Author: James Isabella

Analyzing the Causes of Bipolar Disorder

The causes of bipolar disorder have always brought a lot of confusion to many people. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, is a mental illness that causes rapid mood changes, irritability and high levels of anxiety. Since it has a direct effect on the various functions of the brain, this disorder greatly influences the way a person thinks, acts and feels. It can cause a high-level of frustration and aggravation to a person who experiences a manic depressive episode. Some episodes of mania and depression may happen irregularly and can last for weeks and months.

Bipolar disorder is a very serious illness, there are many information and theories on what causes this disease but there are some factors that can help explain how people can get this disease. There has been some evidence that bipolar disorder can be inherited. This is issue asserts that first degree relatives in families with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop and experience mood disorders than people who do not have this disorder in the family. In the same way, when a twin has a mood disorder, then the other twin has a greater chance to contract the illness. Researchers have also discovered that biochemical imbalances of the hormones and some neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and acetylcholine have been linked in triggering some of the symptoms of bipolar mania and depression. Another aspect that professionals are also considering is the role of the environment and stress in the development of bipolar disorder. Stressful life events like a death of loved one, loss of a job or the birth of a child can cause the beginning of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Analyzing the causes of bipolar disease warrants a lot of research in order to truly explain this illness. What is important is to show understanding and concern to the patient who is experiencing this disorder. In this great time of need, you should be able to exercise patience and strength in order to care for the patient.

Are You Bi-Polar?

If I were you,
What would I do?
If I were you,
I wouldn't be so nasty.

You lose your friends,
You wonder why. One day you're up,
the next day you're down. The slightest
thing, makes you so happy. The smallest event
makes you so angry. You cry, you laugh, you get angry
so fast, you're never even-tempered, it's hard to deal with.
What can you do?

Go to a doctor, I beg you to.
You can be helped, I promise you.
Look in the mirror, and mimic yourself.
You may be Bi-Polar, find out what to do. No doubt, you basically are a wonderful person,
So pleae get help, and find out what you can do.

CBD as an Alternative Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder affects between 1 and 2% of the people in this world. This means 80 million people suffering from this disease. Many researchers studied this uncommon problem, and there are some treatments available today.

However, as we are talking about medical solutions, they might not be suitable for everyone. Many patients that used to take strong anti-depressants are not comfortable with these pills anymore, and they are looking for an alternative treatment. CBD has been claimed to be very efficient in treating this problem, and studies show it can be a great alternative to medical solutions.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a medical condition in which people have sudden mood changes from one minute to another, as the brain cannot regulate the production of some neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA. We all have these mood changes at some point. Still, polar disorder means significant changes in this mood, leading to the incapacity of the patient to perform everyday activities.

It is impossible to establish the exact cause of this medical condition, but you can find medical treatments for this problem. Of course, if the medical treatment is not enough, you can always consider completing it with food supplements, exercise and a lot of support from your family. Along all these, you can also consider CBD as an alternative, just like many other people tried and had good results.

CBD and Bipolar Disorder

Cannabidiol or CBD is known to protect the brain from the damage that comes with age. It has beneficial effects on the neuronal function, helping the patient to have more stable thoughts during the day.

Unfortunately, cannabinoids are considered food supplements in the majority of countries where people can buy CBD oil. It is why we can’t find many studies about the real medical benefits of CBD. However, an American research and clinical trials proved the positive effect of cannabinoids on the brain of people who have bipolar disorder.

CBD vs THC in treating bipolar disorder

Many CBD oils are known to contain THC in small quantities. This is a problem, as THC can make this condition worse. It is why you should look for the Broad Spectrum CBD, which is double refined oil without any trace of THC.

Unlike other diseases such as cancer and anxiety, where the Full Spectrum CBD is suited, CBD is the only useful substance for bipolar. It is why Broad Spectrum is the right choice in this matter.

Broad Spectrum CBD is preferred by people who often take drug tests; in this way, they eliminate the risks of failing the test.

CBD And Medicine For Bipolar Disorder

The bi-Polar disorder comes with many additional health problems, some of them connected with the neuronal function of the brain. Even if CBD is efficient in some ways to treat this condition, you should not consider it as the only solution. Ask your doctor if you can take CBD for your problem and don’t replace your daily medication with CBD if your doctor does not approve it.

Different Bipolar Medications


Do you have bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder is a mental illness where a person’s mood and energy is compromised. Also, if not treated properly, it will greatly affects one’s ability to function. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. In this illness, there are four types of mood episodes, mania, depression, hypomania and mixed expression. Although patient manifests symptoms differently, it should be treated to avoid inevitable circumstances brought about by the disease. There different medications involved in the treatment of bipolar disorder which comprise of lithium, anticonvulsant mood stabilizers, antidepressant medications, antipsychotic medications and more.

Lithium is a mood stabilizer that helps control the mood episodes of the patient and it takes one to two weeks before the medication takes its full effect. It is usually prescribed in cases like mania and depression. Although, it effectiveness is not achieved with mixed mood episodes. A patient taking lithium is normally asked by physicians to have a regular blood test as accumulation of the medicine in the blood beyond its normal limits can be fatal. Common side effects of lithium include weight gain, drowsiness, tremor, stomach pain, diarrhea, vertigo and excessive thirst. But these adverse reactions are normally experienced by patient taking lithium and will eventually disappear.

Anticonvulsant mood stabilizers helps relieve the symptoms of mania and decrease mood swings. The most common anticonvulsant mood stabilizer is the Valproic acid which treats symptoms caused by mania, depression and mixed mood swings. Also, it sometimes recommended to patients who can’t tolerate the side effects caused by lithium. The common adverse reaction of this medication include drowsiness, weight gain, dizziness, tremor, diarrhea and nausea.

There are some instances where bipolar disorders, especially when not controlled, can cause patient to lose tract of reality. If patients complain of halluciantions or paranoia, they are usually prescribed with antipsychotic medications. it is often combined with mood stabilizers. Adverse reactions that patients might manifest while taking the drug include drowsiness, weight gain, dry mouth, constipation, sexual dysfunction and blurred vision.

Other medications include benzodiazepines, calcium channel blockers and thyroid medications. There are some instances that antidepressants will be prescribed, however, its effect on a patient’s mood swings is quite controversial. So, it is advised to take it with caution as it aggravates the symptoms.

On the other hand, bipolar medication should not be taken alone. For total recovery from the illness, medications should be taken with healthy lifestyle, exercise and a support group. Also, the combination of these medications without advised from the doctor can be very fatal. So, to avoid such circumstances, consult your physician to discuss with you the treatment plan.

Bipolar in Children: Signs & Help

Does your child display mood swings? Are you concerned that your child may have bipolar disorder? To help understand the signs of bipolar disorder and what type of help is available for bipolar children, I have interviewed therapist Jessica Ives, MA, NCC, LCPC.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a Child and Family Therapist and work at Life Counseling Center in Easton, MD. I specialize in children using play therapy. I am currently being trained to be a RPT (Registered Play Therapist) through the Association for Play Therapists. I’ve been married for 12 years and have 2 children.”

What are the signs and symptoms of bipolar in children?
“There are many signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder in children but the confusing part is that these symptoms can also look like many other things as well. It’s important to get a diagnosis from a professional because bipolar disorder in children is difficult to diagnose. Some of the very common symptoms are rages, oppositional behavior, frequent mood swings, ADHD, restlessness, aggressiveness, depressed mood, risk taking behaviors, anxiety, racing thoughts, and low self esteem.”

What type of impact does bipolar have on a child’s life?
“Bipolar disorder can have a major impact on children. Children who suffer without treatment do worse in school, social situations, and have difficulty in the family dynamic. Without treatment kids can feel isolated, different, bad, or just not able to control themselves.”

What type of help is available for children who have bipolar?
“Help is available for children with bipolar. The first step is getting a diagnosis and getting treatment. A therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist can typically diagnose bipolar disorder. The child’s pediatrician can sometimes be the first step to getting help as well. They can often steer a parent in the right direction. A child with bipolar disorder needs medication and counseling.”

What advice would you like to give to a parent who has a bipolar child?
“Bipolar Disorder in a child is not the end of the world. There is help available but it is important to be consistent in getting the child treatment. Many parents just stop after their child seems better. Children need consistency, structure, and many attainable goals for them to keep focused. Bipolar disorder is manageable.”

Thank you Jessica for doing the interview on bipolar children. For more information on Jessica Ives or her work you can check out her website on www.jessicaives.com.

Recommended Readings:
Tips For Identifying Bipolar Disorder in Your Teen
Bipolar Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder

Letting Go of a Bipolar Family Member

Letting go of a family member with bipolar is a very hard thing to do but it is not as hard as one might think it is. Your household will go from chaos to peacefulness somewhat in just a few short weeks, once you all have adjusted to it. The first few days if you have children will be hard, as they will miss the other parent but they will soon figure it out, that the chaos that parent created is gone now as well.

Once your household settles down you will wonder what took you so long to let them go, you will feel the peace that has returned. You will sleep better, and feel better in so many ways after the initial shock is over.

Letting go of the bipolar parent means totally letting go, not accompanying them to counseling appointments, the store or letting them do anything for you. By having anything to do with that bipolar parent, you are giving them false hope of getting back together, if you do not have any plans to let them back into your life.

Cutting off all ties means all ties, and I mean all of them. Sign off any joint accounts if possible, get the house switched into your name only, and walk away with your head held high. You owe this to your children, who should not have to see their other parent take a downward spiral into mental psychosis that is so deep and very to scary for any children to see.

You owe it to your children to give them the best childhood possible and it is far better for them to remember their bipolar parent the way they before the mental illness began changing them in such a profound way. Children deserve as happy as a childhood that we can possibly make for them, and this does not mean trying to be two parents. Sugar coating the other parents' actions or behaviors for your children should not be done, nor should you put the bipolar parent down in front of the children in any shape. Trust me those children will see much more from the bipolar parent and they will draw their own conclusions. Children often clearly see which parent cares more for their safety and well-being.

Our family, as in the kids and I had to let go of their father because of his bipolar illness. He would often skip his medicine, thinking he no longer needed it, this became a huge problem for all of us to deal with, and I speak for my self as well as my children.

My youngest child is the only one who currently had anything to do with their father, but after many broken promises, he too is seeing that perhaps he needs to let go as well. As sad as it might be, he realizes that his father cannot really care for him or be the type of father he wishes him to be. That is what happens when you promise weekend visits and only actually show up once a month to get a child for visit time.

It is harder for this youngest son, because he was really too young to remember how his father was before the illness took over. My older children remember well, how this illness has taken a decent hard worker who had little time for them because of work, to a mean spirited man who yelled at everything they did.

He could not keep a job in the last few years we spend together as a family, so he took any job he could find, often sitting home collecting unemployment, and drinking. He would leave a job within a year because he did not like it often leaving the family without an income.

It seemed as if he thought he could come and go from our lives easily, often leaving for a few months and wanting back in to be a family. After the third time in as many years, I put my foot down and began a new life, a new life that did not include him. He was shocked to say the least when I told him no the last time, but he quietly went away and started his own new life.

I realized that by trying to keep the family together and helping a bipolar patient who did not want help were the wrong things to do. Once I cut all personal ties with my ex husband he also by choice cut all ties with our children, which is a shame in many ways, but now they are able to have friends over and are able to enjoy a peaceful home.

Manage your own manic episodes


One little benefit manic disorder can give you is that you can control it. If you’re someone with mania, you sure know how you tend to have lots of manic energy. The good thing is… you can channel the excess energy to monitor what you feel and how you feel.

With this information, you can now use your energy to calm yourself down and reduce it. The power of mind is always greater even in your manic attacks. You must think and learn to monitor yourself so in time, you will be able to efficiently manage your mania.

But there are points to remember to be able to successfully do this. At the onset of a manic episode, you should catch it while it is mild. Naturally, the more manic you get, the harder it is to keep calm and the lesser you want to be calm.

Relax. Isolate. And Keep quiet.

You have to accept that any manic sign is a bad thing. Although it will make you feel good and superior on any situation, having it is not okay. Being able to manage it is not a treatment. Rather, it is a way of allowing yourself to manage your own manic and to keep you from being involved in arguments and other silly acts.

You only do this on a manic episode. Living a normal life with no manic disorder is a different thing. Managing it will give you an immediate solution on how to deal with the problem once it occurs. And again, stopping it will require you to constantly monitor your mood. Once you catch yourself with manic attacks, stop these.

Stop an argument. Stop shouting. Stop physical violence. Stop spending money. Stop driving. Stop making important decisions.

Know that in the end, once you learn how to completely control these episodes, you will become more productive. And that’s what matters most.

Schedules and Your Bipolar Child: How Sleeping and Eating Effect Moods

Early onset bipolar disorder in children is similar to bipolar disorder that adults experience except for that fact that children may experience rapid shifts in moods on a daily basis. Children with bipolar symptoms like this also experience low arousal states in the morning with increased energy in the afternoon and evenings. Because of these symptoms, keeping your child on a schedule can help them learn how to cope with their disorder.

Many children with bipolar disorder are unable to calm down at night and fall asleep. Their energy levels are much higher than children who do not have bipolar disorder. Parents need to recognize that in order to avoid irritability, angry outbursts and other defiant behavior, adjusting your home to accommodate your bipolar child is in everyone's best interests. Some doctors may prescribe a sleep medication but often that can be avoided by trying some other methods to make your child's space more conductive to sleep.

Keeping a routine is essential for patients who have bipolar, not just children. If a parent of a bipolar child teaches them soon after diagnosis how to keep a schedule, they will grow up with it as a way of life. Living a chaotic life only makes the symptoms of bipolar harder to deal with.

The first thing for a parent to do is to create an environment for their child that is free of distractions. Their bedroom should be free of video game systems, television and any other electronic device that they could use to distract themselves from sleeping. If you do not want to remove their television from their bedroom just make it a rule that it is not turned on after a certain time. Calming music can help a child wind down so using an iPod, CD player or even a radio is something that a bipolar child should have in their bedroom.

Lighting is another issue. Room darkening blinds or curtains can help to keep distractions down. Room temperature also needs to be considered. A small fan sometimes helps to drown out noise and lull a child into sleep. Many bipolar children have issues with being overly sensitive to fabrics. Comfort is essential in whether or not you can fall asleep and stay asleep. Don't assume that buying a pillowtop for your child's bed will make it more comfortable for them. Some bipolar children prefer a harder surface to sleep on. Have them shop with you for their blankets, pillows, sheets and anything else that will help them to be able to feel comfortable.

Using an all-natural sleep aid like Melatonin can help with many bipolar children. You should ask your doctor about this before giving it to your child but many parents see a difference in how their child falls asleep and awakens when taking this supplement.

Another routine that needs to be enforced is regular meals. Getting a bipolar child to eat a good breakfast when they have difficulty in awakening may seem impossible but it will help greatly. Aim for something whole grain that will be filling and provide energy in the mornings when they need it the most. Even a grab and go breakfast like a bagel will give them the benefits of having breakfast. It is already proven that children do better in school when they start their day off by eating breakfast.

Watching their sugar and especially caffeine intake is important also. Encourage healthier snacking by keeping fruits and vegetables handy. Cut back on "bad" foods and eventually, they will not miss them. Make sure they eat meals even if they are not hungry. Smaller portions at frequent intervals may work better when it is possible to do so.

These are just two things to consider when working on a schedule for a bipolar child. Paying more attention to their sleeping and eating will show a big difference in their moods. It will make dealing with your bipolar child easier.

Bipolar Disorder, Fear of Harm, Medication Symptoms and Accommodations

http://www.bpkids.org/learn/library/facts-about-bipolar-disorder

Could You Be Bipolar?

About two months ago I was diagnosed with bipolar syndrome. While this worried me I felt relieved… finally, an explanation for the constant emotional rollercoaster. Could you be suffering from this syndrome?

Most people have emotional ups and downs, but people that suffer from bipolar syndrome can't control these extreme emotional changes. One day you might feel extremely down, tired, despondent. Nothing seems to go right and the slightest problem leaves you feeling like nothing will be right again. The next day you might feel full of energy and creativity and might start acting a little reckless. Many that suffer from bipolar syndrome go on shopping sprees, embarrass themselves in public by doing things they wouldn't normally do, stay awake all night because they have too much energy… the list goes on.

Some that suffer from bipolar syndrome have such swings several times a day. Imagine that! Someone who is bipolar is both depressed and suffering from mania. These are some of the possible symptoms you could suffer:

This is how you might feel when you are "down":

  • You down or sad for no apparent reason.
    • You are losing interest in activities and things you used to enjoy.
    • You feel discouraged, guilty, or insignificant.
    • You sleep too much or can't sleep at all.
    • You gain or lose a lot of weight.
    • You have no energy and feel tired al the time.
    • You have problems making the smallest decisions or concentrating.
    • You think about killing yourself.

This is how you might feel when you are "up":

  • You have a lot of pent up energy.
    • You don't sleep as much.
    • Your mind jumps around and your thoughts are constantly racing.
    • You are very easily distracted.
    • You chatter a lot more than you used to.
    • You feel on top of the world.
    • You want to do everything at once but don't get anything done.
    • You do things you don't usually do that might be risky and out of character.

Along with these symptoms you might feel some more extreme ones. There are two types of Bipolar syndrome, Bipolar I and Bipolar II. The basic difference is that Bipolar I is more severe and might come with mania episodes that might land you in the hospital. When you suffer from Bipolar II, you can still function, although with more difficulty than someone that doesn't. Someone with Bipolar I could also suffer from hallucinations and psychotic episodes.

You don't need to feel bad enough to go to the hospital to believe you might suffer from bipolar syndrome. If you feel your ups and downs are making your life more difficult than it should be, consult a therapist. The evaluation usually takes about an hour and then you will most likely be referred to a Psychiatrist for further evaluation and possible treatment with prescription drugs.

Don't let another day pass without knowing for sure. If you strongly suspect your emotions are taking you for a ride, why should you continue suffering?

Bipolar Disorder Test


Have you heard about Bipolar disorder? This may sound familiar for some people but for others they do not have the slightest idea of what is the disorder all about. I will give you a quick glimpse about this psychological disorder.

Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder is a diagnosis describing a category of mood disorders identified with a presence of one or more episodes abnormally high level of energy, cognition or mood with or without depressive episodes. The elevated mood of patients with bipolar disorder is clinically known as mania. Most of the people with bipolar disorder usually experience mania as well as depressive episode. Some may occur simultaneously while for other people the changes in the mood alternate.

According to American psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are three sub-types under bipolar disorder and one non-specified namely the bipolar 1, bipolar 2, cyclothymia, and bipolar disorder NOS. Each has its own signs and symptoms that are diagnosed by trained professionals using DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10. Usually an assessment is a physical exam by a physician followed by diagnostic procedures to cross out other potential causes. The findings of the physician as well as the information given by the family of the patient will determine if a patient is having bipolar disorder.

Although you need a psychiatrist to properly diagnose a bipolar disorder, there are some tests that will give you a hint that there is something wrong with that person. There are many websites that offer quizzes to diagnose that a person have bipolar disorder and most of them use Goldberg Bipolar Screening Quiz.

The Goldberg Bipolar Screening Quiz is developed by Dr. Ivan Goldberg and it’s been used by many to diagnose bipolar disorder. Nevertheless, to make the diagnosis official, a trained medical professional needs to clarify the diagnosis. The quiz is composed of 12 questions and you can choose your answer by rating yourself from 0-5 in which 0 means “Not at all” and 5 means “Very much”. After completing the quiz, your score is tallied. The screening test scoring ranges 0-15 as major or unipolar disorder, 16-24 as major depression or a disorder in the bipolar spectrum and 25-above as bipolar spectrum. The gist of the quiz is the higher your score is, the higher the probability of having a bipolar disorder is also higher.