CAUSES – No one really knows the cause of manic-depression (bipolar). Genetic, neurochemical and environmental factors interact at many levels to play a role in the onset and progression of manic-depression. It is believed to be biological in origin and genetic, i.e., manic-depression tends to run in families. Genetic abnormalities appear in chromosomes. Psychotic symptoms in bipolar disorder tend to reflect the extreme mood state at the time. For example, delusions of grandiosity, such as believing one is the President or has special powers or wealth, may occur during mania; delusions of guilt or worthlessness, such as believing that one is ruined and penniless or has committed some terrible crime, may appear during depression. People with bipolar disorder who have these symptoms are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as having schizophrenia, another severe mental illness. Some people with bipolar disorder become suicidal.

TREATMENT – Medication is nearly always a part of the recommended treatment course for bipolar disorder. People with undiagnosed bipolar disorder will sometimes self-medicate with alcohol or drugs to try and relieve their symptoms.  Your physician may prescribe older medications, such as lithium, which are reliable and well-tolerated by most.  In order to help with the changing moods and mental balance of a manic-depressive individual, yoga, meditation, t’ai chi, and gigong relaxation techniques could be implemented.

PREVENTION – Caffeinated drinks and foods should be eliminated from the individual diet.  It is imperative to avoid alcohol consumption at all time.  To help prevent an onset episode, adequate sleep is very important.


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