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Thriving With Bipolar Disorder

By Rachel Shouse

Bipolar disorder can be tricky to diagnose. There are four types of this disorder. The two that are seen most often are type 1 and type 2. They are similar, but they have their own distinguishing characteristics as well. Along with the medical aspects of the two bipolar disorders, we're going to talk about how to genuinely enjoy your life. Survival needs to go out the window. It's time to thrive.

Bipolar Type 1

I shouldn't have been shocked when I learned that there are variations to this disorder. A lot of people, myself included, associate bipolar with extreme highs and lows. That's true, but the ups and downs look different. 

Bipolar 1 is identified by the severity of the manic episodes that the individual experiences. Someone with bipolar disorder type 1 will experience a full manic episode, which is different from its second counterpart. 

A full manic episode is more complicated than feeling energetic or distracted. Those with bipolar 1 will experience extreme episodes of immense energy, trouble concentrating, hyperactivity, lack of sleep, and risky behaviors. These episodes are capable of putting the victim in the hospital.

Bipolar Type 2

Medical conditions are troubling enough, having to discern between two similar disorders takes time. It took me until the age of 30 to be diagnosed with bipolar type 2. This type also experiences extreme lows, but not-so-extreme highs. 

Those with bipolar 2 are diagnosed by tracking emotions, feelings, depressive episodes, and sometimes close members of the family are included in the process. This type suffers from manic depression. These episodes can last days, weeks, months, etc. Type 2 is often mistaken for seasonal depression.

Hypomania is another symptom of this disorder. This is similar to a manic episode, but it's not as noticeable to others. Women are also better at hiding these symptoms compared to men. Same goes for ADHD. Girls have shown to be less impulsive than boys, which explains why diagnosis is difficult. 

Focusing on Thriving

Whether you, or someone you love, suffers from either type 1 or 2, it's important to remember that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Both types have their own individual struggles to face. Those who have bipolar disorder can usually tell when an episode is imminent.

Don't let yourself panic when you feel an episode coming on, this is common in those who suffer from mental illness. The looming cloud of mania is always there. Instead of focusing on what could happen, think about what's happening at this very moment. When you're faced with a hyper or hypomanic episode, surround yourself with things that will help you through those hard times.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Humble, Tex.

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