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Bipolar Disorder and Suicide

Bipolar Disorder and Suicide

by Kevin Caruso

Studies have shown that 25 to 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder (manic depression) attempt suicide.

Thus, early diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder should be considered an urgent matter.

So how do you know whether you or someone you know has bipolar disorder?

Become familiar with the symptoms, and if symptoms are present, see a medical doctor and a therapist immediately. Do not delay. Bipolar disorder is highly treatable, so get help.

So what are the symptoms?

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes strong mood swings or "episodes," which include both manic episodes (also known as mania) and depressive episodes (also known as depression).

The symptoms of manic episodes, or mania, include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • An abundance of energy
  • Becoming extremely active
  • Becoming restless
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Racing thoughts
  • Ideas rushing through the mind one after the other
  • Talking very fast
  • Quickly switching from one subject to another when talking
  • Extreme irritability
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Poor judgment
  • Being confused
  • Sleeping very little
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Abusing alcohol
  • Abusing drugs
  • Consuming excessive sleeping tablets
  • Denying that anything is wrong

A manic episode may occur when an elevated mood exists with three or more of the other symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for one week or longer.

Symptoms of depressive episodes, or depression, include:

  • Feeling intense sadness
  • Feeling lethargic -- feeling like you have no energy
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling negative or pessimisstic
  • Losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed
  • Crying frequently
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Neglecting personal appearance
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling guilty
  • Unable to think clearly
  • Unable to make decisions

A depressive episode occurs when several of the above symptoms last for two weeks or longer. Basically if "the blues" last for two weeks, you probably have depression, or have experienced a depressive episode.

Most people are symptom free between episodes, although some experience ongoing symptoms of varying severity.

There are two types of bipolar disorder: bipolar disorder I, and bipolar disorder II.

Bipolar disorder I is the classic form of the disorder and involves recurrent episodes of mania and depression.

Bipolar disorder II occurs when severe mania is not exhibited, instead a minor mania is exhibited, known as hypomania.

Hypomania is a milder version of mania, and it makes you feel good, for a while, but the feelings do not last. And be aware that untreated hypomania can lead to severe mania.

Some people with either type of bipolar disorder, who suffer from severe manic or depressive episodes, may experience psychosis.

Symptoms of psychosis include:

Hallucinations--People hallucinate when they see, hear, or somehow sense something that is not actually there.

Delusions--People who have delusions have lost touch with reality and have very strong beliefs about something that is patently false; the belief contradicts logic or common cultural norms.

Two common types of delusions are:

Grandiose delusions--People with delusions of grandeur may exhibit a drastically exaggerated sense of self-importance or may believe that they are a famous person or religious figure.

Persecutory delusions--People with delusions of persecution believe that they are constantly being persecuted, conspired against, attacked, etc., when nothing is actually happening to them.

Note that psychosis also occurs in schizophrenia, and thus some people who have bipolar disorder with psychosis are sometimes misdiagnosed with having schizophrenia.

Bipolar disorder is very common, and more than 2 million Americans have the disorder.

The onset of bipolar disorder usually occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood, although it can occur at almost any age.

Again, studies have shown that 25 to 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide.

And most people who suffer from bipolar disorder who attempt suicide do so after the onset of the disorder.

Thus, if you think there is even the slightest possibility that you have bipolar disorder, get help now. Perhaps you have a medical condition that is causing your mood swings; you will never know if you do not get help. Either way, you need to get diagnosed, and, if necessary, receive treatment. Make an appointment with a medical doctor and a therapist. Do not delay. Make those appointments as soon as possible.

If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mood-stabilizing drug may be prescribed. Lithium and valproate are commonly prescribed drugs for the disorder, and there are many other drugs that may be prescribed.

It is also important to realize that bipolar disorder is a long-term illness, and thus you do not take medication and become "cured," but you manage the disorder with medication and therapy.

And because it is a long-term disorder, it is important to stay on any prescribed medications and always follow the advice of your doctor, even if you feel fine.

And please get into therapy so you can better manage the psychological aspects of the disorder.

Again, please get help immediately if you think that there is even the slightest possibility that you have bipolar disorder. Make appointments right now with a medical doctor and a therapist. Get help. Do not delay.

Please click below for additional information.

Few People Know What Bipolar Disorder is; Untreated Bipolar Disorder can Cause Suicide

Steven Hrabovsky-Kleine, 19, Dies By Suicide -- Failed to Take His Bipolar Medication

Janet Pearsall Haney

And if you or someone you know is suicidal, please read the information on the home page of this website and take immediate action.

Thank you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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