ask our doctors

Bipolar Disorder

Get the facts on Bipolar Disorder treatment, diagnosis, staging, causes, types, symptoms. Information and current news about clinical trials and trial-related data, Bipolar Disorder prevention, screening, research, statistics and other Bipolar Disorder related topics. We answer all your qestions about Bipolar Disorder.

Question: Bipolar disorder? I'm writing a book. Anyone have any experience with living with a parent/loved one with bipolar disorder? I'm particularly interested in the mania stage of the disease. The mother in my book has it and rarely, if ever (I'm in planning stages) goes through the depressive stage. Mainly just mania. Any comments/anything I need to know? I may describe the depressive side, but it isn't actually required to have the disorder. I do know a little bit of what's required for diagnosis, but I don't know what it's like to be around someone who has the disorder.

Answer: I dated a woman once who was bi-polar. Every time she went through a depressive stage I would hold her in my arms all night long and tell her everything was going to be ok. She would tell me about why she was sad and I would stay with her until it was over. One time I asked her what was wrong and she told me she didn't like her toothbrush. That was when I realized that she would never be better, that I couldn't take all her pain away, that I was helpless with her problems. Later, I went into healthcare. At one point I got one of my MR residents diagnosed as bi-polar (they incorrectly thought he had obsessive compulsive disorder). When he was manic he would be easily distracted, in the middle of a conversation he would start cleaning his apartment because it was dirty. He would do this for hours at a time even if there were other more pressing things to do. When he finally had a depressive episode he would lie in bed and lack the energy to even get up. The medicine helped but left him feeling like he couldn't experience emotions (it took the highs & lows away). I remember a third person who was obsessed with germs, when she was in a manic state she would shower dozens of times a day. She would actually run her books and notebooks through the dishwasher to keep them germ free. Manic Depressive behaviour often looks a lot like OCD, except in OCD people realize what they are doing is silly - they just don't feel comfortable not doing it. With bipolar they don't realize there is anything wrong with thier behaviour. It can be very difficult to live with someone with Bipolar, and it requires a special kind of love. Good luck with the book :-) NOTE: manic / depressive cycles are very long, usually weeks or months... shorter cycles (hours or days) are a different disorder.

Bipolar Disorder News