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Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology


Maybe you’ve heard the term “bipolar”
used to describe someone who’s moody, or who has mood swings, but this colloquial use
of the term is really different from bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, which used to be called
manic depression, is a serious mental illness that causes a person to have dramatic shifts
in emotions, mood, and energy levels: moving from extreme lows to extreme highs. But these shifts don’t happen moment to
moment, they usually happen over several days or weeks. There are a few different types of bipolar
disorders, but there are some common features. First, the low moods are identical to those
in a related disorder – major depressive disorder, also known as unipolar depression. Individuals with this can feel hopeless and
discouraged, lack energy and mental focus, and can have physical symptoms like eating
and sleeping too much or too little. But along with these lows, the thing that
sets bipolar disorders apart from unipolar depression is that individuals can have periods
of high moods, which are called manic episodes or hypomanic episodes, depending on their
level of severity. In a manic state, people can feel energetic,
overly happy or optimistic, even euphoric with really high self-esteem. And on the surface, these might seem like
very positive characteristics, but when an individual is in a full manic episode, these
symptoms can reach a dangerous extreme. A person experiencing mania might invest all
of their money in a risky business venture or behave recklessly. Individuals might talk pressured speech, where
they talk constantly at a rapid-fire pace, or they might have racing thoughts and might
feel ‘wired,’ as if they don’t need sleep. Manic episodes can also include delusions
of grandeur, for example they might believe that they are on a personal mission from god,
or that they have supernatural power. And they might make poor decisions without
any regard for later consequences. One way to understand these swings is by charting
them on a graph. So let’s say y-axis is mood, with mania
and depression being on the far ends of the axis, and the x-axis is time. The average healthy individual might have
normal ups and downs throughout their life, and they might even have some pretty serious
lows once-in-awhile, maybe after losing a job or moving to a new place and feeling lonely. An individual with unipolar depression though,
might have the normal highs, but they might have some crushing lows that last for a long
period of time and may not have an obvious trigger. Now, for the bipolar disorders, the first
one is called Bipolar 1, and these are people that have some major lows that last at least
2 weeks, and some major highs that last at least a week or require hospitalization. That said, untreated manic episodes can last
as long as 3-6 months. Depression is seen in most cases, but is not
required for a diagnosis. The second one is called Bipolar-2, and this
is when a person experiences similar lows, and has additional highs called “hypomania”,
which are less severe manic episodes than we see in Bipolar 1. To qualify for a diagnosis, these hypomanic
states need to last at least four days. Once again though, these symptoms generally
last a few weeks to a few months. Alright the third one is called cyclothymia,
or sometimes cyclothymic disorder, and these individuals have milder lows as well as the
milder highs or “hypomania” like you see in Bipolar-2, and they cycle back and forth
between these two over a period lasting at least 2 years. Sometimes, people with Bipolar disorder can
show other, less common symptoms as well, for example having what are referred to as
mixed episodes—experiencing symptoms of both depression and mania at the same time. Another symptom they might have is rapid cycling,
which describes a situation where a person has 4 or more episodes of depression or mania
within a given year. Like most mental health conditions, the exact
underlying cause of bipolar disorder isn’t known, and there is no single “bipolar gene”
identified, but it’s thought that there are genetic and environmental factors that
play a part. For example, one interesting clue is that
people with family members who have bipolar disorder are 10 times more likely to have
it themselves. Another clue is that some drugs and medications
can trigger manic episodes, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs). It’s also worth mentioning that people with
bipolar disorder often have other disorders like anxiety disorders, substance use disorders,
ADHD, and personality disorders as well, making diagnosis and treatment a real challenge. Even though there’s no cure for bipolar
disorder, identifying and treating individuals is really important, since there’s a real
danger that the person could harm themselves or commit suicide. One of the oldest treatments is also one of
the most effective treatments, and that’s lithium salts. Lithium acts as a mood stabilizer—smoothing
out the highs and lows they experience. That said, it is much better at treating manic
rather than depressive episodes, and so individuals who take it often have to take other medications
as well, which can be problematic since some antidepressants (like the SSRIs) can trigger
manic episodes in individuals who are predisposed to them. Other treatment options include antipsychotics,
anticonvulsants, and benzodiazepines, but many of these—including lithium—have side
effects that can be severe and lead to non-adherence which can be dangerous for an individual. Now, unlike certain disorders like unipolar
depression, psychological interventions, like talk therapy, or cognitive-behavioral therapy
are not particularly effective in treating the manic episodes of bipolar disorder. Having said that, they can still be very helpful
tools to help individuals with bipolar disorder in general—especially after a manic episode
has ended. They can also help an individual handle stressful
situations that might otherwise lead a manic episode, thereby helping to prevent a potential
manic episode in the first place. Alright, so super fast recap: bipolar disorder
is a mental disorder characterized by depression, periods of lowered mood, as well as mania,
periods of heightened mood. Thanks for watching, you can help support
us by donating on patreon, or subscribing to our channel, or telling your friends about
us on social media.

100 comments on “Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

  1. I’m bipolar and I quit taking meds years ago , and utilized other things , and the battle is much easier . The meds can blind your ability to deal with things yourselves .

  2. This video is very helpful to explain to my surroundings what bipolar is.

    You could have mentioned that the difference between type 1 and 2 doesn’t necessarily mean that one is more severe than the other as 2 can be harder to spot, it’s just – different.

    Also i would have loved for the person you used to depict it not to only be a white male in his 30s 🧔🏻👩🏽‍🦰👩🏿‍🦱👴🏻 Just in case you ever make a second version 🤗

    but anyway thanks for making this and helping me share knowledge around the illness with my surroundings

  3. Bipolar and bipolar disorder are two different things guys my sister and mom both have it and my family thinks I might have it to but they’re just overreacting

  4. it's a disorder only when it doesn't "fit" society.
    We all got different brains, of course the base structure is really similar, but the details are different.
    If we only would try to understand those people and help them cope with depression while also help them keep a balance while in mania, the disorder becomes a superpower.

    Obviously, if you had no mood swings or no mood at all, you would always feel ok.
    But the depth at which you experience life and emotions is miserably plain.

  5. I was always a bipolar person, without knowing, but it got worst at 14-15, when people were trying to make me understand that it isn't ok that I talk so quickly, that the fact that 2-4 weeks I'm sad af and ignore everyone, and than I'm the happyest person from the class isn't ok…or that I become anxious without any contest, and then I become the more confident person from the class, maybe school, and for real!!! without any contest!!

    For me it was normal, it is still normal, but for other it NEVER WAS.
    I just thought that was my personality and stuff, I really thought I live a normal life. But from a time, maybe 2 months I became really tired somehow, I can't have this switches between my feelings anymore!
    But yeah, I'm trying to control it somehow, but yeah, for everyone who's asking, it suckssssssss, but it makes me feel the extreme feelings of life, and that's why I love it so much. 😂

  6. My bipolar 2 cause my depression to last at least 2-3 months, then hypomania lasts for 1 week sometimes only 2/3 days

  7. I've been cutting crying laughing and jumping in just one hour and it happens every day I get horrible mood swings then cut myself because I feel guilty and worthless after. Idk what to do and it's been like this for 2 years and Ive been starting to fail school because I can't focus and I'll just have a mental break down idk what to do any tips? And no I haven't seen a doctor or gotten meds yet

  8. I think I might have Bipolar Disorder. My doctor said I did and prescribed me Lithium but I’m just not a 100% convinced… So I thought I’d do a bit of research before getting them filled, I do believe I might have Bipolar 2 based on what I’ve seen so far though. Idk.. I’m scared tbh lol to admit I do and take medication for it

  9. hearing that there's no cure for this makes me want to give up fighting it.
    i don't know what to do anymore.
    im about to lose everything because of this nonsense and i can't fucking take it anymore.

  10. I almost cried while watching coz they said it's no cure. Now I'm reading the comments crackin up laughing because we're all mental & in this hallucination together. Fuck it. We gone die anyways

  11. I have weeks of feeling very manic then crash into depression so bad I want to die and situations can trigger a depressive episode I hate myself I hate my brain I want it to stop..

  12. i have had episodes since i was like 6-7 years old were i thought everyone was going to die and the world was ending, but they stopped for some years. Recently i had the worst episode were i almost committed suicide, i had the pills in my hands and everything, but the next day i was just fine and felt like nothing had happened (i’ve had suicidal thoughts since i can remember but this time was the only one that i almost acted on it). Sometimes i feel really motivated and think that my life is going great but they last for a day or even hours. I’m not sure if i actually have a bipolar disorder, can someone that is diagnosed or something tell me, i think it’s getting worse.

  13. One day, I was extremely depressed throughout the day because of course, I let my thoughts consume me. Then the next week I was extremely happy, but have my down lows. I’m a very mood person. I’m emotions run wild. I’m happy one moment, but could be mad or sad the next for no reason whatsoever. I can’t tell if that’s just how I am as a person or if it’s a mental illness that needs to be checked by my doctor.

  14. Uhm what if a person is having depressed and manic swings about an hour or two? That's what my best friend is experiencing

  15. This disorder is so shit. I’m heading into a low and can’t stop it. I’m angry and so sad, just want to feel some joy. I’m so tired of this crap,just want some decent sleep. Would be easer to tolerate if I could bring on a bit of hyper when I need it. Also the self hate sux and not many ppl understand how confusing and awful it is to loathe yourself so deeply, for so long.

  16. Most of the time I’m severely depressed am keep myself isolated from my friends and sometimes I’m happy and I love talking and playing with people. Wtf is wrong with me

  17. My girlfriend told me the other day she thinks shes bipolar (hasnt been diagnosed) and for almost 2 weeks now shes been extremely distant from me and non affectionate, plus tells me shes been isolating herself so I believe shes going through a low. Ive already gone through every other possibility as to why she is being this way. does she wanna break up with me, am i annoying, is she cheating etc. and none of them seem to really make sense. im gonna try to find a time soon to talk to her about this because im not 100% sure if shes being distant due to bipolar, or if its one of the things my anxiety created for me to worry about. Ive been having a really hard time the past 2 weeks trying to figure her out, I tried to ignore it, hoped it would pass soon and im growing extremely impatient and its not healthy for my mental state. communication is key obviously and last night I kept myself up past bedtime trying to think of a way to communicate this to her, and im really nervous because she also seems to be more agitated during this "low" and I dont want her to feel I am giving her an intervention or forcing her to talk about something she isnt comfortable with…however its affecting me too. when it gets to that point I think its better to stop over focusing on her feelings and consider mine too. were in a relationship, therefor we BOTH need to put in effort and she hasnt been doing that at all lately and im going insane ignoring it. Im seeing now I got myself into something really crazy. she also abuses drugs and honestly i dont care she does them, but its when she chooses drugs over me that it starts to affect me, and im really worried shes making herself worse my constantly messing with her brains balance and drugs could definitely make bipolar disorder a lot worse when your constantly re-upping your serotonin, dopamine levels. its like a hangover that isnt passing. I really like her though. I dont want to let this be something that could ruin our relationship. shes the best thing to happen to me in months and I dont want to lose her, or have to make the decision to leave her for my own mental health sake. its so hard for me to understand her. any normal person would agree when someone (ESPECIALLY someone youre in a relationship with) distances them self from you its awful.I like her so much, i want to be around her all the damn time, i want to text her everytime we arent together, and i want to talk to her and I feel i cant do that because she isnt giving me that same energy. I cant just fuel this relationship by myself.

    anyway please wish me luck for when I talk to her. I think it could go really well or horribly and end in a break up and i dont want that. im going to try my best to be gentle because i really dont know how she will react. she told me to always communicate with her and thats what im gonna do.

    also thanks for listening to my ted talk

  18. I feel it is better to replace depression with exhaustion.Hearing the term 'Depression' is so depressing.We are totally exhausted post Mania.

  19. As a person with a bipolar disorder, I found out something else that most people don’t talk about(or maybe it’s just me that has this problem) During a calm stage, where your basically in the middle. Yours moods can still get triggered easily. For example, my family triggers angry and sad emotions when I’m around them, I had to be with my mothers family for a week and was basically angry, sad, or both and trying to kill myself (or having a panic attack and hurting myself to calm down) but when school started back, I immediately got happy being with my friends, all anger washed away, I was still slightly sad, but I was able to smile. My friends are a happy trigger for me.

    Please tell me I’m not the only bipolar person that experiences mood triggers during a relaxed state…. or maybe I have another disorder to go along with my bipolar depression…

  20. Hey guys! I’m questioning if I’m bipolar, I have a lot of these things, I’m usually described by aggressively optimistic sometimes and other weeks/months without an obvious trigger is think I’m bipolar 2 if I was but I’m definitely not sure if you want me to describe more things I can, thank you

  21. I am suffering from Bipolar Disorder since my college times. It's dangerous and not curable as per my experiences till date. I tried to suicide in the year of 2016. I think there are no medicines for this Bipolar Disorder. Only one person can be helpful to you is "GOD"

  22. Can someone help? I'm starting to suspect I might be bipolar but I'm too scared to tell anyone.

    When I'm going through hypomanic episodes, I
    – Take on more than I should, writing stories, joining a lot of RPs, started a web-comic, tried to learn a new instrument, – try to learn another language, try to make up a language, start a lot of art projects and draw none-stop

    – Can’t seem to get my brain to shut off, I think way more than usual(I already think a lot)

    – Socialize a lot

    – Talk more than usual, faster than usual(Causes me to mispronounce my words terribly, something I’ve always struggled with)

    – Feel really happy in general, like I can do anything(Occasionally euphoric)

    – Barely sleep

    – Barely eat

    – Feel confident in my body

    When I’m going through depressive episodes, I

    – Feel abandoned, isolated

    – Constantly cry

    – Feel hopeless

    – Sleep more than I should

    – Eat more than I should

    – Feel like I’m horribly ugly and constantly worry about how I look

    – Have bad anxiety

    – Always feel tired

    – Don’t have any motivation

    – Have occasional suicidal thoughts

    – Get angrier a lot easier

    – Have a ton of nightmares

    I cycle through these very often.

  23. after ECT, i have Bipolar..and doctor give me lithium..and honestly i dont care about super happy but why the fuck she want make me not happy..if i have chance..im gonna kill her

  24. I don't know if I am a part of this bi-polar disease but when I search what is bi-polar and what are the causes? It really match what I feel every-day.. When I'm at work I'm so happy and in the middle of the night I was crying like almost an hour 😢 I don't know why? I don't have any reason why I am crying. Sometimes I always over think, like no ones loves me, cares for me. I can't understand also my mood. 😢😢

  25. What about people who are always changing their moods in matter of hours? For example some days I might be feeling ok by the morning and by the end of the day I just feel like blowing my brains out. Or sometimes I feel happy by the morning then I feel like I want to die in the afternoon and at night I might be feeling ok. Is that considered bipolar too?

  26. "Unknown"?
    Its demons. Simple.
    But when you have them this deeply rooted..its damn near impossible to gain clarity or softening the heart again.

  27. I just can't deal with this, being "happy" for a week and then being severely depressed for two weeks. It get a little bit worse each time, maybe it's time to just give up. What's the point?

  28. I’ve been having these symptoms since eighth grade and now i’m in tenth and it’s getting worse. I never talk about it because I don’t want to self-diagnose but my family always comments on how moody I am.. that’s not it though, I just know it’s not even though I used to think that’s just what it was. I don’t know what to do tbh I’ll just have to live with it, anyways I like the energy and creativeness I get from the highs. Except for when it happens on a school night and I can’t sleep until I get out my energy and express myself by doing a million different tasks at 3 AM because I can’t sleep with all this energy.

  29. It’s also associated with swinging hormonal changes leading to hypersexuality and/or complete sexual disinterest, which is why some believe that bipolar maybe an endocrine disorder in some portion of people instead of a thought-centered, brain disorder. Also, bipolar is associated with higher rates of diabetes, another endocrine disorder.

  30. Okay so basically. When I'm in the change room and school I'm laughing my ass off for no reason as if I'm high. Then after a bit I feel drained sad and depressed. Then the other I'm angry and i just want to argue. Wtf? Someone please explain. Whenever I talk to my parents abt it they roll their eyes.

  31. I really don't think I have it and I think nothing is wrong with me but I'm depressed ( I got diagnosed when I was 12 ) hhhba s s s z but I can't stop typing and sometimes I suddenly really wanna smash and tear everything apart in front of me and scream until I die but you know that's normal no no no it's not help

    I don't know I just need to type
    Is something wrong with me? No probably not
    I'm sorry

  32. Mental Health needs to be taught at schools so kids with mental health prombles can see the warning signs earlier. too many kids are taking their life away!

  33. holy shit when i have manic episodes i dont stop talking and sometimes ill remember stuff from like 4 years ago and just start talking about that or get up at 4am and go outside and go for a skate or do my makeup and when i have my lows its like idek lol

  34. I'm either an absolute CRACK LORD or sobbing in the corner you never know what your gonna get when you walk through my door.

  35. I'm not self-diagnosing myself but I don't know why but I had this really long depressive episode for 8-9 months and then one day I stopped feeling depressed and my self esteem suddenly went up for 4 months and now I'm back at the depressive episode again. Also, my grandma has bipolar disorder so idk if this has any connection with it. Idk I'm so confused right now

  36. Umm can someone help me? I just wanna see if I'm normal

    So I'm a high schooler and goes to school every day and when I'm at school I can hardly focus, and I get extremely talkative, and I talk really fast if I'm not aware of my speech and my thinking becomes really fast to the point where it feels that I couldn't control what I'm doing and it feels like I'm in this constant 'high' mood. But I stutter a lot too (prolly from talking so quickly)

    But the moment I got home i just felt all my moods drop and evaporated from my body and I just wanna be alone and cry for no reason and sleep. I also oversleep often from 11 to even 14 hours of sleep. I just feel so helpless whenever I'm alone and idk what to do. I think this is all normal teenager mood swings? Or there might be something else… I'm so lost rn

  37. It all lies as former mental health provider and victim of the drug companies as for Bi Polar most other disorders there is no definitive test, no MRI, no scan, no blood test, no lab test the symptoms overlap with other disorders, ashamed to get people on psych drugs when 50 percent of side effects are not known, people die while on pills, anti psychotic destroyed my memory cognitive skills, told doctor did not care told 'safe' 8 weeks of clinical study does not tell us long term dangerous side effects in my case 10 years, getting off these pills is very difficult far worse than illegal drugs almost had a stroke, there is no Bi Polar its a lie assessment is based on a checklist nothing to do with science.

  38. I think I might have this because 1 day I’m really happy and positive and hyper… the next day I’m depressed and hate myself and blah blah wtf?!!!?

  39. me : “dad, can you take me to a therapist? im feeling really down right now.. i think im depres-“

    dad : youre being too over dramatic, just go to your room and do something that entertains you

  40. I hate when I’m in public and hear, “OMG I was crying but then I started laughing, I’m so biolar lmaooo”.
    Fucking die.

    Sos, I’m down.

    Note: My Dad, Aunty, Uncle, Cousin and Grandparents all have Bipolar 1/2 with psychotic features. And my Mum has Cyclothymia.

    Guess I was doomed from the start 🙃

  41. I was diagnosed with manic bipolarity some time ago and I didn't understand what that meant exactly. I came here ans I'm like "oHHHHH"

  42. I've been taking lithium for 2 years now, never felt better!
    Tips to avoid mania/depressions:
    – Be truthful/honest and open minded to the people around you about everything
    For mania only:
    – Remember that you might Think you're right, sometimes, you're really not – Start doubting yourself!

  43. omg I have bipolar. I didn't notice that. Yes sometimes I question myself why am I so happy even tho you are just home and no one or no news make you happy much

  44. people with mild bipolar won’t need lithium because it’s being sprayed on us. When the sky turns Red that’s lithium!

  45. Everyone calls part of the bipolar disorder different for me
    When I'm too happy I call it mania
    When I'm really depressed I call it depression episode
    And when i can't control what I do I call it manic episode.

  46. I don’t know why but when I say my favorite word, (it’s “OwO” don’t judge me.) it gets me really manic and very enthusiastic, or hopeless like the bipolar disorder. So does this mean that saying words can trigger the disorder?

  47. I don’t know if I have bipolar 2 but I don’t wanna assume cause it’s rly serious. Last week I was SO HAPPY, anything could happen and I didn’t care. I was walking on water. Yesterday all I wanted to do was kill myself and I cry almost everynoght and get no sleep, but I know if I tell my parents they won’t believe me. I told them in suicidal and they think I’m doing it for attention. Fml

  48. My mood disorder is so freaking horrible. I'll just become a complete asshole to my friends strangers.. I actually feel good about becoming narcissistic and then when I finally calmed down I cry because that's not who I really am deep down… I go to therapy I take meds but I don't know… It's living a nightmare I refuse to take my own life. After I have these episodes I'm tired of hearing people say go get help…. I am getting help and I've been better but it still happens. Sometimes I feel like I'm just better off alone..

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