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Resources for Bipolar: Home

This guide provides information and resources for bipolar disorder, including hypomanic, manic, and depressive phases.

                                                                                                                     Bipolar disorder Pictures, Bipolar disorder Stock Photos & Images |  Depositphotos®

The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

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.

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

(NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder; Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955)

Types of Bipolar Disorders

  • Bipolar I Disorder
  • Bipolar II Disorder
  • Cyclothymic Disorder (also called Cyclothymia)

(NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder)

Stages of Bipolar Disorders

  • Depressive episode
  • Manic episode
  • Hypomanic episode
  • Psychosis (see our Psychosis Guide)

(Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955; Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-psychosis#symptoms)

Symptoms of Bipolar

All people are different, so your symptoms may vary, but this is a list of possible symptoms of bipolar.

Bipolar Symptoms & Types

Depressive Symptoms

  • Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)
  • Marked loss of interest or feeling no pleasure in all — or almost all — activities
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)
  • Either insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Either restlessness or slowed behavior
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide

Manic Symptoms

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired
  • Increased activity, energy or agitation
  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Unusual talkativeness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Poor decision-making — for example, going on buying sprees, taking sexual risks or making foolish investments

Hypomanic Symptoms

  • See Manic Symptoms
  • Less severe than Mania

Psychotic Symptoms

  • See Manic Symptoms
  • See the Psychosis Guide
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren't there)
  • Delusions (false beliefs)
  • Paranoia (wrongly believing that others are trying to harm you)

Bipolar I Disorder

  • At least one manic episode
  • May be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes
  • In some cases, mania may trigger psychosis

Bipolar II Disorder

  • At least one major depressive episode
  • At least one hypomanic episode
  • No manic episode

Cyclothymic disorder

  • At least two years — or one year in children and teenagers — of many periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms (though less severe than major depression)

(Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955; Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-psychosis#symptoms)

Treatments for Bipolar

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

It’s based on the idea that negative actions or feelings are the results of current distorted beliefs or thoughts, not unconscious forces from the past. CBT is a blend of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on your moods and thoughts. Behavioral therapy specifically targets actions and behaviors.

Behavioral Therapy

This form of therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors. It functions on the idea that all behaviors are learned and that unhealthy behaviors can be changed.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT)

IPSRT is a compelling adjunctive therapy for people with mood disorders, and it emphasizes techniques to improve medication adherence, manage stressful life events, and reduce disruptions in social rhythms.

Medications

Mood stabilizers

Used to control manic or hypomanic episodes.

Antipsychotics

If symptoms of depression or mania persist in spite of treatment with other medications, adding an antipsychotic drug may help. See our Psychosis Guide.

Antidepressants

Used to help manage depression. Because an antidepressant can sometimes trigger a manic episode, it's usually prescribed along with a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic.

Antidepressant-antipsychotic

The medication Symbyax combines the antidepressant fluoxetine and the antipsychotic olanzapine. It works as a depression treatment and a mood stabilizer.

Anti-anxiety medications

Benzodiazepines may help with anxiety and improve sleep, but are usually used on a short-term basis.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

In ECT, electrical currents are passed through the brain to impact the function and effect of neurotransmitters in your brain to relieve depression. ECT is usually used for people who don't get better with medications, can't take antidepressants for health reasons or are at high risk of suicide.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)

TMS may be an option for those who haven't responded to antidepressants. During TMS, a treatment coil placed against your scalp sends brief magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in your brain that are involved in mood regulation and depression.

(Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/cognitive-behavioral-therapy; IPSRT, https://www.ipsrt.org/; Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355961; WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/understanding-depression-treatment#091e9c5e80007ad6-1-2)

McFarlin Books about Bipolar

McFarlin Databases about Health

For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.

Getting Help

You may want to get help for bipolar if it lasts for a long period of time or begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you reduce symptoms of bipolar.

This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:

 

Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline