My mother is bipolar can this be passed on to me or my son? I have heard it is possible! If anyone knows the sign to look for please post it, Thank you!
Bipolar disorder involves periods of excitability (mania) alternating with periods of depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very abrupt. Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It usually appears between ages 15 - 25. The exact cause is unknown, but it occurs more often in relatives of people with bipolar disorder. It results from disturbances in the areas of the brain that regulate mood. There are two primary types of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder I have had at least one fully manic episode with periods of major depression. In the past, bipolar disorder I was called manic depression.
People with bipolar disorder II seldom experience full-fledged mania. Instead they experience periods of hypomania (elevated levels of energy and impulsiveness that are not as extreme as the symptoms of mania). These hypomanic periods alternate with episodes of major depression.
The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:Agitation or irritation; elevated mood; hyperactivity; increased energy; lack of self-control; racing thoughts; inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities); little need for sleep; over-involvement in activities; poor temper control; reckless behavior; binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use; impaired judgment; sexual promiscuity; spending sprees; and a tendency to be easily distracted.
Symptoms of mania are seen with bipolar disorder I. In people with bipolar disorder II, hypomanic episodes involve similar symptoms that are less intense.
The depressed phase of both types of bipolar disorder involves very serious symptoms of major depression: difficulty concentrating,remembering, or making decisions; eating disturbances, loss of appetite and weight loss; overeating and weight gain; fatigue or listlessness; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and/or guilt; loss of self-esteem; persistent sadness; persistent thoughts of death; sleep disturbances; excessive sleepiness; inability to sleep; suicidal thoughts; withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed; and withdrawal from friends.
There is a high risk of suicide with bipolar disorder. While in either phase, patients may abuse alcohol or other substances, which can worsen the symptoms.
Sometimes there is an overlap between the two phases. Manic and depressive symptoms may occur simultaneously or in quick succession in what is called a mixed state.
I work at a psych hospital so I am fairly knowledgeable with bipolar disorder. I hope this helps. If you have any concern that you or a loved is bipolar then you should have them see a therapist who can make an accurate diagnosis. Good luck.
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