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BACOL-speaks

BACOL speaks – Are you a policyholder? It’s about British American Insurance Co. Ltd.

Watch and be guided:
https://fb.watch/7rDXc4LXUB/

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BACOL – Justice within reach

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sources-ECCB-Reports-Labour-survey-Budget-speech-and-radio-remarks

We need to know the true state of our economy

Contribution – Part 117 (DOD ‘21 # 11)

How can we make a proper, strongly supported case for economic relief unless we understand where our economy is?

BRADES, Montserrat, July 8, 2021 –  On June 17, 2021, Hon Premier Easton Taylor Farrell presented our annual budget, which had been delayed in part due to the need for a poverty assessment due for May.  However, during his speech, the Premier did not give us specific statistics on poverty. Indeed, while he gave us economic growth rate figures for the world and for the UK as well as the EC region, he did not do so for Montserrat. Such an omission is likely to be significant (as we have been battered by both a volcano crisis and now a pandemic), and there is a public need and right to know what the state of our economy is. It may be bad, but it is the base on which we must build to achieve a brighter future.

SOURCES, ECCB Reports, Labour survey; Budget speech and radio remarks

Accordingly, once we could find figures at ECCB and once we heard hints from the budget debate and on a subsequent Opposition programme on Tuesday, July 6, we think it is important to share what we found.

The figures, reflecting the pandemic riding on top of twenty-six years of volcano crisis, are – as expected – less than happy reading.

However, we must emphasise: it was the duty of the presenters of the budget, to be frank with the public about our economic performance. If that is not done consistently, astute investors will begin to “read between the lines,” drawing prudent conclusions from what is not said, and not to our advantage.  Others will take their cues from what the smart money players are doing – “signalling” – and business confidence, for cause, will collapse.

Instead, let us face the numbers, again recognising the impact of many years of volcano crisis and the added blow from the pandemic. Then, let us look at how the CIPREG projects approved in 2019 after years of effort to make the case are likely to help to turn the tide.  For, the UK’s confidence to invest in key growth-driving infrastructure is a very good long term signal for Montserrat. Yes, it’s been long, it’s been rough, but we are coming back, better than ever.

A point of surprise (given much talk of a “dead, dead, dead” economy) is that by 2019, the economy was already growing at a 6 – 7% clip. Where, yes, our local economic model runs about 1½% hotter than ECCB’s. But the two models agree that there was about a 14% adverse swing in growth due to the pandemic hit. For further example, low construction activity readily accounts for the high unemployment rate for men. We should note, though, that construction is not that much larger than the much bemoaned agricultural sector (usually pegged at 2 – 3% of GDP); that means, we should not write off agriculture’s potential to help make a difference to growth. Likewise, tourist arrivals, pre-pandemic, were well along the way to the sort of goals that were suggested by planners a decade or so ago. There is obvious room for growth, with tourism as a first growth driver. Close behind, are digitalisation and Geothermal Energy. But we should not overlook agriculture and other possibilities such as light manufacturing (bottled water for example) or even educational tourism.

The linked concern is, how hard the pandemic and lack of a sustained stimulus have hit struggling businesses, families facing income losses or gaps and our financial institutions with a one-two punch combo.  Let us see what we can do to help businesses and people who look to construction, tourism and the like. Of course, the cloud, that given a volcano crisis weakened economy the Civil Service is about half of employment, has the silver lining that the steady income probably cushioned some of the additional blows. But, we want growth, and growth led by the private sector.

That noted, the growth rate for 2019 also suggests that CIPREG should lay a basis for sustained, accelerated growth.  Is there need to mention, in a pandemic world, that a solid hospital is a key enabler for growth? That, in a digital age, solid education with good exposure to key technologies is another key enabler? That we will need training for the hospitality industry? That workers need somewhere to live? That public transport is important, as is access? Have we forgotten how many ways the ferry enabled the small business sector and facilitated travel for so many of us? That this last issue will be the subject of serious if not urgent review as to the motives and beneficial consequences for the disablement?

The high youth unemployment rate is of particular concern, and easily explains the problem of an annual emigration of graduates from our secondary school. We need growth sectors to draw in our youth and give hope for the future. That is in part, what CIPREG is about.

All of this, then draws attention to the missing stimulus.

Yes, missing. Montserrat is probably comparable to a small rural town in England or Wales. With something like £300 billion in pandemic stimulus on the cards, there was no good reason why we should not have had a much more significant intervention, given our pre-existing volcano-ravaged economy. Yes, CIPREG is important, but it is a medium-to-long-term measure. Bridging support is manifestly needed.

The UK acknowledges the legal force of the UN Charter, Article 73, so it should be feasible to negotiate for such a support package; those who tried to deride, dismiss and mock the relevance of this Charter have done us no favours. Let us now re-think and act on this key high card for negotiations. Yes, the UK is legally bound to promote constructive measures of development and to ensure our economic, educational, social and political advancement while respecting our culture.

For those negotiations, the UK’s own domestic support is an obvious yardstick, and social housing, road development and support to businesses and those facing hardships would be logical targets. Similarly, this is the time to make the point that we need to have a proper port development, with a breakwater. Not least, the UK’s domestic pandemic package shows that they know that in the face of a blow like this, failing to inject significant support would only enable a further economic down spiral. That holds for Montserrat, too, and so they must know that an inadequate aid intervention would predictably help to make matters worse. Especially, if it damages the capacity of our tourism sector. Our case for economic support is naturally quite strong. We must make it and we must show our capability and sound governance to build confidence that we can implement successfully.

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The-originally-proposed-Sea-Port-development

Seaport project woes

Contribution, Part 116 (‘21 # 09)

Have we cut down our CIPREG seaport project to inadequacy, by eliminating the breakwater component?

The proposed cut-down seaport development with a shortened jetty – yes, with no breakwater (so no ships can dock if “North Seas” decide to kick up some rough waves)

BRADES, Montserrat, July 8, 2021 –  In a presentation for the social/environmental impact assessment townhall meeting held on June 29th, the Montserrat public saw the “finalised” [?] cut-down, no-breakwater seaport development that is currently contemplated.  The obvious question, is whether we are again being forced to accept an inadequate, cut-down port project, similar to the bitter pill up in Geralds.

For, without a proper breakwater, it is obvious that we are back to the same problem of having to turn away ships when seas are rough that has plagued our current jetty. This has meant, for example, that tourist and cargo ships would have to turn back when seas become rough.

The proposed, cut-down seaport development, with a shortened jetty – yes, with no breakwater

Indeed, when the Port Project was officially launched on Friday, May 17, 2019, then Premier Donaldson Romeo noted that, 

“due to rough seas…out of a total of 478 calls [for 2018?], vessels were unable to berth 58 times…one vessel out of every eight had to turn back. “Yes, that is not sustainable. We had to fix the problem . . .”[1]

So, we may compare the proposed breakwater-based development at that time:

The originally proposed Sea Port development, as was publicised when the project was launched, May 17, 2019. Notice the then identified costing, which was later found to be faulty

Of course, we later heard that a Programme Management Office [PMO] review found that the cost of this general design was significantly low. While no detailed documentation or explanation of the under-costing has been given to the Montserrat public, officials in the know have suggested that the cost may have been double or more the £21.4 million identified in the chart issued on May 17, 2019. Something, that needs to be properly explained, as experienced consultants were used to developing the general design and so too to give its cost estimate. In that process, £14.4 million was found to be inadequate relative to needs and so £7 million more were transferred by the EU. Where, that obviously means our regional development bank, CDB, and the EU as well as DfID and GoM were involved in evaluating design and costs. What went wrong with the port costing, why, and why was it missed until a PMO review was undertaken? 

So, the immediate question is, are we being forced to accept another inadequate, economy-choking port? One, that will instantly cripple our tourism prospects? And if that is so, why is that being imposed now by FCDO?

After all, doesn’t the relevant clause of the legally binding UN Charter, Article 73[2] require the UK to “promote to the utmost . . . the well-being of the inhabitants of [non-self-governing] territories,” to “ensure . . . their political, economic, social, and educational advancement,” and to “promote constructive measures of development”?

In a day when, in response to pandemic, the UK will cumulatively invest over £ 300 billions in internal Covid-19 stimulus and where it spent some £300 millions on an airport for St Helena (promoted as a yardstick of what they were willing to invest), are we to seriously believe it cannot find a further £20 – 30 millions to fund an adequate sea port here? Especially, when apparently DfID, EU and CDB were all caught on the back foot (as well as GoM) on the initial costing? Is Montserrat’s vital first growth driver – tourism – to be held hostage to what seems to be a consultancy blunder?

Something, does not add up.

At minimum perhaps, we will indeed be forced to accept a grossly inadequate sea port to go with our coerced acceptance of an inadequate airport, with its far too short runway, in the wrong place.  This means that just as we have to bear in mind that Thatch Valley is the site to beat for a 5,000 foot, jet plane ready airport, Carrs Bay would be the reserved site for the “real” sea-port development, later on. But, economy-choking ports are going to make that future date shrink even further into the distant future.

Not good.

Far better would be to frankly face whatever errors led to a problem with costing, then seek a solution. Where, no, in a pandemic age we need an adequate hospital so, rob Peter to pay Paul won’t work. Nor can we continue to neglect the social housing challenge nor the needed upgrade to our only high school. Thank God, after a decade of struggle with a clearly reluctant DfID, we now have restored fibre optic digital access and Flow and Digicel are undertaking fibre to the home, school, office, and factory initiatives. Digitalisation is of course, our second obvious growth driver. Likewise, we have had 250 kW of Solar PV capacity installed, with 750 kW and 1 MWhr of storage being further added. Likewise, we are at least hearing talk of follow-up on geothermal energy. Geothermal, arguably, is our third growth driver.

While we are at it, those who were so busy denouncing the EC$ 200 millions of funded development initiatives as a deceitful election gimmick, have some explaining and public apologising to do. That includes – having already publicly dismissed the CIPREG, UKCIF, and EU initiatives and funding – presenting a 2021/22 budget where every capital initiative of consequence came from that derided EC$ 200 million. . . without even generically acknowledging the work of previous administrations in putting that funding in place.

Where, no, long-term development project funding is not a piggy bank to be raided at will and used to do whatever one wishes. Projects are specifically developed, justified, negotiated to obtain funding, then are implemented under close monitoring and audit. If something goes wrong, they can be terminated for cause. Public rhetoric that has suggested otherwise actually undermines confidence in our project governance capability and makes it even harder to negotiate for future projects.


[1] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/new-port-development-launched/

[2] See UN https://legal.un.org/repertory/art73.shtml

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Sherlock-Holmes

Of the silence of Budgets, DFID/FCDO Business Cases, FAM MoUs (and SDPs)

Contribution (Part 118 ‘21 # 12)

Is the near silence on the pandemic in the Budget Speech and the FAM MoU sending us a message?

Holmes in action, wearing the famous Deerstalker hat. Here, the issue was “the watchdog that didn’t bark” as the key, overlooked clue.  That applies, today, to what officials don’t say, and it applies to what the usual voices don’t say, too.

BRADES, Montserrat, July 8, 2021 –  Our Current Budget and Financial Aid Mission Memorandum of Understanding (FAM MoU), surprisingly, say very little about the pandemic and our urgent need for economic support and stimulus. Given that, at the same time, the UK likely will have spent North of £300 billion domestically on pandemic support and stimulus, something does not add up. So, it is time to look again at our planning and negotiating process, using MoU’s and Business Cases as windows to help us see what is going on behind closed doors. Then, we can make a more effective call for obviously, urgently needed change.

There is a famous Sherlock Holmes fictional detective case that was solved because of the dog that didn’t bark. As the dialogue in the short story, Silver Blaze,[1] puts it:

Inspector Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?
Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.
Gregory: The dog did nothing in the nighttime.
Holmes: That was the curious incident.

That observation helped to solve the case.  Just so, taking due note of what politicians, officials, and other public voices don’t say, can give us big clues. This is an application of the famous investment principle, signaling behaviour.[2] (As in, actions – including strategic silence – often speaks more truly than words. However, one usually has to be well informed and insightful to be able to consistently read accurately from silence and other similar behaviours.)

Our first clue, is that the FAM MoU (despite repeated, timely requests) was only released after the budget debate. As a fair comment, this act by the Ministers responsible for the Budget robbed our elected representatives, the media, and the public alike of the chance to carefully examine the terms and conditions attached to budgetary aid. 

Already, that is beyond the pale of responsible behaviour.

Let us, instead, recognise that the people have a right to know what is in the FAM MoU (also, by extension, the 2019/22 Financial Aid Business Case,[3] which is included by reference in clause 1 of the MoU), and our elected representatives, who vote on the budget, have a duty to know. A responsible person does not sign up to a solemn agreement, without careful reading. In that context, clause 37 is interesting: “In line with the FCDO’s Transparency commitments, the Partner gives consent for this Arrangement (and any subsequent amendments) and associated funding to be published on FCDO’s website.”

Secondly, in the MoU, there is hardly a reference to the pandemic.  For key example, notice the obviously studious silence regarding the pandemic in clause 7:

“Should there be any revenue shortfalls in the 2021/22 budget year caused by underperformance of revenue (which are not the outcome of extraordinary external factors such as a hurricane), the government [of Montserrat] will be required to undertake spending restrictions,  implement cost savings or use other methods to cover the shortfall. The FCDO will not disburse extra funding to cover non-performance of revenue.”

Isn’t the pandemic an “extraordinary external factor” that has been hitting us since March 2020? One, that is riding on 26 years of impacts of volcano crisis? Shouldn’t there, naturally, be major steps taken to support those facing hardships and to counter devastating economic and social impacts, similar to what is being undertaken in the UK? If not – on UN Charter, Article 73 (acknowledged by the UK as legally binding) – why not?

Why is the dog silent here?

Then, in clause 14, we see: “The Government must submit full and timely evidence in support of claims, including . . . a breakdown [of?] any expenditure for COVID related expenditures.”

Again, why the business as usual focus, with barely a mention of the current number one global policy issue and challenge?

Thirdly, what was presented is more or less a business as usual budget, in the face of a major disaster.  To see this, let’s compare the Budget support for 2020/21 with that for 2021/22:

21/22: Recurrent  £20, 175,342, Access £493,151, Technical Cooperation & Capacity £2,931,507

20/21: Recurrent £19,230,000, Access £1,560,000, TC&C £2,810,000

—————————————

Changes: Access falls £1.07 million, recurrent is up £ 945 thousand, TC&C is up £122 thousand; net, fall, about £30 thousand.

This does not look anything like a move to support a strong response to a major disaster.

Fourth, as we noted last time, while in the Budget Speech, there were remarks on the global economy, the UK economy, and even the EC dollar region, there was no summary of specific facts and figures on Montserrat’s economy, just some general references. Fifth, on finding or hearing ECCB and local figures, we recognised the ‘extraordinary event,’ that the economy swung about 14% adverse in its growth rate. Yes, from strong positive growth to sharp recession.

That would normally require far more than business as usual. The contrast with the UK Government’s (UKG’s) domestic response, therefore, speaks for itself. Something is wrong.  Especially, when several classes of construction, maintenance, and similar “kick-start” projects have long been on the table. Where, too, the same message comes out in the missing balance to clause 16: “GOM should identify, quantify and implement efficiency savings that aim to reduce future Financial Aid settlements from FCDO.”

Turning to the 2019/22 Business Case, we see:

 “HMG has a responsibility under the UN Charter to meet the reasonable needs of dependencies in the overseas territories, where financial self-sufficiency is not yet possible . . . UK Financial Aid to Montserrat will continue to help GoM bridge the gap between their domestic revenues and necessary expenditure . . . This enables, among other priorities, health and education services, access to the island, and supports the development of the government’s own capacity through the provision of skills and expertise through a Technical Cooperation program.  This support is vital to ensure HMG is delivering on its commitment to meet the reasonable assistance needs of Montserrat and supporting its sustainable economic growth and prosperity . . . . The program will support the implementation of the Government’s Sustainable Development Plan, Economic Growth Strategy, and the strategies and priorities of GoM ministries, which have been agreed in close consultation between DFID and GoM.” [p. 2]

That acknowledged, legally binding UN Charter Article 73 obligation, includes “ensur[ing]” economic, social, educational and political advancement and “promot[ing]” constructive measures of development. In a context of a pandemic, with the UK’s own domestic interventions as a yardstick, it is fairly clear that a business as usual GoM budget is not good enough.  As a side note, the Sustainable Development Plan sets out the long-term framework for development planning. However, it ran its course in 2020, so perhaps it could be extended as an interim as the development of a successor plan is undertaken.


[1] See https://sherlock-holm.es/stories/pdf/a4/1-sided/silv.pdf

[2] See https://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/signaling

[3] See UKG Development Tracker https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-1-204728/documents

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Dr-John-Campbell-of-the-UK-summarises-how-degree-of-use-of-Ivermectin-across-Peru-Mexico-and-India

Compulsory Jabs vs the Nuremberg Code

Contribution Part 115 – 2021 # 08)

Have our authorities overstepped their bounds by moving towards compulsory vaccinations? (What does the post-WWII Nuremberg Code have to say?)

BRADES, Montserrat, July 7, 2021 –  A recent Government of Montserrat Human Resources circular of June 30th entitled “Updated Guidance on Discretionary Leave Provisions” has come to our attention here at TMR. In key parts, it reads:

“Public officers who apply for and are awarded Government Scholarships to study at institutions  abroad  will,  from the academic  year  2021/2022  be  required  to  be vaccinated before traveling to take up these awards . . . . It will also be a requirement for public officers attending training courses abroad to be fully vaccinated.”

Of course, given the third jab proposed for Autumn this year and reports of a train of onward booster shots every year or even every six months (as TMR has already reported[1]), “fully vaccinated” is a meaningless, dead term.  No, given what officials and even BBC[2] have said, it’s not “two jabs plus two weeks and you’re good to go.” BBC: “[p]lans for a Covid booster jab programme in the autumn will be set out in the next few weeks, [now former UK Health Secretary] Matt Hancock has said.”

Now, given utterly unnecessary sharp polarisation and accusations such as “incitement,” a point of clarification: there is evidence that vaccines can be effective and fairly safe. However, as risk is not evenly distributed in the population, if one has a significant medical history, consult a physician before any serious medical intervention. Where, too, if a train of treatments is in view, overall risks obviously can rise with such repeated exposure.

However, the bigger question raised by the circular is compulsory treatment – “required,” “a requirement” –  in the context of rushed experimental vaccines that to date only have emergency or contingent authorisation, not full approval. Tests for long-term effects and risks cannot be rushed.

Where, this obviously means – never mind objections by officialdom – they are still experimental and of course, there are significant concerns about risks.  Also, after the horrific Nazi medical experiments,[3] the Nuremberg Courts that judged war criminals issued a code for experimental medical treatments, which was then embedded in international and national law as well as in ethical standards for medical and research practice. This Nuremberg Code reads, in key parts[4]:

“[C]ertain types of medical experiments on human beings, when kept within reasonably well-defined bounds, conform to the ethics of the medical profession generally . . . certain basic principles must be observed in order to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts . . . The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have the legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior[5] form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”


A statement by Frontline Doctors group on Ivermectin

This is already decisive.

For, this means, sing- off- the- same- hymn- sheet PR talking points that suppress or stigmatise significant alternative views held by qualified people or simple concerns raised by the public are unethical and create liability. This includes marginalising concerns on risks of treatments,[6] the manifest fact that we are dealing with an unprecedented rushed global vaccination experiment, and issues regarding unduly sidelined evidence[7] that treatments such as Ivermectin-based cocktails can be effective. 

In short, it is arguable that we have not been given a balanced briefing that includes a true and fair view of reasonable alternatives, concerns, and risks.

Even if one could argue that we are increasingly or already beyond “experimental” treatment, a fortiori logic applies.

That is, if coercion, manipulation, hidden motives, and suppression of reasonable alternatives and/or concerns are improper for medical experiments, for cause – “how much more”  or “just like that” – they are also equally unacceptable for treatments in general. So, denial of the experimental status of the rushed vaccines does not allow one to wriggle off the hook.

The Nuremberg Code continues:

“[B]efore the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment . . .”

With a third jab and onward train of booster shots already being on the table, with emerging issues and concerns on risks (think, blood clots and heart issues for young men) and more,  it is simple fair comment to note that such informed consent has long since been undermined. Obviously, informed consent applies “just as much” to more or less established treatments.

Then, we see:


“The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature . . .”

Dr. John Campbell of the UK summarises how the degree of use of Ivermectin across Peru’s 25 states [33 million population] is linked to a reduction in Covid-19 deaths, there are similar results in Mexico and India

So, if there is reasonable access to and evidence of plausibly effective, less risky treatments (such as Ivermectin), then that should be fairly investigated and frankly disclosed.

Similarly, naturally acquired immunity is known to be highly effective. Some even suggest that it can be superior to that from many vaccines. So, why aren’t we testing for natural immunity before vaccinations and insisting on vaccinating people who have had and recovered from Covid-19?

The other methods or means test is also significant.

For, why are we using “gold standard” criteria for “evidence” that block the voice of otherwise valid “real-world evidence” and rule out otherwise plausibly credible treatments?

This lends added force to our next snippet from the Nuremberg Code:

“Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability or death . . .”

That speaks for itself, especially when we see:

“During the course of the experiment, the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.”

Resort to compulsion cannot be justified. The circular above is ill-advised and the precedent it may set is dangerous.

Accordingly, we find a final duty of those in charge of medical interventions:

“During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject. “

Where, for cause, the attempted defence: “We were following the orders of legitimate authorities” was rejected by the Courts at Nuremberg.

This you will find does have some bearing to the United Nations “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)”


[1] TMR, June 25, 2021:  https://www.themontserratreporter.com/the-emerging-covid-vax-booster-shot-train/

[2] See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57570377  and  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-57548796.amp

[3] See https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/nazi-medical-experiments

[4] See, http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/

[5] That is, hidden.

[6] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/facebook-fact-check-fallacies-and-pandemic-panics-2/

[7] TMR, https://www.themontserratreporter.com/ivermectin-and-the-vaccine-debate/

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, Court, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Education, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

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Everything You Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder

https://www.healthline.com/

Has anyone ever told you about this Disorder? Or, did you ever think this about yourself, or someone else? There are more people right around you who suffer unknowingly, causing bad relationships and destroying good ones. We present from Healthline – here to help.

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood. Symptoms can include an extremely elevated mood called mania. They can also include episodes of depression. Bipolar disorder is also known as bipolar disease or manic depression.

People with bipolar disorder may have trouble managing everyday life tasks at school or work, or maintaining relationships. There’s no cure, but there are many treatment options available that can help to manage the symptoms. Learn the signs of bipolar disorder to watch for.

Bipolar disorder facts

Bipolar disorder isn’t a rare brain disorder. In fact, 2.8 percent of U.S. adults — or about 5 million people — have been diagnosed with it. The average age when people with bipolar disorder begin to show symptoms is 25 years old.

Depression caused by bipolar disorder lasts at least two weeks. A high (manic) episode can last for several days or weeks. Some people will experience episodes of changes in mood several times a year, while others may experience them only rarely. Here’s what having bipolar disorder feels like for some people.

Bipolar disorder symptoms

There are three main symptoms that can occur with bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, and depression.

While experiencing mania, a person with bipolar disorder may feel an emotional high. They can feel excited, impulsive, euphoric, and full of energy. During manic episodes, they may also engage in behavior such as:

Hypomania is generally associated with bipolar II disorder. It’s similar to mania, but it’s not as severe. Unlike mania, hypomania may not result in any trouble at work, school, or in social relationships. However, people with hypomania still notice changes in their mood.

During an episode of depression you may experience:

Although it’s not a rare condition, bipolar disorder can be hard to diagnose because of its varied symptoms. Find out about the symptoms that often occur during high and low periods.

Bipolar disorder symptoms in women

Men and women are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in equal numbers. However, the main symptoms of the disorder may be different between the two genders. In many cases, a woman with bipolar disorder may:

  • be diagnosed later in life, in her 20s or 30s
  • have milder episodes of mania
  • experience more depressive episodes than manic episodes
  • have four or more episodes of mania and depression in a year, which is called rapid cycling
  • experience other conditions at the same time, including thyroid diseaseobesityanxiety disorders, and migraines
  • have a higher lifetime risk of alcohol use disorder

Women with bipolar disorder may also relapse more often. This is believed to be caused by hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. If you’re a woman and think you may have bipolar disorder, it’s important for you to get the facts. Here’s what you need to know about bipolar disorder in women.

Bipolar disorder symptoms in men

Men and women both experience common symptoms of bipolar disorder. However, men may experience symptoms differently than women. Men with bipolar disorder may:

  • be diagnosed earlier in life
  • experience more severe episodes, especially manic episodes
  • have substance abuse issues
  • act out during manic episodes

Men with bipolar disorder are less likely than women to seek medical care on their own. They’re also more likely to die by suicide.

Types of bipolar disorder

There are three main types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

Bipolar I

Bipolar I is defined by the appearance of at least one manic episode. You may experience hypomanic or major depressive episodes before and after the manic episode. This type of bipolar disorder affects men and women equally.

Bipolar II

People with this type of bipolar disorder experience one major depressive episode that lasts at least two weeks. They also have at least one hypomanic episode that lasts about four days. This type of bipolar disorder is thought to be more common in women.

Cyclothymia

People with cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania and depression. These symptoms are shorter and less severe than the mania and depression caused by bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Most people with this condition only experience a month or two at a time where their moods are stable.

When discussing your diagnosis, your doctor will be able to tell you what kind of bipolar disorder you have. In the meantime, learn more about the types of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder in children

Diagnosing bipolar disorder in children is controversial. This is largely because children don’t always display the same bipolar disorder symptoms as adults. Their moods and behaviors may also not follow the standards doctors use to diagnose the disorder in adults.

Many bipolar disorder symptoms that occur in children also overlap with symptoms from a range of other disorders that can occur in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

However, in the last few decades, doctors and mental health professionals have come to recognize the condition in children. A diagnosis can help children get treatment, but reaching a diagnosis may take many weeks or months. Your child may need to seek special care from a professional trained to treat children with mental health issues.

Like adults, children with bipolar disorder experience episodes of elevated mood. They can appear very happy and show signs of excitable behavior. These periods are then followed by depression. While all children experience mood changes, changes caused by bipolar disorder are very pronounced. They’re also usually more extreme than a child’s typical change in mood.

Manic symptoms in children

Symptoms of a child’s manic episode caused by bipolar disorder can include:

  • acting very silly and feeling overly happy
  • talking fast and rapidly changing subjects
  • having trouble focusing or concentrating
  • doing risky things or experimenting with risky behaviors
  • having a very short temper that leads quickly to outbursts of anger
  • having trouble sleeping and not feeling tired after sleep loss

Depressive symptoms in children

Symptoms of a child’s depressive episode caused by bipolar disorder can include:

  • moping around or acting very sad
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • having little energy for normal activities or showing no signs of interest in anything
  • complaining about not feeling well, including having frequent headaches or stomachaches
  • experiencing feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • eating too little or too much
  • thinking about death and possibly suicide

Other possible diagnoses

Some of the behavior issues you may witness in your child could be the result of another condition. ADHD and other behavior disorders can occur in children with bipolar disorder. Work with your child’s doctor to document your child’s unusual behaviors, which will help lead to a diagnosis.

Finding the correct diagnosis can help your child’s doctor determine treatments that can help your child live a healthy life. Read more about bipolar disorder in children.

Bipolar disorder in teens

Angst-filled behavior is nothing new to the average parent of a teenager. The shifts in hormones, plus the life changes that come with puberty, can make even the most well-behaved teen seem a little upset or overly emotional from time to time. However, some teenage changes in mood may be the result of a more serious condition, such as bipolar disorder.

A bipolar disorder diagnosis is most common during the late teens and early adult years. For teenagers, the more common symptoms of a manic episode include:

  • being very happy
  • “acting out” or misbehaving
  • taking part in risky behaviors
  • abusing substances
  • thinking about sex more than usual
  • becoming overly sexual or sexually active
  • having trouble sleeping but not showing signs of fatigue or being tired
  • having a very short temper
  • having trouble staying focused, or being easily distracted

For teenagers, the more common symptoms of a depressive episode include:

  • sleeping a lot or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • feeling very sad and showing little excitability
  • withdrawing from activities and friends
  • thinking about death and suicide

Diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder can help teens live a healthy life. Learn more about bipolar disorder in teenagers and how to treat it.ADVERTISEMENTAffordable therapy delivered digitally – Try BetterHelp

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Bipolar disorder and depression

Bipolar disorder can have two extremes: up and down. To be diagnosed with bipolar, you must experience a period of mania or hypomania. People generally feel “up” in this phase of the disorder. When you’re experiencing an “up” change in mood, you may feel highly energized and be easily excitable.

Some people with bipolar disorder will also experience a major depressive episode, or a “down” mood. When you’re experiencing a “down” change in mood, you may feel lethargic, unmotivated, and sad. However, not all people with bipolar disorder who have this symptom feel “down” enough to be labeled depressed. For instance, for some people, once their mania is treated, a normal mood may feel like depression because they enjoyed the “high” caused by the manic episode.

While bipolar disorder can cause you to feel depressed, it’s not the same as the condition called depression. Bipolar disorder can cause highs and lows, but depression causes moods and emotions that are always “down.” Discover the differences between bipolar disorder and depression.

Causes of bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a common mental health disorder, but it’s a bit of a mystery to doctors and researchers. It’s not yet clear what causes some people to develop the condition and not others.

Possible causes of bipolar disorder include:

Genetics

If your parent or sibling has bipolar disorder, you’re more likely than other people to develop the condition (see below). However, it’s important to keep in mind that most people who have bipolar disorder in their family history don’t develop it.

Your brain

Your brain structure may impact your risk for the disease. Abnormalities in the structure or functions of your brain may increase your risk.

Environmental factors

It’s not just what’s in your body that can make you more likely to develop bipolar disorder. Outside factors may contribute, too. These factors can include:

  • extreme stress
  • traumatic experiences
  • physical illness

Each of these factors may influence who develops bipolar disorder. What’s more likely, however, is that a combination of factors contributes to the development of the disease. Here’s what you need to know about the potential causes of bipolar disorder.

Is bipolar disorder hereditary?

Bipolar disorder can be passed from parent to child. Research has identified a strong genetic link in people with the disorder. If you have a relative with the disorder, your chances of also developing it are four to six times higher than people without a family history of the condition.

However, this doesn’t mean that everyone with relatives who have the disorder will develop it. In addition, not everyone with bipolar disorder has a family history of the disease.

Still, genetics seem to play a considerable role in the incidence of bipolar disorder. If you have a family member with bipolar disorder, find out whether screening might be a good idea for you.

Bipolar disorder diagnosis

A diagnosis of bipolar disorder (i) involves either one or more manic episodes, or mixed (manic and depressive) episodes. It may also include a major depressive episode, but it may not. A diagnosis of bipolar (ii) involves one or more major depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania.

To be diagnosed with a manic episode, you must experience symptoms that last for at least one week or that cause you to be hospitalized. You must experience symptoms almost all day every day during this time. Major depressive episodes, on the other hand, must last for at least two weeks.

Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because mood swings can vary. It’s even harder to diagnose in children and adolescents. This age group often has greater changes in mood, behavior, and energy levels.

Bipolar disorder often gets worse if it’s left untreated. Episodes may happen more often or become more extreme. But if you receive treatment for your bipolar disorder, it’s possible for you to lead a healthy and productive life. Therefore, diagnosis is very important. See how bipolar disorder is diagnosed.

Bipolar disorder symptoms test

One test result doesn’t make a bipolar disorder diagnosis. Instead, your doctor will use several tests and exams. These may include:

  • Physical exam. Your doctor will do a full physical exam. They may also order blood or urine tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
  • Mental health evaluation. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. These doctors diagnose and treat mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. During the visit, they will evaluate your mental health and look for signs of bipolar disorder.
  • Mood journal. If your doctor suspects your behavior changes are the result of a mood disorder like bipolar, they may ask you to chart your moods. The easiest way to do this is to keep a journal of how you’re feeling and how long these feelings last. Your doctor may also suggest that you record your sleeping and eating patterns.
  • Diagnostic criteria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is an outline of symptoms for various mental health disorders. Doctors can follow this list to confirm a bipolar diagnosis.

Your doctor may use other tools and tests to diagnose bipolar disorder in addition to these. Read about other tests that can help confirm a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Bipolar disorder treatment

Several treatments are available that can help you manage your bipolar disorder. These include medications, counseling, and lifestyle changes. Some natural remedies may also be helpful.

Medications

Recommended medications may include:

  • mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid)
  • antipsychotics, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • antidepressant-antipsychotics, such as fluoxetine-olanzapine (Symbyax)
  • benzodiazepines, a type of anti-anxiety medication such as alprazolam (Xanax) that may be used for short-term treatment

Psychotherapy

Recommended psychotherapy treatments may include:

Online therapy options

Read our review of the best online therapy options to find the right fit for you.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy. You and a therapist talk about ways to manage your bipolar disorder. They will help you understand your thinking patterns. They can also help you come up with positive coping strategies. You can connect to a mental health care professional in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool.

Psychoeducation

Psychoeducation is a kind of counseling that helps you and your loved ones understand the disorder. Knowing more about bipolar disorder will help you and others in your life manage it.

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) focuses on regulating daily habits, such as sleeping, eating, and exercising. Balancing these everyday basics can help you manage your disorder.

Other treatment options

Other treatment options may include:

Lifestyle changes

There are also some simple steps you can take right now to help manage your bipolar disorder:

  • keep a routine for eating and sleeping
  • learn to recognize mood swings
  • ask a friend or relative to support your treatment plans
  • talk to a doctor or licensed healthcare provider

Other lifestyle changes can also help relieve depressive symptoms caused by bipolar disorder. Check out these seven ways to help manage a depressive episode.

Natural remedies for bipolar disorder

Some natural remedies may be helpful for bipolar disorder. However, it’s important not to use these remedies without first talking with your doctor. These treatments could interfere with medications you’re taking.

The following herbs and supplements may help stabilize your mood and relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder:

Several other minerals and vitamins may also reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder. Here’s 10 alternative treatments for bipolar disorder.

Tips for coping and support

If you or someone you know has bipolar disorder, you’re not alone. Bipolar disorder affects about 60 million peopleTrusted Source around the world.

One of the best things you can do is to educate yourself and those around you. There are many resources available. For instance, SAMHSA’s behavioral health treatment services locator provides treatment information by ZIP code. You can also find additional resources at the site for the National Institute of Mental Health.

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, make an appointment with your doctor. If you think a friend, relative, or loved one may have bipolar disorder, your support and understanding is crucial. Encourage them to see a doctor about any symptoms they’re having. And read how to help someone living with bipolar disorder.

People who are experiencing a depressive episode may have suicidal thoughts. You should always take any talk of suicide seriously.

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Bipolar disorder and relationships

When it comes to managing a relationship while you live with bipolar disorder, honesty is the best policy. Bipolar disorder can have an impact on any relationship in your life, perhaps especially on a romantic relationship. So, it’s important to be open about your condition.

There’s no right or wrong time to tell someone you have bipolar disorder. Be open and honest as soon as you’re ready. Consider sharing these facts to help your partner better understand the condition:

  • when you were diagnosed
  • what to expect during your depressive phases
  • what to expect during your manic phases
  • how you typically treat your moods
  • how they can be helpful to you

One of the best ways to support and make a relationship successful is to stick with your treatment. Treatment helps you reduce symptoms and scale back the severity of your changes in mood. With these aspects of the disorder under control, you can focus more on your relationship.

Your partner can also learn ways to promote a healthy relationship. Check out this guide to maintaining healthy relationships while coping with bipolar disorder, which has tips for both you and your partner.

Living with bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. That means you’ll live and cope with it for the rest of your life. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t live a happy, healthy life.

Treatment can help you manage your changes in mood and cope with your symptoms. To get the most out of treatment, you may want to create a care team to help you. In addition to your primary doctor, you may want to find a psychiatrist and psychologist. Through talk therapy, these doctors can help you cope with symptoms of bipolar disorder that medication can’t help.

You may also want to seek out a supportive community. Finding other people who’re also living with this disorder can give you a group of people you can rely on and turn to for help.

Finding treatments that work for you requires perseverance. Likewise, you need to have patience with yourself as you learn to manage bipolar disorder and anticipate your changes in mood. Together with your care team, you’ll find ways to maintain a normal, happy, healthy life.

While living with bipolar disorder can be a real challenge, it can help to maintain a sense of humor about life. For a chuckle, check out this list of 25 things only someone with bipolar disorder would understand.

Last medically reviewed on January 18, 2018

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Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Kimberly Holland and Emma Nicholls and the Healthline Editorial Team on January 18, 2018

Bipolar disorder symptoms test

One test result doesn’t make a bipolar disorder diagnosis. Instead, your doctor will use several tests and exams. These may include:

  • Physical exam. Your doctor will do a full physical exam. They may also order blood or urine tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
  • Mental health evaluation. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. These doctors diagnose and treat mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. During the visit, they will evaluate your mental health and look for signs of bipolar disorder.
  • Mood journal. If your doctor suspects your behavior changes are the result of a mood disorder like bipolar, they may ask you to chart your moods. The easiest way to do this is to keep a journal of how you’re feeling and how long these feelings last. Your doctor may also suggest that you record your sleeping and eating patterns.
  • Diagnostic criteria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is an outline of symptoms for various mental health disorders. Doctors can follow this list to confirm a bipolar diagnosis.

Your doctor may use other tools and tests to diagnose bipolar disorder in addition to these. Read about other tests that can help confirm a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Bipolar disorder treatment

Several treatments are available that can help you manage your bipolar disorder. These include medications, counseling, and lifestyle changes. Some natural remedies may also be helpful.

Medications

Recommended medications may include:

  • mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid)
  • antipsychotics, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • antidepressant-antipsychotics, such as fluoxetine-olanzapine (Symbyax)
  • benzodiazepines, a type of anti-anxiety medication such as alprazolam (Xanax) that may be used for short-term treatment

Psychotherapy

Recommended psychotherapy treatments may include:

Online therapy options

Read our review of the best online therapy options to find the right fit for you.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy. You and a therapist talk about ways to manage your bipolar disorder. They will help you understand your thinking patterns. They can also help you come up with positive coping strategies. You can connect to a mental health care professional in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool.

Psychoeducation

Psychoeducation is a kind of counseling that helps you and your loved ones understand the disorder. Knowing more about bipolar disorder will help you and others in your life manage it.

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) focuses on regulating daily habits, such as sleeping, eating, and exercising. Balancing these everyday basics can help you manage your disorder.

Other treatment options

Other treatment options may include:

Lifestyle changes

There are also some simple steps you can take right now to help manage your bipolar disorder:

  • keep a routine for eating and sleeping
  • learn to recognize mood swings
  • ask a friend or relative to support your treatment plans
  • talk to a doctor or licensed healthcare provider

Other lifestyle changes can also help relieve depressive symptoms caused by bipolar disorder. Check out these seven ways to help manage a depressive episode.

Natural remedies for bipolar disorder

Some natural remedies may be helpful for bipolar disorder. However, it’s important not to use these remedies without first talking with your doctor. These treatments could interfere with medications you’re taking.

The following herbs and supplements may help stabilize your mood and relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder:

Several other minerals and vitamins may also reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder. Here’s 10 alternative treatments for bipolar disorder.

Tips for coping and support

If you or someone you know has bipolar disorder, you’re not alone. Bipolar disorder affects about 60 million peopleTrusted Source around the world.

One of the best things you can do is to educate yourself and those around you. There are many resources available. For instance, SAMHSA’s behavioral health treatment services locator provides treatment information by ZIP code. You can also find additional resources at the site for the National Institute of Mental Health.

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, make an appointment with your doctor. If you think a friend, relative, or loved one may have bipolar disorder, your support and understanding is crucial. Encourage them to see a doctor about any symptoms they’re having. And read how to help someone living with bipolar disorder.

People who are experiencing a depressive episode may have suicidal thoughts. You should always take any talk of suicide seriously.

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Bipolar disorder and relationships

When it comes to managing a relationship while you live with bipolar disorder, honesty is the best policy. Bipolar disorder can have an impact on any relationship in your life, perhaps especially on a romantic relationship. So, it’s important to be open about your condition.

There’s no right or wrong time to tell someone you have bipolar disorder. Be open and honest as soon as you’re ready. Consider sharing these facts to help your partner better understand the condition:

  • when you were diagnosed
  • what to expect during your depressive phases
  • what to expect during your manic phases
  • how you typically treat your moods
  • how they can be helpful to you

One of the best ways to support and make a relationship successful is to stick with your treatment. Treatment helps you reduce symptoms and scale back the severity of your changes in mood. With these aspects of the disorder under control, you can focus more on your relationship.

Your partner can also learn ways to promote a healthy relationship. Check out this guide to maintaining healthy relationships while coping with bipolar disorder, which has tips for both you and your partner.

Bipolar 1 Disorder and Bipolar 2 Disorder: What Are the Differences?

Understanding bipolar disorder

Most people have emotional ups and downs from time to time. But if you have a brain condition called bipolar disorder, your feelings can reach abnormally high or low levels.

Sometimes you may feel immensely excited or energetic. Other times, you may find yourself sinking into a deep depression. Some of these emotional peaks and valleys can last for weeks or months.

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder:

Bipolar 1 and 2 disorders are more common than the other types of bipolar disorder. Read on to learn how these two types are alike and different.

Bipolar 1 vs. bipolar 2

All types of bipolar disorder are characterized by episodes of extreme mood. The highs are known as manic episodes. The lows are known as depressive episodes.

The main difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorders lies in the severity of the manic episodes caused by each type.

A person with bipolar 1 will experience a full manic episode, while a person with bipolar 2 will experience only a hypomanic episode (a period that’s less severe than a full manic episode).

A person with bipolar 1 may or may not experience a major depressive episode, while a person with bipolar 2 will experience a major depressive episode.

What is bipolar 1 disorder?

You must have had at least one manic episode to be diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder. A person with bipolar 1 disorder may or may not have a major depressive episode. The symptoms of a manic episode may be so severe that you require hospital care.

Manic episodes are usually characterized by the following:

The symptoms of a manic episode tend to be so obvious and intrusive that there’s little doubt that something is wrong.

What is bipolar 2 disorder?

Bipolar 2 disorder involves a major depressive episode lasting at least two weeks and at least one hypomanic episode (a period that’s less severe than a full-blown manic episode). People with bipolar 2 typically don’t experience manic episodes intense enough to require hospitalization.

Bipolar 2 is sometimes misdiagnosed as depression, as depressive symptoms may be the major symptom at the time the person seeks medical attention. When there are no manic episodes to suggest bipolar disorder, the depressive symptoms become the focus.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

As mentioned above, bipolar 1 disorder causes mania and may cause depression, while bipolar 2 disorder causes hypomania and depression. Let’s learn more about what these symptoms mean.

Mania

manic episode is more than just a feeling of elation, high energy, or being distracted. During a manic episode, the mania is so intense that it can interfere with your daily activities. It’s difficult to redirect someone in a manic episode toward a calmer, more reasonable state.

People who are in the manic phase of bipolar disorder can make some very irrational decisions, such as spending large amounts of money that they can’t afford to spend. They may also engage in high-risk behaviors, such as sexual indiscretions despite being in a committed relationship.

An episode can’t be officially deemed manic if it’s caused by outside influences such as alcohol, drugs, or another health condition.

Hypomania

hypomanic episode is a period of mania that’s less severe than a full-blown manic episode. Though less severe than a manic episode, a hypomanic phase is still an event in which your behavior differs from your normal state. The differences will be extreme enough that people around you may notice that something is wrong.

Officially, a hypomanic episode isn’t considered hypomania if it’s influenced by drugs or alcohol.

Depression

Depressive symptoms in someone with bipolar disorder are like those of someone with clinical depression. They may include extended periods of sadness and hopelessness. You may also experience a loss of interest in people you once enjoyed spending time with and activities you used to like. Other symptoms include:

  • tiredness
  • irritability
  • trouble concentrating
  • changes in sleeping habits
  • changes in eating habits
  • thoughts of suicide

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What causes bipolar disorder?

Scientists don’t know what causes bipolar disorder. Abnormal physical characteristics of the brain or an imbalance in certain brain chemicals may be among the main causes.

As with many medical conditions, bipolar disorder tends to run in families. If you have a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder, your risk of developing it is higher. The search continues for the genes which may be responsible for bipolar disorder.

Researchers also believe that severe stress, drug or alcohol abuse, or severely upsetting experiences may trigger bipolar disorder. These experiences can include childhood abuse or the death of a loved one.

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?

A psychiatrist or other mental health professional typically diagnoses bipolar disorder. The diagnosis will include a review of both your medical history and any symptoms you have that are related to mania and depression. A trained professional will know what questions to ask.

It can be very helpful to bring a spouse or close friend with you during the doctor’s visit. They may be able to answer questions about your behavior that you may not be able to answer easily or accurately.

If you have symptoms that seem like bipolar 1 or bipolar 2, you can always start by telling your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist if your symptoms appear serious enough.

A blood test may also be part of the diagnostic process. There are no markers for bipolar disorder in the blood, but a blood test and a comprehensive physical exam may help rule out other possible causes for your behavior.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our weekly Bipolar Disorder email

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How is bipolar disorder treated?

Doctors usually treat bipolar disorder with a combination of medications and psychotherapy.

Mood stabilizers are often the first drugs used in treatment. You may take these for a long time.

Lithium has been a widely used mood stabilizer for many years. It does have several potential side effects. These include low thyroid function, joint pain, and indigestion. It also requires blood tests to monitor therapeutic levels of the drug as well as kidney function. Antipsychotics can be used to treat manic episodes.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of whichever medication you both decide to use in order to see how you respond. You may need a stronger dose than what they initially prescribe. You may also need a combination of medications or even different medications to control your symptoms.

All medications have potential side effects and interactions with other drugs. If you’re pregnant or you take other medications, be sure to tell your doctor before taking any new medications.

Writing in a diary can be an especially helpful part of your treatment. Keeping track of your moods, sleeping and eating patterns, and significant life events can help you and your doctor understand how therapy and medications are working.

If your symptoms don’t improve or get worse, your doctor may order a change in your medications or a different type of psychotherapy.

Online therapy options

Read our review of the best online therapy options to find the right fit for you.

What is the outlook?

Bipolar disorder isn’t curable. But with proper treatment and support from family and friends, you can manage your symptoms and maintain your quality of life.

It’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions regarding medications and other lifestyle choices. This includes:

Including your friends and family members in your care can be especially helpful.

It’s also helpful to learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder. The more you know about the condition, the more in control you may feel as you adjust to life after diagnosis.

You may be able to repair strained relationships. Educating others about bipolar disorder may make them more understanding of hurtful events from the past.

Support options

Support groups, both online and in person, can be helpful for people with bipolar disorder. They can also be beneficial for your friends and relatives. Learning about others’ struggles and triumphs may help you get through any challenges you may have.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance maintains a website that provides:

  • personal stories from people with bipolar disorder
  • contact information for support groups across the United States
  • information about the condition and treatments
  • material for caregivers and loved ones of those with bipolar disorder

The National Alliance on Mental Illness can also help you find support groups in your area. Good information about bipolar disorder and other conditions can also be found on its website.

If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar 1 or bipolar 2, you should always remember that this is a condition you can manage. You aren’t alone. Talk to your doctor or call a local hospital to find out about support groups or other local resources.

Last medically reviewed on January 10, 2019

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Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by James Roland — Updated on January 10, 2019

How to Deal with the Uncertainty of Bipolar Episodes

Overview

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness which causes severe shifts in mood ranging from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression). Bipolar disorder shifts in mood may occur several times a year, or only rarely.

There are several types of bipolar disorder, including the following:

  • Bipolar I disorder, characterized by at least one manic episode. This may or may not be followed by a depressive episode.
  • Bipolar II disorder, characterized by at least one major depressive episode lasting at least two weeks, and at least one episode of hypomania (a milder condition than mania) that lasts for at least four days.
  • Cyclothymic disorder, characterized by at least two years of symptoms. With this condition, the person has many episodes of hypomanic symptoms that don’t meet the full criteria for a hypomanic episode. They also have depressive symptoms that don’t meet the full diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode. They’re never without symptoms for longer than two months at a time.

The specific symptoms of bipolar disorder vary depending on which type of bipolar disorder is diagnosed. However, some symptoms are common in most people with bipolar disorder. These symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • trouble concentrating
  • irritability
  • mania and depression at the same time
  • disinterest and loss of pleasure in most activities
  • an inability to feel better when good things happen
  • psychosis that causes a detachment from reality, often resulting in delusions (false but strong beliefs) and hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that don’t exist)

In the United States, bipolar disorder affects about 2.8 percent of adults. If you have a friend, family member, or significant other with bipolar disorder, it’s important to be patient and understanding of their condition. Helping a person with bipolar disorder isn’t always easy though. Here’s what you should know.

How can you help someone during a manic episode?

During a manic episode, a person will experience feelings of high energy, creativity, and possibly joy. They’ll talk very quickly, get very little sleep, and may act hyperactively. They may also feel invincible, which can lead to risk-taking behaviors.

Symptoms of a manic episode

Some common symptoms of a manic episode include:

  • an unusually “high” or optimistic attitude
  • extreme irritability
  • unreasonable (usually grand) ideas about one’s skills or power — they may criticize partners or family members for not being as “accomplished” as they perceive themselves to be
  • abundant energy
  • racing thoughts that jump between different ideas
  • being easily distracted
  • trouble concentrating
  • impulsiveness and poor judgment
  • reckless behavior with no thought about consequences
  • delusions and hallucinations (less common)

During these episodes, a person with bipolar disorder may act recklessly. Sometimes they go as far as endangering their own life or the lives of people around them. Remember that this person can’t fully control their actions during episodes of mania. Therefore, it’s not always an option to try to reason with them to try to stop behaving a certain way.

Warning signs of a manic episode

It can be helpful to keep an eye out for the warning signs of a manic episode so that you can react accordingly. People with bipolar disorder may show different symptoms, but some common warning signs include:

  • a very sudden lift in mood
  • an unrealistic sense of optimism
  • sudden impatience and irritability
  • a surge in energy and talkativeness
  • an expression of unreasonable ideas
  • spending money in reckless or irresponsible ways

How to help during a manic episode

How to react depends on the severity of the person’s manic episode. In some cases, doctors may recommend that the person increase their medication, take a different medication, or even be brought to the hospital for treatment. Keep in mind that convincing your loved one to go to the hospital may not be easy. This is because they feel really good during these periods and are convinced that nothing is wrong with them.

In general, try to avoid entertaining any grand or unrealistic ideas from your loved one, as this may increase their likelihood to engage in risky behavior. Talk calmly to the person and encourage them to contact their medical provider to discuss the changes in their symptoms.

Taking care of yourself

Some people find that living with a person with a chronic mental health condition like bipolar disorder can be difficult. Negative behaviors exhibited by someone who is manic are often focused on those closest to them.

Honest discussions with your loved one while they’re not having a manic episode, as well as counseling, may be helpful. But if you’re having trouble handling your loved one’s behavior, be sure to reach out for help. Talk to your loved one’s doctor for information, contact family and friends for support, and consider joining a support group.

How can you help someone during a depressive episode?

Just as it can be challenging to help a loved one through a manic episode, it can be tough to help them through a depressive episode.

Symptoms of a depressive episode

Some common symptoms of a depressive episode include:

  • sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness
  • irritability
  • inability to take pleasure in activities
  • fatigue or loss of energy
  • physical and mental lethargy
  • changes in weight or appetite, such as gaining weight and eating too much, or losing weight and eating too little
  • problems with sleep, such as sleeping too much or too little
  • problems focusing or remembering things
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • thoughts about death or suicide

How to help during a depressive episode

Just as with a manic episode, doctors may suggest a change in medication, an increase in medication, or a hospital stay for a person having a depressive episode with suicidal thoughts. Again, you’ll want to develop a coping plan for depressive episodes with your loved one when they’re not showing any symptoms. During an episode they may lack the motivation to come up with such plans.

You can also help a loved one during a depressive episode. Listen attentively, offer helpful coping advice, and try to boost them up by focusing on their positive attributes. Always talk to them in a nonjudgmental way and offer to help them with little day-to-day things they may be struggling with.ADVERTISEMENTAffordable therapy delivered digitally – Try BetterHelp

Choose from BetterHelp’s vast network of therapists for your therapy needs. Take a quiz, get matched, and start getting support via secure phone or video sessions. Plans start at $60 per week + an additional 10% off.FIND A THERAPIST

What are signs of an emergency?

Some signs of an emergency include:

  • violent behavior or speech
  • risky behavior
  • threatening behavior or speech
  • suicidal speech or actions, or talk about death

In general, feel free to help the person as long as they don’t appear to be posing a risk to their life or the lives of others. Be patient, attentive to their speech and behavior, and supportive in their care.

But in some cases, it’s not always possible to help a person through a manic or depressive episode and you’ll need to get expert help. Call the person’s doctor right away if you’re concerned about how the episode is escalating.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our weekly Bipolar Disorder email

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Suicide prevention

If you think your loved one is considering suicide, you can get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. One good option is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

But if you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.Be sure to tell the dispatcher that your loved one has a mental health condition and requires special care.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

Outlook

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. At times, it can be a real challenge for both you and your loved one — so be sure to consider your own needs as well as theirs. It can help to keep in mind that with proper treatmentcoping skills, and support, most people with bipolar disorder can manage their condition and live healthy, happy lives.

And if you need some more ideas, here’s more ways to help someone living with bipolar disorder.

Last medically reviewed on January 30, 2018

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has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

How to Pick Your Mental Health Professional

Therapy is an important part of treating bipolar disorder. Seeking therapy with a qualified therapist you trust is crucial to good mental health. Use these pointers to help choose the right therapist for you.

Choose a Therapy Format

Therapy is offered in both private and group settings. Choosing the right therapy format for you will help you feel relaxed and willing to share.

If you prefer a private setting, a one-on-one talk therapy session might be the best option.

If you want to know you’re not alone in your condition, group therapy may help you overcome those feelings. It may also help you feel more connected to others who are experiencing similar problems.

Learn more about the types of doctors that treat bipolar disorder »

Get a Consultation

Most mental health professionals will begin with a phone consultation. This is a time for you to describe why you’re seeking treatment and to discuss the details of your condition. You can ask any questions you’d like during this consultation. Try to think of some questions that you’d like to ask the therapist before the consultation: What is their general philosophy? How do they connect with their patients? What is their experience?

You can also ask for a face-to-face consultation so that you can meet a potential therapist in person. This can make a big difference in your assessment. It’s perfectly normal to meet a therapist in person and not click with them right away. If you get even the slightest hint that you may not feel comfortable with the therapist, politely state that you don’t believe the relationship will work out. But don’t give up. Instead, continue your search until you find someone who suits you.ADVERTISEMENTAffordable therapy delivered digitally – Try BetterHelp

Choose from BetterHelp’s vast network of therapists for your therapy needs. Take a quiz, get matched, and start getting support via secure phone or video sessions. Plans start at $60 per week + an additional 10% off.FIND A THERAPIST

Evaluate Your Therapist’s Methods

To get the best therapy available, you must have a good working relationship with your therapist. Several factors contribute to this, including your therapist’s listening skills and how closely your values align.

For example, you may not enjoy certain techniques, such as hypnotherapy. Also, you don’t want to seek therapy from anyone you feel is judgmental or unsupportive of your efforts. Similarly, some therapeutic orientations may feel uncomfortable for you if they’re more directive than others.

All therapy takes time, so be wary if your therapist gives you quick fixes without providing you with the tools you need for long-term stability. This could include being too eager to please you, such as always blaming others for your problems. A therapist should be on your side, but should also challenge you to confront your own role.

Read the Fine Print

Just as important as the style of therapy is how you can fit it into your life. When choosing a type of therapy, there are some important logistical concerns.

Find a therapist that’s easy to get to. The easier it is to travel to therapy, the less likely you’ll miss an appointment. You’ll also be able to arrive to the appointment in a calm mood and ready to share.

When you first meet your therapist, agree on a price for your sessions and how often you will see each other. If the cost is way beyond what you can afford, you should negotiate the price or find something that better suits your income. The financial impact of therapy shouldn’t be yet another stressor.

Ask about your therapist’s educational background. You should feel satisfied that they have the knowledge they need to help you. Make sure they have a license as well, and don’t be afraid to research them on the Internet.

Training and experience are two different things. Ask your therapist how much experience they have, including years in the field.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our weekly Bipolar Disorder email

To help support your mental wellness, we’ll send you treatment advice, mood-management tips, and personal stories.Enter your emailSIGN UP NOW

Your privacy is important to us

Establish Trust

Trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship, especially one where you’ll be telling someone your deepest emotional troubles and secrets.

Tone, demeanor, and other factors can affect the way we view someone. If you’re not clicking with your therapist, you should mention it to them. If they’re truly professional, your therapist will help find someone else for you to see. If they take offense, then you know it’s time to find another therapist.

Therapy involves teamwork, so it’s important that you feel that you and your therapist are on the same team.

The Takeaway

It’s often difficult to reach out to a professional if you’re having mental health problems. But therapy can be a highly effective method of treatment. Therapists are trained to help people just like you. Knowing which questions to ask and what to look for can help you find the perfect therapist.

Last medically reviewed on March 16, 2016

 3 sourcesexpanded

 editorial policy.

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Brian Krans — Updated on June 5, 2020

FEEDBACK:

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Erica Cirino — Updated on July 6, 2020

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Erica Cirino — Updated on July 6, 2020

How to Pick Your Mental Health Professional

Therapy is an important part of treating bipolar disorder. Seeking therapy with a qualified therapist you trust is crucial to good mental health. Use these pointers to help choose the right therapist for you.

Choose a Therapy Format

Therapy is offered in both private and group settings. Choosing the right therapy format for you will help you feel relaxed and willing to share.

If you prefer a private setting, a one-on-one talk therapy session might be the best option.

If you want to know you’re not alone in your condition, group therapy may help you overcome those feelings. It may also help you feel more connected to others who are experiencing similar problems.

Learn more about the types of doctors that treat bipolar disorder »

Get a Consultation

Most mental health professionals will begin with a phone consultation. This is a time for you to describe why you’re seeking treatment and to discuss the details of your condition. You can ask any questions you’d like during this consultation. Try to think of some questions that you’d like to ask the therapist before the consultation: What is their general philosophy? How do they connect with their patients? What is their experience?

You can also ask for a face-to-face consultation so that you can meet a potential therapist in person. This can make a big difference in your assessment. It’s perfectly normal to meet a therapist in person and not click with them right away. If you get even the slightest hint that you may not feel comfortable with the therapist, politely state that you don’t believe the relationship will work out. But don’t give up. Instead, continue your search until you find someone who suits you.ADVERTISEMENTAffordable therapy delivered digitally – Try BetterHelp

Choose from BetterHelp’s vast network of therapists for your therapy needs. Take a quiz, get matched, and start getting support via secure phone or video sessions. Plans start at $60 per week + an additional 10% off.FIND A THERAPIST

Evaluate Your Therapist’s Methods

To get the best therapy available, you must have a good working relationship with your therapist. Several factors contribute to this, including your therapist’s listening skills and how closely your values align.

For example, you may not enjoy certain techniques, such as hypnotherapy. Also, you don’t want to seek therapy from anyone you feel is judgmental or unsupportive of your efforts. Similarly, some therapeutic orientations may feel uncomfortable for you if they’re more directive than others.

All therapy takes time, so be wary if your therapist gives you quick fixes without providing you with the tools you need for long-term stability. This could include being too eager to please you, such as always blaming others for your problems. A therapist should be on your side, but should also challenge you to confront your own role.

Read the Fine Print

Just as important as the style of therapy is how you can fit it into your life. When choosing a type of therapy, there are some important logistical concerns.

Find a therapist that’s easy to get to. The easier it is to travel to therapy, the less likely you’ll miss an appointment. You’ll also be able to arrive to the appointment in a calm mood and ready to share.

When you first meet your therapist, agree on a price for your sessions and how often you will see each other. If the cost is way beyond what you can afford, you should negotiate the price or find something that better suits your income. The financial impact of therapy shouldn’t be yet another stressor.

Ask about your therapist’s educational background. You should feel satisfied that they have the knowledge they need to help you. Make sure they have a license as well, and don’t be afraid to research them on the Internet.

Training and experience are two different things. Ask your therapist how much experience they have, including years in the field.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our weekly Bipolar Disorder email

To help support your mental wellness, we’ll send you treatment advice, mood-management tips, and personal stories.Enter your emailSIGN UP NOW

Your privacy is important to us

Establish Trust

Trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship, especially one where you’ll be telling someone your deepest emotional troubles and secrets.

Tone, demeanor, and other factors can affect the way we view someone. If you’re not clicking with your therapist, you should mention it to them. If they’re truly professional, your therapist will help find someone else for you to see. If they take offense, then you know it’s time to find another therapist.

Therapy involves teamwork, so it’s important that you feel that you and your therapist are on the same team.

The Takeaway

It’s often difficult to reach out to a professional if you’re having mental health problems. But therapy can be a highly effective method of treatment. Therapists are trained to help people just like you. Knowing which questions to ask and what to look for can help you find the perfect therapist.

Last medically reviewed on March 16, 2016


Please Stop Believing These 8 Harmful Bipolar Disorder Myths

What do successful people like musician Demi Lovato, comedian Russell Brand, news anchor Jane Pauley, and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones have in common? They, like millions of others, are living with bipolar disorder. When I received my diagnosis in 2012, I knew very little about the condition. I didn’t even know it ran in my family. So, I researched and researched, reading book after book on the subject, talking to my doctors, and educating myself until I understood what was going on.

Although we are learning more about bipolar disorder, there remain many misconceptions. Here are a few myths and facts, so you can arm yourself with knowledge and help end the stigma.

1. Myth: Bipolar disorder is a rare condition.

Fact: Bipolar disorder affects 2 million adults in the United States alone. One in five Americans has a mental health condition.

2. Myth: Bipolar disorder is just mood swings, which everybody has.

Fact: The highs and lows of bipolar disorder are very different from common mood swings. People with bipolar disorder experience extreme changes in energy, activity, and sleep that are not typical for them.

The psychiatry research manager at one U.S. university, who wishes to stay anonymous, writes, “Just because you wake up happy, get grumpy in the middle of the day, and then end up happy again, it doesn’t mean you have bipolar disorder — no matter how often it happens to you! Even a diagnosis of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder requires several days in a row of (hypo)manic symptoms, not just several hours. Clinicians look for groups of symptoms more than just emotions.”

3. Myth: There is only one type of bipolar disorder.

Fact: There are four basic types of bipolar disorder, and the experience is different per individual.

  • Bipolar I is diagnosed when a person has one or more depressive episodes and one or more manic episodes, sometimes with psychotic features such as hallucinations or delusions.
  • Bipolar II has depressive episodes as its major feature and at least one
    hypomanic episode. Hypomania is a less severe type of mania. A person with
    bipolar II disorder may experience either mood-congruent or
    mood-incongruent psychotic symptoms.
  • Cyclothymic disorder (cyclothymia) is defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years (1 year in children and adolescents) without meeting the severity requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.
  • Bipolar disorder otherwise not specified does not follow a particular pattern and is defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.

ADVERTISEMENTAffordable therapy delivered digitally – Try BetterHelp

Choose from BetterHelp’s vast network of therapists for your therapy needs. Take a quiz, get matched, and start getting support via secure phone or video sessions. Plans start at $60 per week + an additional 10% off. FIND A THERAPIST

4. Myth: Bipolar disorder can be cured through diet and exercise.

Fact: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness and there currently is no cure. However, it can be well-managed with medication and talk therapy, by avoiding stress, and maintaining regular patterns of sleeping, eating, and exercise.

5. Myth: Mania is productive. You’re in a good mood and fun to be around.

Fact: In some instances, a manic person may feel good at first, but without treatment things can become detrimental and even terrifying. They may go on a big shopping spree, spending beyond their means. Some people become overly anxious or highly irritable, getting upset over small things and snapping at loved ones. A manic person may lose control of their thoughts and actions and even lose touch with reality.

6. Myth: Artists with bipolar disorder will lose their creativity if they get treatment.

Fact: Treatment often allows you to think more clearly, which will likely improve your work. Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Marya Hornbacher discovered this firsthand.

“I was very persuaded I would never write again when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But before, I wrote one book; and now I’m on my seventh.”

She has found that her work is even better with treatment.

“When I was working on my second book, I was not yet treated for bipolar disorder, and I wrote about 3,000 pages of the worst book that you have ever seen in your life. And then, in the middle of writing that book, which I just somehow couldn’t finish because I kept writing and writing and writing, I got diagnosed and I got treated. And the book itself, the book that was ultimately published, I wrote in 10 months or so. Once I got treated for my bipolar disorder, I was able to channel the creativity effectively and focus. Nowadays I deal with some symptoms, but by and large I just go about my day,” she said. “Once you get a handle on it, it’s certainly livable. It’s treatable. You can work with it. It doesn’t have to define your life.” She discusses her experience in her book “Madness: A Bipolar Life,” and she is currently working on a follow-up book about her road to recovery.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our weekly Bipolar Disorder email

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7. Myth: People with bipolar disorder are always either manic or depressed.

Fact: People with bipolar disorder can experience long periods of even, balanced mood called euthymia. Conversely, they may sometimes experience what’s referred to as a “mixed episode,” which has features of both mania and depression at the same time.

8. Myth: All medications for bipolar disorder are the same.

Fact: It might take some trial and error to find the medication that works for you. “There are several mood stabilizers/antipsychotic medications available to treat bipolar disorder. Something that works for one person might not work for another. If someone tries one and it doesn’t work or has side effects, it’s very important that they communicate this to their provider. The provider should be there to work as a team with the patient to find the right fit,” writes the psychiatry research manager.

Takeaway

One in five people is diagnosed with a mental illness, including bipolar disorder. I, like so many others, have responded extremely well to treatment. My daily life is normal, and my relationships are stronger than ever. I haven’t had an episode for several years. My career is strong, and my marriage to an extremely supportive husband is a solid as a rock.

I urge you to learn about the common signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, and talk to your doctor if you meet any of the criteria for diagnosis. If you or someone you know is in crisis, get help immediately. Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). It’s time to end the stigma that prevents people from getting the help that can improve or save their lives.

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Mara Robinson — Updated on November 6, 2019

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Mara Robinson is a freelance marketing communications specialist with more than 15 years of experience. She has created many forms of communication for a wide variety of clients, including feature articles, product descriptions, ad copy, sales materials, packaging, press kits, newsletters, and more. She also is an avid photographer and music lover who can frequently be found photographing rock concerts at MaraRobinson.com.

Last medically reviewed on June 1, 2017

Managing Bipolar Disorder and Work

Overview

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition which can cause severe shifts in mood.

People with bipolar disorder can “cycle” from high moods (called mania and hypomania) to extremely low moods (depression). These mood shifts, along with other symptoms of bipolar disorder, can create a unique set of challenges in someone’s personal and social life.

Bipolar disorder and other mental health conditons have the potential to make it difficult for a person to find and keep a job or to function at work, especially if symptoms are currently affecting day-to-day functioning.

In one survey, 88 percent of people with bipolar disorder or depression said their condition has affected their work performance. About 58 percent of them quit working outside the home altogether.

There are many challenges related to having bipolar disorder and keeping a job. However, experts say that work can actually be quite helpful to people with bipolar disorder.

Work can give people a sense of structure, reduce depression, and increase confidence. This may help to enhance overall mood and empower you.

What are the best jobs for people with bipolar disorder?

There is no one-size-fits-all job for anyone. This is also true for people with bipolar disorder.

Instead, people with the condition should look for work that suits them as an individual. Here are some things to consider when deciding what kind of job is right for you:

What’s the work environment like?

Will this job support your lifestyle and help you grow as an individual, or will it be too challenging in terms of stress and erratic hours?

For many people with bipolar disorder, a quiet and relaxed workspace can help them to maintain regular schedules which can improve overall functioning.

What’s the schedule like?

Part-time work with an adaptable schedule can be helpful for people with bipolar disorder. It can also be helpful to work during the day.

Overnight and night shifts, or jobs that require you to be on call at night, may not be a good idea because sleep is very important. Maintaining a normal sleep/wake pattern can be beneficial with bipolar disorder.

What will your co-workers be like?

Seek a job where your co-workers have values in line with your own, and who also embrace work-life balance, as this is important to your overall health and well-being.

Having supportive co-workers is also helpful for feeling understood and coping during stressful situations, so seek out those that will support you.

Is the job creative?

Many people with bipolar disorder do best when they have a job where they can be creative. It can be helpful to find a job where you can be creative at work or a job that gives you enough free time for creative projects.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should dig a bit deeper to try to better understand yourself so you find a job you’d enjoy.

Think about your:

  • interests
  • strengths and abilities
  • skills
  • personality traits
  • values
  • physical health
  • limits, triggers, and barriers

Once you narrow down your job choices, do some more in-depth career research. You can look at O*NET to learn more about each job’s characteristics, including:

  • working duties
  • required skills
  • required education or training
  • required license or certificate
  • usual work hours
  • work conditions (physical demands, environment, and stress level)
  • salary and benefits
  • opportunities to advance
  • employment outlook

If you can’t find a job that suits you, perhaps you may want to consider starting your own business. You can create your own job that allows for more creativity and flexibility than you may find if you work for someone else.

However, running your business has its own set of challenges. Depending on what you feel you need, you may prefer a regular structured schedule if you’re living with bipolar disorder.ADVERTISEMENTAffordable therapy delivered digitally – Try BetterHelp

Choose from BetterHelp’s vast network of therapists for your therapy needs. Take a quiz, get matched, and start getting support via secure phone or video sessions. Plans start at $60 per week + an additional 10% off.FIND A THERAPIST

How can work-related stress affect a person with bipolar disorder?

Some work environments can be unpredictable, demanding, and difficult. All of this can cause stress.

For someone with bipolar disorder, this stress can have an overall negative impact on your physical and mental health.

To manage stress at work:

  • take breaks often and regularly, even if you’re not sure if you need one
  • use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation to reduce your stress
  • listen to relaxing music or a recording of nature sounds
  • take a walk around the block at lunch
  • talk to your support network if you need help
  • take time off of work for therapy and treatment when necessary

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce your work stress. Exercise regularly, eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and be sure to stick to your treatment plan.HEALTHLINE NEWSLETTERGet our weekly Bipolar Disorder email

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What legal rights does someone with bipolar disorder have at work?

Legally, you don’t have to tell your employer any of your health information, unless you could put others at risk.

While generally people are more open today about discussing mental illness, there’s still a stigma. It’s not right, but people may treat you differently if they know you have a psychiatric condition — and this may include the people you work with.

On the other hand, there are many people who are understanding of mental health conditions and the challenges they can cause at work. For this reason, in some cases it can actually be helpful for you to share your bipolar diagnosis with your boss and the human resources department.

If those who work with you are aware of your condition, they may be more likely to accommodate you in ways that will reduce your workplace stress and make your overall working experience more enjoyable.

No one can discriminate you for living with bipolar disorder in the workplace. This is illegal.

If you decide to tell your employer about your health condition, Mental Health Works and the National Alliance on Mental Illness have resources to help you have that conversation.

Moving forward

Sometimes you’ll be able to find a great job by yourself — but if you’re having trouble, it can be very helpful for you to seek professional assistance.

Some free and low-cost sources of help include:

  • vocational rehabilitation
  • your school or alma mater
  • government or employment services

It’s not always easy to find and keep work if you have a mental health condition that disturbs your day-to-day functioning, but with extra effort it’s possible to find a fulfilling job.

Keep this in mind as you move forward with your job hunt.

Last medically reviewed on September 15, 2017

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Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Erica Cirino — Updated on July 6, 2020

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Posted in Culture, Featured, Health, International, Local, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Kimberley Featherstone

Another life-saving Covid treatment found

TMR gets the question: What happened to the long-standing Hydroxyclorophine and Ivermectin? What discredited those other than they were in the same category (unapproved) as the vaccine?

By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online

Kimberley Featherstone
image captionKimberley Featherstone is one of the patients who received the treatment during the trial

Exactly a year on from the discovery that a cheap steroid drug prevented Covid deaths, researchers say they have found another life-saving therapy.

It is expensive – a potent intravenous infusion of antibodies to neutralise the virus, rather than dampen the body’s inflammatory response to it.

Results from the Recovery trial suggest it could help one in three of those in hospital with severe Covid.

For every 100 patients treated, experts calculate, it would save six lives.

Ground-breaking treatment

But only those who have not already made any antibodies of their own to fight the virus should be given the treatment, which costs between £1,000 and £2,000.

Kimberley Featherstone, 37, who received the treatment during the trial, said: “I feel very lucky that the trial was up and running by the time I was taken to hospital with Covid-19 and I was able to receive this ground-breaking treatment.

“I’m happy that by participating I played a part in finding out this treatment is successful.”

The monoclonal antibody treatment, made by Regenoron, binds to the virus to stop it infecting cells and replicating.

In the trial, which included nearly 10,000 UK hospital patients, it significantly reduced the:

  • risk of death
  • length of hospital stay, by four days on average
  • likelihood of needing a ventilator to breathe

Joint chief investigator Sir Martin Landray said: “Giving them this combination of two antibodies by an intravenous infusion then actually reduces their chances of dying by a fifth.

“What we found is now here we can use an antiviral treatment, in this case these antibodies, in patients who have got a one in three chance of dying untreated and we can reduce that risk for them.”

Great uncertainty

The treatment was given in addition to the anti-inflammatory steroid drug dexamethasone, which itself cuts death risk by up to a third for the sickest Covid patients.

Sir Peter Horby, the other chief investigator, said there had been great uncertainty about whether antibody therapies were the right approach, when some other studies had found no benefit.

Using blood plasma from recovered patients – which contains antibodies that should recognise and fight the virus – has not proved effective as a Covid therapy, for example.

But the antibody treatment used in the Recovery trial contains large doses of two specific antibodies, made in the lab, that are good at latching on to the pandemic virus.

Sir Peter said: “It is wonderful to learn that even in advanced Covid-19 disease, targeting the virus can reduce mortality in patients who have failed to mount an antibody response of their own.

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The vaccination centre at Twickenham

Covid-19: Job not done despite vaccination success, scientist warns

TMR: More than 50% have been vaccinated in the UK, reports say; but the scare tactics are in operation… Rather than promising additional prevention and proven treatment methods… Why not also offer the ‘proven’ alternatives or simply tell those already strong, and avoiding the ‘scare’? If this is so!

The vaccination centre at Twickenham
Twickenham Stadium was turned into a vaccine walk-in centre on Monday, including for over-18s

By Katie Wright
BBC News

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57313399

TMR: · Considering one of the excuses (rather than reason) is that for the decades, Ivermectin has been used ‘successfully’, that it was used or tried only on animals! This pales. Isn’t it that all or most other drugs are used in trials on animals before approval for humans? Crude observation perhaps. Crisis time and what? See here just one more of undisputed efforts to convince. Touting vaccine success after millions dead??? Not the end of the stor…ies.

Dr. Pierre Kory Presentation in Phil. Congress about Iver_m_ctin – May 1, 2021: House Hearings on PH’s COVID-19 RESPONSE

House Hearings on PH’s COVID-19 RESPONSE

High Vitamin D Levels May Help Prevent COVID-19, Especially in Black Patients

High Vitamin D Levels May Help Prevent COVID-19, Especially in Black Patients
NEWSMAX.COM

TMR: If COVID-19 leaves nothing but torment, we can at least take away from it, the drive it has given that we have passed the time to take stock of our own life, healthily. See we present yet another on the case of “building immunity” naturally, to stave off future COVID attack.

Read Newsmax: High Vitamin D Levels May Help Prevent COVID-19, Especially in Black Patients | Newsmax.com

Posted in COVID-19, Education, Featured, Features, Health, International, News, Science/Technology0 Comments

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…Covid vaccine lottery is bribery at its best?

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by Hayes Brown    
An illustration of a target and a vaccine shaped like a dart hitting the bullseye

Vaccination rates are on the decline in the United States, leaving officials scrambling to figure out how to get needles in arms. The CDC’s announcement that people who are fully vaccinated can go without masks inside and outside might help. But some places are getting more creative. The incentives being offered — ranging from free beer to savings bonds to a chance at $1 million — make total sense given how important the vaccine campaign is, Hayes Brown writes.

“The best reason for getting the Covid-19 vaccine is, of course, not having either yourself, your loved ones, or your neighbors get infected and potentially die from a virus that has killed almost 600,000 Americans,” Brown writes. “But $1 million is a pretty good runner-up, I have to say.”

Read the full article here: https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/ohio-s-1-million-covid-vaccine-lottery-bribery-its-best-n1267276?cid=eml_mda_20210514&user_email=1356a81638c71e78209f101bc1ed815baaebf9e49ffc91756e4b4827da5613f8

Read Hayes Brown’s analysis and see more great articles at the top of your Friday MSNBC Daily.

Critics of the digital systems argue they discriminate against those who cannot get vaccinated.

But Mr. Griffiths says he is a complete supporter of the documents, which he says are “inevitable”.

“I think the problem is not the vaccine passport and its discrimination. It’s the need to roll things out and have a proper globally equitable vaccine programme,” he said.

The World Health Organisation and World Travel & Tourism Council are among those opposed to vaccine passports amid fears they will create a “two-tier society“.

Last month, Dr. Mike Ryan from the WHO repeated concerns about the ethical and fairness issues surrounding vaccine passports.

“They do need to be considered, especially in a world where vaccine is distributed in such a grossly inequitable way,” he said.
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But there places where the issue is taken even more seriously, and others where the whispers need to be silenced and put aside immediately.

https://www.brighteon.com/8b2f8dcd-2bfa-4189-a133-aa8cab015fec

Why no declared “treatment” #treatment for COVID-19?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYF8bnmdQfY

Posted in Court, COVID-19, Crime, Featured, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology, Travel0 Comments

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