ABC Medical Center > Bipolar disorder

What is Bipolar disorder?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


It is a mental condition that produces abrupt mood changes, such as feeling happy and full of energy and then falling into depression and apathy, altering behavior, reasoning, energy levels, and lucidity.

Until now, the causes that generate bipolar disorder are unknown, but some studies refer to genetic and biological abnormalities that produce changes in brain function and structure.

People with a family history of bipolar disorder, traumatic or stressful situations, or excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol, can trigger their appearance.

This illness, also known as manic depression and manic-depressive disorder, is classified as:

  • Bipolarity 1: manic episodes lasting an average of seven days or severe manic symptoms that require urgent medical attention.
  • Bipolarity 2: hypomanic depressive episodes.
  • Cyclothymic: hypomanic and depressive symptoms.

Signs and symptoms Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder can appear at any age, but it is usually diagnosed during adolescence or after the age of 21.

Symptoms can vary from person to person and change over time, the most common being:

Manic and hypomanic episode:

  • Irritation or bad mood.
  • Not being able to fall asleep properly.
  • Nervousness, acceleration, intense activity.
  • Rapid or accelerated thoughts and oral expression.
  • Feeling very optimistic or elated.
  • Performing risky activities (excessive eating or drinking, poor judgment, having unprotected sex).

Depressive episodes:

  • Sleeping for many hours or having insomnia.
  • Slow expression.
  • Apathy.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Little or big appetite.
  • Sadness.
  • Hopelessness.
  • Futility.
  • Social isolation.
  • Inability to concentrate.

Mixed episode:

  • Manic and depressive symptoms are manifested. From feeling very sad, you can also be full of energy.

Diagnosis and treatment Bipolar disorder

After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will perform a physical examination and order mental assessment tests or other tests to help rule out other conditions.

Although bipolar disorder is an incurable condition, proper treatment helps control symptoms and lead a healthy life:

  • Antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, anxiolytics, and mood stabilizers.
  • Psychotherapy to recognize and modify worrisome emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. In addition, it is a support tool for the patient and the family.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy, recommended for severe cases, in which the brain is electrically stimulated to reduce symptoms. It is also used when the person has shown signs of suicide or is in a catatonic state.
  • Perform physical exercise regularly to reduce anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
  • Keep a daily log of moods, sleep patterns, events, and treatments.

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.


Nervous system specialties

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


  • neurorgs.net
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • cun.es
  • fesemi.org
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Hernández-Martínez HE, Ochoa-Madrigal MG. Manejo y comorbilidades de los trastornos bipolares en la infancia y adolescencia. Rev Fac Med UNAM. 2020;63(6):40-50.
  • Ramírez VX, Arias LML, Madrigal ZS. Actualización del trastorno afectivo bipolar. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2020;5(09):1-14.
  • Castañeda FM, Becerra PC, Tirado DEG, et al. Propiedades psicométricas de la prueba breve de funcionamiento (FAST) en pacientes bipolares mexicanos. Rev Elec Psic Izt. 2020;23(1):278-290.
  • Gutiérrez MH, Hernández JL, Rodríguez RL. Características evolutivas del trastorno afectivo bipolar de la adultez a la tercera edad. Acta Med Cent. 2019;13(4):575-580.

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