Bipolar Affective Disorder News

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder, or mental illness, that causes changes in mood, as well as activities, and leads to extreme energy levels. It is also called bipolar affective disorder and manic-depressive disorder.

When people have bipolar disorder, their changes in mood are magnified and often difficult to predict. They may go from being extremely happy and energetic one moment to sad, fatigued and confused the next. Manic episodes, in which a person has a long period of very irritated or very excited behavior, are always present in bipolar disorder. Sometimes, the mood swings are so strong that they can lead to depression or even suicide.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Though researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes bipolar disorder, there does appear to be a genetic component to the illness. If a family member has it, then you are more likely to develop it yourself. Other research has shown that there are subtle differences in the brains of those who have bipolar disorder when compared with those of healthy individuals or people with other types of mental problems.

Treatment

Bipolar disorder cannot be cured, but with care and treatment, people can manage their condition well enough to lead a healthy and productive life. However, bipolar disorder is a lifelong issue, so care must be continuous for it to be effective.

One part of treatment for bipolar disorder is usually a regimen of medication to treat the symptoms. The drugs that are often prescribed for bipolar disorder include antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. It may take some time to find the right medications for a person with bipolar disorder, so patients are encouraged to track what medication they are on and how it affects their life.

The other critical component of treatment for bipolar disorder is psychotherapy. These sessions may focus solely on the needs of the individual, or they may include family-focused therapy or group therapy to help work through the issues related to bipolar disorder.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institute of Mental Health; American Psychological Association.

Date Posted
Article Title
4/17/2017
Just 1 in 5 Mentally Ill Women Gets Cervical Cancer Screenings

Rates of the disease tend to be higher in this group, researcher says

1/31/2017
Brain Scans May Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder-Suicide Risk

Almost half of those with the disorder attempt suicide and up to 20 percent succeed

1/19/2017
Many With Mental Illness Miss Out on HIV Tests

Rates of infection up to 15 times higher, yet testing rates similar to those without psychiatric woes, study finds

12/1/2016
Demi Lovato Wants to Change the Face of Mental Illness

Pop star's own battle with bipolar disorder helped to inspire new photo campaign that seeks to alter stereotypes

10/20/2016
Troubled Childhood May Boost Bipolar Risk: Study

Research review suggests strong link with emotional abuse

10/17/2016
U.S. Psychiatric Patients Face Long Waits in ERs

1 in 5 emergency doctors reports waiting at least 2 days for a bed for someone who's mentally ill

10/11/2016
Are Some Blood Pressure Meds Linked to Depression, Bipolar Risk?

Researchers add the effect was small, and study did not prove cause and effect

9/28/2016
Study Links Pot Use to Relapse in Psychosis Patients

But experts note effect is small, and the research isn't definitive

9/21/2016
Siblings of Schizophrenia Patients at Greater Risk for Same Diagnosis: Study

Brothers, sisters of those with bipolar disorder also face higher odds of similar diagnosis, Israeli research suggests

9/16/2016
Kids With Bipolar Disorder More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol: Study

And those who also have conduct disorder seem to face an even greater risk

7/25/2016
Bipolar Diagnosis May Take Up to 6 Years

Researcher calls delay a 'lost opportunity' for treatment

6/8/2016
Mentally Ill Still Gain Illegal Possession of Guns, Study Shows

Review of Florida patients finds 2 of 3 violent crime arrests, 1 in 3 suicides shouldn't have included firearms

5/12/2016
Lithium Beats Newer Meds for Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds

Lower rates of self-harm, accidental injury seen

5/9/2016
Depressive Episode May Not Always Follow Mania in Bipolar Disorder

New study finds anxiety could be a third emotional state highly connected to the condition

3/31/2016
Even Controlled, Epilepsy May Still Cause Problems for Kids

Study finds social and educational issues may be a concern as children get older

3/9/2016
MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression among common co-existing conditions

2/11/2016
Study Links Child Abuse, Neglect to Earlier Onset of Bipolar Disorder

Researchers also found greater risk of suicide and more severe manic and depressive symptoms

1/5/2016
Brain Wiring Changes Might Help Guard Against Bipolar Disorder

Researchers find naturally occurring 'rewiring' can forestall the mental illness

12/16/2015
Certain Antidepressants May Be Linked to Bipolar Disorder: Study

Patients, doctors should discuss possible risk factors, experts say

12/4/2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Play Role in Bipolar Disorder: Study

Researchers hope to learn whether they can benefit patients with the mental illness

10/28/2015
Research Gives Clues to Why Some Benefit More From Drug for Bipolar Disorder

Key brain cell differences could play a role in lithium's effectiveness, researchers say

10/12/2015
Standby Drug for Adult Bipolar Disorder May Be Safe, Effective in Children

Study finds lithium can benefit pediatric patients, at least for the short term

9/18/2015
Vraylar Approved for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Label warns against use by certain elderly

9/18/2015
FDA Approves New Drug for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Vraylar is an atypical antipsychotic taken once a day

9/16/2015
Brain Scans May Take Guesswork Out of Schizophrenia Treatment

Goal is to help physicians make better drug choices for psychotic patients

8/11/2015
Screen Teens With Depression for Heart Disease, Experts Say

New recommendations note these adolescents not recognized as high-risk group

6/9/2015
Brains of Teens With Bipolar Disorder Develop Differently: Study

MRI scans suggest changes in areas that regulate emotions, researchers note

5/28/2015
Demi Lovato Gets Vocal About Mental Illness

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011, pop singer is spearheading new awareness campaign

4/29/2015
First Generic Abilify Approved

For treatment of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia

12/30/2014
Parent's Suicide Attempt Makes Child's Much More Likely: Study

Suicidal behavior appears to run in families, with certain conditions putting kids at higher risk

12/9/2014
Abnormalities Found in Brains of Young Bipolar Patients Who Try Suicide

Scans found evidence of less connection between areas that control emotion, motivation and memory

5/23/2014
Mental Illness Linked to Shortened Life Spans

Poor mental health can affect longevity as much or more than heavy smoking, study finds

5/12/2014
App for Bipolar Disorder Being Tested

Smartphone device uses voice analysis for early warning, researchers report

5/9/2014
Antipsychotics Help Cut Crime Rate: Study

New research suggests medications curb violence in patients with psychiatric disorders

3/25/2014
Scientists Use Stem Cells to Study Bipolar Disorder

Approach may further understanding of this mental illness

3/18/2014
Mental Illness to Blame for 10 Percent of Kids' Hospitalizations: Study

Shortage of psychiatrists, psychologists makes it harder to treat children who need help, experts say

2/26/2014
Are Kids Born to Older Dads at Risk for Mental Health Woes?

Large Swedish study found higher rates of autism, ADHD and other disorders, but expert says the risk is small

2/26/2014
Stigma of Mental Illness Remains Barrier to Treatment

Shame, embarrassment add to 'toxic' effect of stigma, study authors say

2/10/2014
Teen Pregnancy Rates Much Higher for Girls With Serious Mental Illness: Study

But it's not clear from Canadian study if there's a direct connection

2/7/2014
Many Bipolar Patients Take Multiple Psychiatric Meds

Small study found three or more drugs often needed to help manage symptoms

1/22/2014
Children Who Lose Close Relative at Risk of Mental Problems: Study

Youngest kids, those exposed to suicide most likely to develop illnesses such as schizophrenia, researchers found

1/7/2014
Chantix Helped People With Mental Illness Quit Smoking Longer in Study

Extended treatment combined with talk therapy might be most effective, researcher says

11/6/2013
Bipolar Disorder Drug May Need Adjusting in Pregnancy, Study Finds

Drop in lamotrigine levels, rise in depression seen in some women

10/3/2013
Smoking in Pregnancy May Be Tied to Bipolar Disorder in Adult Offspring: Study

Research adds to other health hazards of tobacco smoke exposure in the womb

8/20/2013
Could Blood Test One Day Predict Suicide Risk?

Levels of certain proteins may indicate vulnerability, preliminary research suggests

8/15/2013
Quit-Smoking Programs Work for Psychiatric Patients

Study found improved chances of quitting, lower rehospitalization rates

8/11/2013
Genetic Overlap Seen in Five Mental Disorders

Strongest link between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, researchers say

8/6/2013
U.S. Troops' Suicide Risk Tied to Mental Illness, Not Combat: Study

Psychiatric screening would help identify soldiers at greatest risk, experts say

7/29/2013
Bipolar Disorder May Vary Depending on Weight, Eating Disorders

Binge eating tied to other mental health problems, obesity to physical symptoms in study patients

7/17/2013
Mental Illness Can Shorten Lives, Studies Show

Research into bipolar illness, psychotic symptoms point to higher risk for early death