In this medical health video Dr. William Lawson of Howard University gives you the basics on bipolar disorder.
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What is bipolar disorder? William Lawson: Bipolar disorder is probably a group of disorders but we like to look at it as one disorder that's characterized by mood swings and the mood swings can vary from going from a mania being so impulsive and out of control that you have a stress puerility but again a mood swing all the way down to severe depression. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mania or hypomania. When it's hypomania, then it has to be associated with severe depression, so it's what we used to call manic depressive illness. What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder? William Lawson: It also has a loss of pretty pervasive, the highest can vary from adaptability that can, in terms of the mood state all the way to extreme euphoria. The person feels king of the universe. And the manic phase may also be characterize by racing thoughts, by just shifting from one idea to another very quickly, by easily distract it, but targeted thoughts of trying to solve problems in a way that the casual observer doesn't make sense. And the person may be involved in high-risk behavior and the higher-risk behavior can be all the way from going on shopping spree, driving to prison sometimes for bankruptcy, to multiple sexual liaisons, multiple short and quick marriages and divorces, to giving in frequent altercations, and fights. What advice would you give to someone who has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? William Lawson: The advice is to quick treatment by a qualified mental health professional as quickly as possible. This is not a disorder to be treated by amateurs. It's not a disorder to be treated by people who have very little experience with it. It's a complex, disorder, that the results of people who quite familiar with a different medications that are used in a cycle for imputing interventions Is there a genetic risk factor? William Lawson: Yeah, we believe that bipolar disorder is that acts as one disorder that has the strongest genetic influence and because we find that it's all from the family history. Not necessarily a bipolar disorder but frequently a mood disorder and so we called it heritability when we look at identical twins, it's extremely high if you include all mood disorder in the family. It is not Mendelian that is you don't -- it's not a single gene that you can look at, person has a certain gene in one family, characteristics go on to the next generation. It's much more complex than it is, it's more like the inheritance of bad beats or hypertension and that occurs frequently in families but could skip generations like remodel in one generation and appear differently in other. Does an environmental factor affect a person's risk for bipolar disorder? William Lawson: What we suspect is that the onset of it, by people at risk may be triggered by environmental factors. One that is – study is role about all the sums of these, which may be associated with early onset. But the others, is the increase risk of abuse and trauma, I mean we realize the lives of these individuals, which is the secondary act that we can say at this point. Why is bipolar disorder frequently misdiagnosed? William Lawson: Many times the folks maybe in a depressive phase and other times, maybe manic – when people see them they're just in a depressive phase and so the misdiagnosis depression. Many times the depressive symptoms can overlap the manic symptoms. The person may feel like they have, they're just sad, tearful but still working like crazy, shopping like crazy, spending like crazy. We also find high with it in various severe cases. Folks may actually feel like they can heal forces, have thoughts that delusions that are frankly out of this world and then it can be diagnosed as schizophrenia. What are the different types of bipolar disorder? William Lawson: Yeah, that relates to how we diagnose using the Diagnostic Statistical Manual which is a diagnostic system. The psychiatry developed in order to bring consistency before it an