Bipolar Disorder Facts

All You Need To Know About...

Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder touches thousands of people every day.  Fortunately, if diagnosed properly, it is a controllable illness.  Bipolar nursing care plans can focus on treatment of both the manic phase (a high period), and the depression phase (a low period).

Bipolar disorder frequently begins in late adolescence, although it can begin at any age. This illness is not gender-specific, meaning it affects both males and females equally.  Additionally, it is noticed in all races, ethnic groups and social classes. Furthermore, bipolar disorder displays a genetic link and therefore oftentimes can be observed in family members.


Common Goals of Nursing Care Plans
  • Reduce the severity of the illness;
  • Reduce the likelihood of future episodes and relapses;
  • Lesson the symptoms of both the depression and manic episodes;
  • Provide assistance and support to patients and family.

Common Bipolar Disorder Treatments
  • Medications, which can include mood stabilizers, antidepressants (which can be utilized in combination with a mood stabilizer for individuals experiencing depressive episodes) and antipsychotics (which are used primarily to deal with mania);
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT);
  • Dietary supplements;
  • Talk therapy, or psychotherapy. Talk therapy is talking with a mental health professional about your situation including your condition, your relationships with other individuals, and how you feel about yourself.  This trained professional can help you learn how to assess your thoughts and feelings;
  • Support groups and treatment facilities.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder, which is also referred to as manic depression, is often characterized by extreme swings in mood, energy, thoughts and behavior.  In general, those with this illness often go through periods of extreme highs and lows. Extreme highs are called periods of mania and extreme lows are called periods of depression.

Examples of symptoms of the “high" periods include:
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Higher levels of physical energy
  • Utmost irritability
  • A greater sense of self-worth and self-confidence
  • The pace of speech become faster than normal
  • Reckless behavior, which can relate to impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations and delusions
Examples of symptoms of the “low” periods include:
  • Dimished energy, enduring lethargy
  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying fits
  • Unneeded worrying
  • Lessened appetite
  • A sense of indifference
  • Withdrawal from all social interactions or situations
  • Ideas of death or suicide

bipolar nursing care plans

Bipolar I and II - What Are The Differences?

The nature and severity and patterns of symptoms of the highs and lows ascertain the different types of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar I Disorder

This disorder is characterized by one or more high (manic) episodes or mixed episodes (symptoms of both a mania (high) and a depression (low) going on virtually every day for at least 1 week) and one or more major depressive spells.

Bipolar I disorder is the most severe form of the illness marked by extreme manic periods.

Bipolar II Disorder

This illness is characterized by one or more depressive (low) episode accompanied by at least one hypomanic episode.

Hypomanic episodes have symptoms similar to manic episodes but are less severe, but must be clearly in contrast from an individual's non-depressed mood.

It is crucial to note that for some people, hypomanic episodes are not severe enough to induce notable problems in social activities or work.

Bipolar Disorder in Children

Symptoms of bipolar disorder may be difficult to recognize in children, as they can be mistaken for emotions and behaviors frequently detected in children and adolescents. Symptoms of mania and depression might appear in a variety of behaviors.

When experiencing low episodes, there may be such symptoms as headaches, stomach aches, reduced performance in school, poor communication, extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure and feeling lethargic.

Likewise, when experiencing high episodes, children are more likely to be irritable and prone to destructive patterns.  Not like adults, they may not feel elated or euphoric.

Get Help

Please know that you cannot diagnose yourself - only a properly trained health practionaire can stipulate if you have bipolar disorder.  Therefore, all symptoms should be addressed with your health care specialist.  Bipolar disorder is a lifelong medical condition that can be managed effectively to allow a person affected by this illness to live a long, happy and prolonged life.



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