Nobody knows for sure what the cause of bipolar disorder is. However, there seems to be a combination of biological, genetic and environmental factors involved. Things like environment, neurobiology and psychological and social processes also seem to be at work here. Of course, things like drug or alcohol abuse, stress and trauma can trigger episodes. It is important to understand more about such episodes.

Signs And Symptoms In The Manic Phase

Some of the signs and symptoms of a person who is in the manic phase of bipolar include:

  • Euphoric feelings
  • Extreme optimism
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Agitation
  • Increased physical activity
  • Poor judgment
  • Recklessness
  • Taking chances that one would not otherwise take
  • Very little need to sleep
  • A tendency to become really easily distracted
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Increased sexual impulses

Signs and Symptoms In The Depression Phase

Some of the signs and symptoms of a person who is in the depressive phase of bipolar disorder include:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Sleep disturbances
  • A lack of appetite
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of interest in the person's typical activities
  • Problems with concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain without any known reason or cause
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide

Bipolar Disorder and Creativity

Some studies have been done that show that people with bipolar are really creative. One such study was done by Redfield Jamison, the author of “An Unquiet Mind,” in it she examines the relationship between bipolar and creativity. Her finds were released in “Touched With Fire – Manic Depressive Illness And The Artistic Temperament.” This is something that you need to take into consideration whenever seeking treatment.

Treating Bipolar Disorder

Treatment of bipolar disorder focuses on preventing further acute episodes. The two main treatments are:

  • Medication – There are numerous medications, known as “mood stabilizers,” that are used as treatment. These include Lithium, Sodium Valproate and antipsychotic medications. Sometimes anti-convulsants are also used.
  • Psychotherapy – This is a very common, yet effective form of treatment for patients that have bipolar disorder. Make sure you talk with your doctor about the various types of therapy available before deciding on one.

Of course, patient compliance is important. Herein a psychologist must make the patient feel empowered to be responsible for themselves and for learning more about this illness. If these things do not work and the manic episodes include dangerous behavior or the depressive episodes include suicidal ideations, then hospitalization may be necessary.