Bipolar disorder was known as manic depressive disorder or manic depression - a serious mental illness that can damage relationships, careers, and is an illness that can lead to risky behavior with suicidal tendencies if it's not treated properly. Bipolar disorder may be characterized by extreme changes in mood - from mania to depression. The mood may swing to intensive episodes or experience natural moods of normality.

A manic episode can include increased restlessness, where the patient may display nervousness or be energetic, talk excessively, reckless, act aggressively or be powerfully demanding. They may go on spending sprees or have impulsive sex. Then, the patient’s mood can spiral downward into confusion, irritation, anger, feeling trapped or something darker - suicide.

A depressive episode is totally an opposite mood. It may include loss of energy, sleeping problems, loss of pleasure, display of sadness and excessive crying or a sense of worthlessness.

The highs and lows vary for each person, although it is not hard to figure out that bipolar disorder is a very complex disease. The illness for some people - depression or manic episodes - can last for weeks, months or even years.

The new drugs that are being used in treatment of schizophrenia are also helpful in bipolar disorder. Recently they have been approved and useful in the treatment of bipolar disorder. There is a series of new drugs that are in the research phase and, if approved, may eventually be used for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zyprexa for treatment of schizophrenia and manic episodes that are associated with bipolar in adolescents 13-17 years old. Schizophrenia and bipolar mania in adolescents are very rare, but are serious disorders, that can be life threatening.

Also the FDA approved Seroquel for the treatment of schizophrenia as monotherapy taken only once a day and Seroquel XR tablets as an added treatment in adults with both major depressive disorder as add-on therapy with acute depression episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

Over the years, there had been a large increase in the diagnosis of other mental illnesses and bipolar disorders in children/adolescents with no idea of why the continued rise in cases. The problem may have been that these illnesses were under- diagnosed or over- diagnosed in the later period, in the 1990's.  

 

It seems that bipolar disorder and ADHD are now a part of the mainstream lexicon, which has helped increase public awareness about pediatric bipolar disorders and for many families to find professional help and treatment for their children to cope with this illness.