Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bipolar Disorder Types One and Two

Many people can remember a lot of discussion some years ago about Manic Depression. In fact, it was a label to "conjure" with. It was spoken of and spoken about as something worse than cancer, diabetes, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, etc., all lumped together. Any one who had Manic Depression was to be feared. They were the really "crazy" people.

There has been some enlightenment since that time. A change in labeling the illness as Bipolar Disorder has helped relieve some of the stigma, and bring about a better understanding of this disease.

There are an estimated 5.7 million American adults who have Bipolar Disorder. They stand somewhat separate from others who have unipolar depression. Bipolar means two extremes. There is the manic (i.e. supercharged) phase and the depressive phase.

People with this disorder swing between feelings of elation and feelings of depression, with somewhat balanced periods in between. That's probably an oversimplification, but it gives us a place to start.

There are two types of Bipolar Disorder (type one & two), with some significant differences. In today's blog, I will attempt to describe the behaviors of the type one illness.


01-An unusually high or euphoric mood lasting more than a week.

02-Alternatively, an irritable, angry or impatient mood.

03-Overly critical or complaining.

04-Feeling unusually good about ones self. A belief that ideas, abilities, or plans for changing things are extraordinary or brilliant.

05-Dismissal of others suggestions that anything is wrong.

06-Extremely energetic or alert, even though little or less sleep is needed.

07-A feeling of being special with insights that others fail to have or recognize.

08-Unusually rapid speech.

09-Difficulty focusing attention; distractibility.

10-A markedly increased interest in sex, even with complete strangers.

11-Addiction to alcohol or other drugs.

12-Risktaking behavior. Expensive and/or nonsensical spending, reckless gambling, foolish business ventures, driving too fast, pursuing "on the edge" sports and other life-risking behaviors. They may appear to be fear free.

13-Exhibitionism. Changes in dress, makeup, or appearance to seem more attractive/flamboyant.

14-Restless, driven and agitated.

The above describes the Type 1 manic cycle. In my next blog, I will discuss the hypomanic cycle experienced by those who have Type 2 Bipolar Disorder (which is what I have).

["I'm so low I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]