What is Bipolar Disorder?
In medical field Manic Depression is referred to as Bipolar Disorder. It is also known as Bipolar Affective Disorder and Manic-Depressive Illness. This is a mood disorder falling in the same family of illnesses called affective disorders, better known as clinical depression. Men and women are equally affected by Bipolar Disorder unlike depression where women out number men.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings. Most forms of this disorder can be treated with medication and supportive psychotherapy.

What is Mania?
Mania is a mental disorder. It is characterized by abnormally and persistently elevated or irritable mood, lasting at least a week. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning, social activity and relationship with others. They might also need hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others.

During the period of mood disturbance, individuals usually experience some of the following symptoms to a significant degree:

Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
Decreased need for sleep
Talk more than usual
Experience racing thoughts
Difficulty concentrating
Laugh inappropriately and have inappropriate humor
Impaired judgment
Increased irritability
Impulsive behaviors

What is Hypomania?
Hypomania means mild mania. At times it is difficult to draw a distinct line between manic and hypo manic. Hypo manic episodes are often during adolescence and early adulthood. Except delusions associated features of mania are present in Hypomanic episodes. All other symptoms are generally less severe than they are in Manic Episodes.

What is the difference between euphoria and dysphoria?
Mania is basically of two types: euphoric and dysphoric. A person suffering from Bipolar disorder can experience both types. In euphoria, individuals feel high, in love with the world, one with the world, feel highly energitic, talk rapidly, their mind races and they are deluded with grandiose thoughts. This kind of mania is generally described in popular literature.

In dysphoria, another type of mania, individuals feel high but in a different sense. They feel agitated, become destructive, full of rage and talk rapidly, their mind races. They are deluded with grandiose thoughts, become paranoid, full of anxiety and panic-stricken.

What is Rapid Cycling?
Rapid cycling is a form of Bipolar Disorder. This disorder involves four or more complete mood cycles within a year's time. Some rapid-cyclers can complete a mood cycle in a matter of days, more rarely, in hours. Studies show that women are more likely to be diagnosed as rapid-cyclers than men.


What are delusions?
Literally delusions mean false beliefs. The DSM-IV (p. 763) defines a delusion as: A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary.

It's important that delusions be diagnosed considering cultural, social, and religious norms. People suffering from mania and depression may have delusions. Some of these might include delusions of reference, where the individual feels like events or objects. While others experience a particular and unusual significance. The individuals may also have grandiose delusions or delusions of persecution (such as paranoia).

What are hallucinations?
Hallucinations are sensory perceptions that occur without external stimulation of the relevant sensory organ. Hallucinations are different from illusions, in which an actual external stimulus is misperceived or misinterpreted.

Do I have an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety is a normal part of living. It’s a biological reaction—the body’s way of telling us something isn’t right. It keeps us from harm’s way and prepares us to act quickly in the face of danger. But if your anxiety becomes overwhelming and persistent, or if it interferes with your regular daily activities, or even makes them impossible, you may have an anxiety disorder.

What causes anxiety disorders?
Researchers are learning that anxiety disorders run in families, and that they have a biological basis, much like allergies or diabetes and other disorders. Anxiety disorders may develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Find out more.

What treatment options are available?
Treatments for anxiety disorders may include medication or therapy; both types have been found effective. A combination of medication and therapy may also be effective. The decision about treatment is based on your needs and preferences. Discuss your options with a professional who is familiar with your diagnosis and overall health. Scientific evidence is growing about complementary and alternative treatment, which is an approach to health care that exists outside conventional medicine practiced in the India.Consult a doctor or therapist to get a proper diagnosis and to learn about treatment options, length of treatment, side effects, time commitment, and other health issues to help you decide on the best treatment approach for you.

Is generalized anxiety disorder the same as general anxiety?
No: Generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD, is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things. People with this disorder experience exaggerated worry and tension, often expecting the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for concern. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. They don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants.

Anxiety, or general anxiety, is a normal reaction to stressful and uncertain situations. It’s your body telling you to stay alert and protect yourself.

Learn the difference between general anxiety about the economy and generalized anxiety disorder.

How effective are treatments? How long do they take?
Success of treatment varies, but most people with an anxiety disorder can be helped with professional care. Benefits of CBT are usually seen in 12 to 16 weeks. Medication may be a short-term or long-term treatment option, depending on severity of symptoms, other medical conditions and individual circumstances. It often takes time and patience to find the drug that works best for you. Treatment may be complicated if you have more than one anxiety disorder or if they suffer from depression, substance abuse, or other co-existing conditions. This is why treatment must be tailored specifically for each person.

How do I find the right health professional?
Anxiety disorders can be treated by a wide range of mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurses. Increasingly aware of the problems of anxiety disorders and depression, primary care physicians make frequent diagnoses, and they may prescribe medication or refer a patient to a mental health provider.

What kinds of medication are used for anxiety disorders?
Consult always first to your doctor / Medical practitioner. Medications will work only if they are taken according the explicit instructions of your physician, but they may not resolve all symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

Can I take medications while I’m pregnant?
Any treatment plan has risks and benefits, and for pregnant women, the risks are of particular concern. The effectiveness and safety of treating symptoms for anxiety disorders and depression differs for every woman. Talk to your doctor before beginning or changing any treatment plan.

What is the best way to treat children with anxiety disorders?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication are effective in treating children with anxiety disorders. Recent research found that a combination of CBT and an antidepressant worked better for children ages 7-17 than either treatment alone.

Because one child may respond better, or sooner, to a particular treatment than another child with the same diagnosis, it’s important to discuss with your doctor or therapist how to decide which treatment works best for your child and family lifestyle. Learn more.

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