Monday, June 27, 2011

Bipolar....Sometimes a Difficult Diagnosis

Bipolar is characterized by "high, manic" mood and "low, depressed" mood.  Extreme mood swings and mood instability is the essence of the disorder.

Symptoms are:
  • High manic mood including high energy, unable to sleep, restlessness, feelings of invincibility, feeling "hyper", irritibility, extreme confidence, racing thoughts, high libido, and excessive spending to name a few.
  • High manic episodes are followed by Depression which is in essence, the "opposite" of Mania. 
Bipolar is sometimes difficult to diagnose and can often be misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all for years.

Mood fluctuations can be due to bipolar, cyclothymia, the "emotional personality" and sometimes, severe premenstrual syndrome.  Hence, providing an accurate history to your health professional is very important in order to differentiate amongst these problems.

A good mood diary can help with diagnosis as well as the management of the condition.  Management of this condition includes counselling and mood stabilizers.  We will expand further on this in future blogs and will get our inhouse pharmacist to do a short review on mood stabilizers.

Hope this will raise awareness into Bipolar Disorders.

Dr Vin Family Doctor
MBBS FRACGP Australia

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