Bipolar Disorder - Family Therapy interventions which have...

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BIPOLAR DISORDER What is Bipolar Disorder? We all experience changes in moods from time to time depending on events we go through in life. But when these mood swings become more dramatic and severe, and impair a person’s ability to function as usual at work, school, or in relationships, it may indicate the presence of a serious mood disorder. Bipolar disorder, previously known as Manic-Depressive Illness, is a mental disorder that is characterized by severe mood swings cycling between periods of intense “highs” (mania or hypomania) and periods of intense “downs” (depression). In mania, the individual experiences elevated perhaps extremely good mood, elation, or highly irritable mood that lasts for at least one week. This considerable increase in mood is accompanied by high levels of energy, combined with a noticeable decreased need for sleep. The individual usually has a boost in self-esteem, tends to talk more and faster, experiences racing thoughts, and is easily distracted. Mania is also characterized by an increase in goal-oriented activities, and often leads to excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., excessive and irrational spending, sexual indiscretions, reckless driving). In more severe forms, mania can be accompanied by psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions, and almost always requires hospitalisation. Hypomania, a milder form of mania, causes less impairment but can often go unnoticed for several years before receiving appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
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