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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by unusual swings in mood and activity that include emotional highs followed by a significantly lower period or episode. The National Institute of Mental Health says that “Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” Periods of emotional high are called manic or hypomanic episodes and the low periods are referred to as depressive episodes, thus the former name for the disorder. Manic periods can last for days or weeks, as can the depressive periods. They may occur only once a year or they may occur closer together. These mood swings usually make daily life difficult because they often affect sleep patterns, energy and activity levels, your judgment, and the ability to think clearly so that your behavior is changed.

The exact cause of Bipolar Disorder is not known. Individuals may experience Bipolar Disorder due to their genetics or brain structure. 

Because bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder and our brains are structured similarly but work uniquely, an effective treatment plan is unique to each person. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disorder, but even those with the most severe symptoms can be helped. Most often a combination of medications and psychological counselling are effective in managing bipolar disorder. Therapy for bipolar disorder is unique to each individual as well.

Exercising, eating well, and avoiding addictive substances are all important for those with bipolar disorder. The effectiveness of certain supplements and the use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are being explored as possible new treatments for bipolar disorder.

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