Bipolar 1 Disorder

Bipolar 1 Disorder: An Overview

Bipolar 1 disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme emotional highs and lows. This disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness because periods of mania are often followed by periods of depression. It affects about 2.8% of adults in the United States, or about 5.7 million people.

Bipolar 1 disorder is a serious condition which requires lifelong treatment. Medications can help to stabilize symptoms, but lifestyle changes can also play an important role in managing the disorder. With treatment and support, people with bipolar 1 disorder can lead productive lives.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar 1 Disorder

The signs and symptoms of bipolar 1 disorder can vary from person to person, but they generally involve dramatic fluctuations in mood, energy, and activity levels. There are two distinct phases of this disorder: manic episodes and depressive episodes.

  • Manic episodes: Manic episodes are periods of abnormally high energy, impulsive behavior, and elevated mood. People experiencing a manic episode may be more talkative and have racing thoughts. They may also have difficulty sleeping, be more impulsive or irritable, and engage in risky behavior.
  • Depressive episodes: Depressive episodes involve low energy levels, sadness, and a general loss of interest in most activities. People experiencing depression may feel an intense sense of hopelessness and have difficulty concentrating.

Treatment for Bipolar 1 Disorder

The treatment for bipolar 1 disorder generally involves a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Medications can help to stabilize mood swings and reduce the frequency and severity of episodes. Common medications used for treating bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants.

Psychotherapy can also be a helpful component of treatment. Therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy can help to address problematic thoughts and behaviors associated with the disorder. In addition, connecting with support groups and engaging in self-care activities such as exercise and healthy eating can also help to manage bipolar 1 disorder.