Individuals characteristically describe an emotional state as one of invincibility with grandiose or delusional ideas and concepts.

Substance abuse typically occurs

Substance abuse generally is accomplished using depressants such as alcohol, sleep medications and even an increased sex drive. Bipolar disease encounters in this stage are punctuated by extreme encounters of anxiety and irritability to the point of rage. It is characteristically at erratic times and periods.

Most people admit a state of mind of euphoria during manic episodes. Mania is defined as displaying these particular symptoms for a minimum of at least a week. However, there is a possibility to lasts for up to six months in some cases. Hypo mania victims are characteristically very functional for extreme periods of time.

Abusing substances is sometimes a quality during severe depression, but it is not the usual. The exceptional case will use alcohol or other forms of drugs, legal and illegal to ease the pain of guilt or calm the anxious moods swings.

Bouts of hypo mania

Hypo mania is different from regular forms of manic encounters. Although, it goes along with depression when diagnosing bipolar patients. This is a milder form of what is labeled as manic. The characteristics are extremely similar.

Signs are a decreased need for sleep, pressured speech and folks are generally seen as functional as opposed to mania victims. Highly productive patients are generally seen by outsiders, but they are unable to complete activities they start. There is increased creativity but also poor judgment and irritability.

An unusual occurrence is hyper sexuality shown for anyone hypo manic. Victims are less likely to have delusions and hallucinations than the average manic. This cycle of the sickness has many patients describing a mental state of overall happiness and nothing more. Hypo mania generally lasts a mere two weeks or sometimes up to several years for some. The most common incident is a few short months.

Mixed effective episodes of the sickness

Patients are known to experience both manic and depressive spells at the same time. This is identified as mixed effective disorder. Most common displays are along the lines of emotional states which put an individual in a tearful mood. The state of mind is also manic or racing thoughts with the same time.

Individuals admit a disposition close to frustration. Mental states at odds with each other are a serious combination. These are some of the most dangerous chapters of the disorder. Treatment is difficult during this time. It is if there is a boat inside continually rocking on a raging river of emotions.

The most dangerous

Although medical providers admit therapy helps, the medicinal side of it is a puzzle. There are a variety of medications for depression and mania. Knowing which ones or what particular combination is the most beneficial for a specific individual is where the exasperation lies.

Cases of manic and depressive attacks taking place at the same time are generally presented different from the other two syndromes. They have an enormously large cache of creativity and ideas along with a frame of mind which includes unfounded total and abject failure. Both are going on at the same time. Mixed states are also dangerous because there is an increase in panic encounters or attacks and an abuse of substances such as alcohol, Lots have suicide attempts during this state rather than severe depression alone.

There are natural remedies on the market today to treat some of the symptoms. Amazon is offering natural weight loss and mood stabilizing capsules. These are al

Mania and depression are the two faces of bipolar disorder

Anti convulsant and anti psychotic medications will generally be prescribed for bipolar disorders.
Anti convulsant and anti psychotic medications will generally be prescribed for bipolar disorders. | Source
Bipolar disorder is characterized with major manic and depressive episodes that occur
Bipolar disorder is characterized with major manic and depressive episodes that occur | Source


Physicians admit hypo-manic attacks are generally not the cause of any real issues or concerns in a patient's life. There is typically no outside influence responsible for the change in mood. In other words, medical intervention or supervision is not an immediate need. Therapy is the recommended course of treatment without medication is possible.

However, this particular kind of mania is often followed by depressive episodes which do need the direct attention of medical providers and medications. There are a number of individuals during a hypo-manic period with and admission of being unaware of specific events that for the duration of a specific time period. This alone is definitely a cause for concern in most cases.

Medication along with therapy is what most cases require. Prescriptions have their own personal issues and concerns. Most importantly there is no one med great for everyone. Therefore, the average patient must try more than one to get the correct dosages and prescription which works for them.

Psychological treatment

Psychological therapy is aimed at identifying triggers of episodes along with a reduction of negative expressed moods and emotions. Specifically they want reduction reflected in the patient’s relationships. Cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy and psycho education about handling it is provided during psychological remedies and treatment plans.

Medication remedies

Mood stabilizing medications are the most effective for medication intervention for bipolar disorder. Lithium is generally been the prescription medication of choice. However, there are serious side effects to this particular medication. Most of the side effects are physical and irreversible. The negative outweighs the positive benefits for most individuals. For this reason new medications have been introduced to the marketplaces. Innovative and new mood stabilizers without the extreme side effects are being seen in large numbers.

A combination of various drug therapies provided prevent manic episodes while they handle depressive episodes. Anticonvulsants work well for dealing with the medical issues as well as prescribing anti-psychotics. Surprisingly anti-depressants historically have not provided the benefits seen with anticonvulsant medications or anti-psychotic medications in most instances.


The condition of bipolar disorder is severely disabling. Most cases live a long life which is extremely satisfying if correctly diagnosed and treated. A good prognosis is dependent upon finding the right medications, dosage and medical providers with a comprehensive knowledge of manic depression. Good physical health contributes to the good prognosis. Exercise, diet and regulated stress levels also contribute to the outlook being more positive.

Symptoms preceding a relapse for most patients into an episode can be reliability identified for patients with the disorder. Episodes related to mania show an increase in symptoms from mild to severe as the manic episodes unfold. Teaching patients coping strategies in therapy have achieved very positive success. Suicide for bipolar patients is 20 times more likely than the average person making diagnosis and treatment a priority for anyone agonizing from bipolar disorder.

The average patient suffers for months even years before getting treated

Misdiagnosis does happen. The average case waits up to 10 years for the right label. Over the last several years this average lag in treatment or misdiagnosis is not decreasing even with the increased public awareness of the disorder or disease. There is no recovery or cure for those folks with the ailment. However, identifying it along with finding professional help to handle it helps achieve a more “normal” life for most people

Pregnancy and the disease

Treatment during pregnancy is extremely dangerous. Medications are closely regulated as well as mood and state of mind. Hormones play tricks on the body and the mind and when combined with bipolar disorder anything is possible.
Treatment during pregnancy is extremely dangerous. Medications are closely regulated as well as mood and state of mind. Hormones play tricks on the body and the mind and when combined with bipolar disorder anything is possible.

Things change in a matter of minutes


A problem is unpredictability when moods possibly change and there is an unknown factor of how long each will last. This is a clash with everyday life. The correct state of mind in the correct circumstance is required for social acceptability.

Any patient is possible of having one or more mood changes within a matter of hours, days or months, depending upon the disease is labeled as casualty. Having four or more of these occurrences for four months out of the year or more, lasting up to six months is described as rapid recycling. Medical professionals give these cases the diagnosis of bipolar..

Some patients have the disease identification complicated by other medical conditions they along with this one. Countless seem to have coincidental conditions such as an obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, panic disorders, general anxiety with ADD or attention deficit disorder. Substance abuse usually predates the symptoms of the ailment which also complicates diagnosing.

Substance abuse is an issue because it must be determined as to whether or not this is a cause or an effect.

A survival guide to living with the condition is available from Amazon

Unfortunately most people begin to see the signs as early as the teen years. There have been more less fortunate looking at it in early child hoodh

Bipolar disorder characteristically begins manifestation in childhood or early adolescence. However, because the first few attacks are depression without the mania, it is possible to label it as depression in error. Treatment for the depressive occurrences alone will not deal with the illness adequately and patients will not receive the full onslaught of care needed to live anywhere close to a normal life. Mood stabilizing prescription medication along with psychotherapy is the most effective form of dealing with it for sufferers.

Catching a look at a hypo manic episode on film

Prognosis looks good with the right help

The prognosis for sufferers is more than fair. This is certainly true for any person seeking medical attention from professionals trained in the treatment of the disease. For a number of folks this means possibly getting therapy or medication remedies for years. Countless come to rely on these types of treatment remedies for decades or even the remainder of life. Though the alternative is almost unbearable mental anguish and suffering with consequences which are terrible.

Patients without treatment become entangled in rocky or non existent personal relationships with family and friends. Trouble with the law or a danger to themselves or others by engaging in risky behavior like drug or alcohol abuse.

In conclusion

Connecting with a support system and following proper medical advice is the first step in gaining control over the disease. It is also the right way to live with this kind of mental health disorder.

More than a fair share of the population with mental illness suffers from this in one form or another. That being said, the treatment and prognosis has continued to climb in the positive direction continually over the years and will continue to do so. Patients are living happier and healthier lives now more than any other time in the history of the disease.

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    • profile image

      quildon 6 years ago

      Lots of great information in this hub.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      It's a devastating disease, when untreated.