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Understanding and Coping with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by unusual shifts in mood, energy, behavior, concentration, and activity levels.


Learn myths vs facts, the difference between mood shifts and depression/mania, and what to expect with bipolar disorder through the lifespan. This section also include articles on how to cope and supporting someone you care about who lives with bipolar disorder.


Michelle Pugle, Jan 2024, Verywell

Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder. This article will cover the different conditions that fall under the mood disorder category, as well as characteristics and causes of mood disorders, what to know about getting diagnosed with a mood disorder and common treatment options available. Read more in Verywell.


Michelle Pugle, Jan 2024, Verywell


There are different types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar 2 disorder is associated with hypomania. Hypomania is referred to as a mood episode because it entails symptom exacerbation (severity) like that of a manic episode. The difference between the two is that hypomanic episodes are usually shorter and cause less disruption to everyday functioning than the manic episodes experienced in bipolar 1. Read more in Verywell.


Michelle Pugle, Jan 2024, Verywell


Bipolar disorder is a disability according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Someone living with bipolar disorder who can no longer work due to their symptoms may be eligible to receive government assistance, such as Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits may provide monthly income assistance and insurance coverage.

This article will explore these options, including individual eligibility requirements and application steps. Read more in Verywell.


Michelle Pugle, April 2022, Everyday Health


Myths and stereotypes about bipolar disorder abound, and they can make living with the condition even harder for the people who have it and their loved ones. Knowing the truth about bipolar disorder can save lives. Read more in Everyday Health.


Featuring interviews with Howard Weeks, MD, chief medical officer at Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center in Salt Lake City and Catherine Athans, PhD, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Altos, California.


Michelle Pugle, July 2022, Psych Central


Bipolar disorder can change with age but whether this change is more positive or harmful depends on a variety of factors. To counter the changes of bipolar symptoms over time, your treatment plan may change as well. Read more in Psych Central.


Michelle Pugle, Updated November 2023, Everyday Health


It’s normal for your mood to change in response to different situations, news, or challenges you encounter throughout a day. But if your mood shifts dramatically between extreme highs and lows, it may be a sign of bipolar disorder. Read more in Everyday Health.


Michelle Pugle, July 2022, Everyday Health


It's not uncommon for people with bipolar disorder to have more than one mental health diagnosis. Genetic factors such as a family history and environmental factors such as childhood adversity likely play a role in the development of co-occurring mental health conditions, according to a review published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Read more in Everyday Health.

Michelle Pugle, May 2022, Everyday Health


“When someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder has the support of family or friends, it can make a significant difference in their ability to successfully manage their symptoms,” says Meghan Marcum, PsyD, the chief psychologist at A Mission for Michael, a dual diagnosis treatment center in San Juan Capistrano, California, for people with mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and co-occurring disorders. Read more in Everyday Health.


Michelle Pugle, Match 2022, Everyday Health


“Even if someone makes do on little sleep, it can have repercussions, such as increased moodiness, depression, worry, difficulty concentrating, and even higher risk for accidental death in a worst-case scenario,” explains Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in New York City and the director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, a center for neuropsychological, psychiatric, and educational difficulties.Read more in Everyday Health.


Michelle Pugle, July 2022, Everyday Health


If you don’t have bipolar disorder, you might not realize why saying certain things can make a loved one or friend feel mocked and minimized rather than supported. Here’s what experts suggest to say instead. Read more in Everyday Health.


Michelle Pugle, June 2022, Psych Central


It’s unusual to experience Cotard delusion, but it does happen. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, especially if bipolar disorder runs in the family, consider reaching out for support from a healthcare professional or mental health professional as soon as possible. Read more in Psych Central.


Michelle Pugle, April 2022, Everyday Health


Despite it being unofficial, borderpolar has gained traction in the medical field, says Mark Zimmerman, MD, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and the director of outpatient psychiatry and the partial hospital program at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. (Dr. Zimmerman is often credited with helping coin the term.) Read more in Everyday Health.


Michelle Pugle, July 2021, Verywell


Mania is commonly associated with bipolar disorder, but people without these disorders can also experience mania. When this happens, it means there is another cause or factor contributing to it, such as the effects of a substance or a medical condition. Read more in Verywell.


Michelle Pugle, Updated November 2023, Verywell


Mood changes, or swings, refer to abrupt shifts in your mood or emotional state, and may be a normal response to stress or hormonal shifts. However, they can also signify a mental health disorder like borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder, which is characterized by extremely high and low moods. Rapid or extreme mood swings may interfere with your daily life and relationships. This article explains how to recognize the symptoms of mood swings, what may be causing them, and how they can be managed. Read more in Verywell.



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