Life comes with its fair share of ups and downs, but for those suffering from bipolar disorder, the highs and lows are much more severe. If you notice the symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or someone else, get help as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Living with untreated bipolar disorder can lead to problems in all areas of your life: your job, your relationships, and your health.

We’ve put together some key information on bipolar disorder. Here are a few of the most asked questions.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by serious mood swings. A person with bipolar disorder experiences alternating highs (mania) and lows (depression). Both the manic and depressive periods can be brief, or they can last several weeks or even months.

What are the symptoms?

Mayo Clinic describes several types of bipolar disorders; the exact symptoms can vary from person to person. Some of the more typical symptoms of a bipolar disorder are inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, unusual talkativeness, racing thoughts, distractibility, high-risk behavior, and doing things that have a potential for painful consequences.

On the other end of the spectrum, symptoms include depressed mood, reduced interest in or feeling no pleasure from formerly enjoyable activities, decreased appetite, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

It is treatable?

Bipolar disorder requires long-term treatment. It’s a chronic, relapsing illness, so it’s important to continue treatment even when you’re feeling better. Most people with bipolar disorder need medication to prevent new episodes and to stay symptom-free.

Medication alone is usually not enough to control the symptoms of bipolar disorder, however. The most effective treatment involves a combination of medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and social support.

How can I help my loved one with bipolar disorder?

Your love and support can make a big difference for someone with bipolar disorder. Start by learning about the illness and offering encouragement. You can help your loved one by keeping track of their symptoms. If you can, offer your help when it comes to treatment as well; it can be as simple as taking them to their doctor or therapist.

A word of advice: caring for someone with bipolar disorder can be difficult, especially if you begin to neglect your own needs. Finding a balance between supporting your loved one and caring for yourself is critical. Consider joining a support group or speaking to a therapist to help find the balance to keep yourself healthy.

If you would like to set up an appointment to see Reka, you can reach her at 402-881-8125. You can also email her at Make sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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