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Affective Disease

Bipolar disorder, mood disorder or manic depression

* A Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disease characterized by episodes of extreme mood swings of both Depression and mania. Mania is characterized by elation, fast moving ideas, little need for sleep, and grandiose thoughts and behavior.

* Depression in the patient is defined by feelings of hopelessness, low energy, and no desire or interest in everyday activities. He may become suicidal, or he may develop mania, characterized by excess activity to the point of exhaustion, euphoria, aggressiveness, and at times, a feeling of being super human. Examples of manic behavior might be suddenly quitting your job and going to Hollywood to become an actor (even though you have no previous acting history or interest); or deciding to run for president of the United States, even though you have no previous political experience. An individual in a manic phase may suddenly go on a massive shopping spree, buying items that are not really needed.
* Hypomania is a less severe form of mania that can occur with bipolar disorders. The disorder can affect any age, but it is often triggered between ages of 25-44. Both men and women are equally affected.

* Depression

1. Sadness
2. Low self-esteem
3. Lack of interest in work, sex, family, or other interests
4. Excessive sleep or Insomnia
5. Difficulty with focus
6. Inability to concentrate
7. Thoughts of suicide or dying
8. Feelings of worthlessness
9. Changes in appetite
10. There may be unexplained pains or aches

* Mania

1. Boundless energy
2. Grandiose thoughts
3. Thinking that one is important and powerful
4. Irrational, fearless behavior
5. Fast moving thoughts
6. Difficulty concentrating
7. Speaking too fast
8. Going on spending sprees
9. Drug or alcohol abuse
10. Going long periods without sleep
11. Loss of self-control and good judgment with a desire to engage in risky behavior.

* Unknown -- however, chemical imbalances in the brain may be the cause.
* There may be a genetic component. Having a parent with bipolar disorder may increase the chance of having children with the condition.
* See Depression and mania sections.

* The goal of treatment is to stabilize mood and restore one's normal (prior to manic Depression) state.
* The two medications most commonly used to stabilize the mood swings in manic Depression are Depakote and Lithium. Other medications may be added or used, some of which are listed below. All treatments are administered under the supervision of a psychiatrist, and are part of an organized treatment plan. Psychotherapy can be added to the treatment, and is very helpful.
* Depression:

1. Antidepressants -- Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Zoloft.
2. Psychotherapy

* Mania:

1. Acute treatment
2. Haldol
3. Clonazepam

* Chronic (long-term prevention)

1. Lithium
2. Depakote
3. Tegretol

* Depression
* Schizophrenia
* Cyclothymic disorder



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