Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
There are three types of bipolar disorder. All three types involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, irritable, or energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very “down,” sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.
Signs and Symptoms
People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and uncharacteristic behaviors—often without recognizing their likely harmful or undesirable effects. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes.” Mood episodes are very different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Episodes may also last for longer periods, such as several days or weeks.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. People with ADHD experience an ongoing pattern of the following types of symptoms:
Inattention means a person may have difficulty staying on task, sustaining focus, and staying organized, and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
Hyperactivity means a person may seem to move about constantly, including in situations when it is not appropriate, or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, hyperactivity may mean extreme restlessness or talking too much.
Impulsivity means a person may act without thinking or have difficulty with self-control. Impulsivity could also include a desire for immediate rewards or the inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may interrupt others or make important decisions without considering long-term consequences.
Signs and Symptoms
ADHD symptoms can appear as early as between the ages of 3 and 6 and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD can be mistaken for emotional or disciplinary problems or missed entirely in children who primarily have symptoms of inattention, leading to a delay in diagnosis. Adults with undiagnosed ADHD may have a history of poor academic performance, problems at work, or difficult or failed relationships’ symptoms can change over time as a person age.
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Though schizophrenia isn’t as common as other major mental illnesses, it can be the most chronic and disabling.
People with schizophrenia often have problems doing well in society, at work, at school, and in relationships. They might feel frightened and withdrawn, and could appear to have lost touch with reality. This lifelong disease can’t be cured but can be controlled with proper treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split or multiple personality. Schizophrenia involves a psychosis, a type of mental illness in which a person can’t tell what’s real from what’s imagined. At times, people with psychotic disorders lose touch with reality. The world may seem like a jumble of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds. Their behavior may be very strange and even shocking. A sudden change in personality and behavior, which happens when people who have it lose touch with reality, is called a psychotic episode.
How severe schizophrenia is varies from person to person. Some people have only one psychotic episode, while others have many episodes during a lifetime but lead relatively normal lives in between. Still others may have more trouble functioning over time, with little improvement between full-blown psychotic episodes. Schizophrenia symptoms seem to worsen and improve in cycles known as relapses and remissions.
A migraine is a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
For some people, a warning symptom known as an aura occurs before or with the headache. An aura can include visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or blind spots, or other disturbances, such as tingling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg and difficulty speaking.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
•Feeling sad or having a depressed mood •Loss of interest, pleasure in activities once enjoyed
•Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain •Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
•Loss of energy or increased fatigue
•Feeling worthless or guilty
•Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
•Thoughts of death or suicide
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by repeated seizures. A seizure is usually defined as a sudden alteration of behavior due to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain. Normally, the brain continuously generates tiny electrical impulses in an orderly pattern. These impulses travel along neurons — the network of nerve cells in the brain — and throughout the whole body via chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.
In epilepsy the brain's electrical rhythms have a tendency to become imbalanced, resulting in recurrent seizures. In patients with seizures, the normal electrical pattern is disrupted by sudden and synchronized bursts of electrical energy that may briefly affect their consciousness, movements or sensations.
Epilepsy is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition, such as alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar.
Dementia is the name for a group of brain disorders that make it hard to remember, think clearly, make decisions, or even control your emotions. Alzheimer’s disease is one of those disorders, but there are many different types and causes of dementia.
Dementia isn’t just about simple memory mishaps -- like forgetting someone’s name or where you parked. A person with dementia has a hard time with at least two of the following:
○Memory ○Communication and speech ○Focus and concentration ○Reasoning and judgment ○Visual perception (can’t see the difference in colors or detect movement, or sees things that aren’t there)
This is the most common type of dementia. About 60% to 80% of people who have dementia have Alzheimer’s. It’s a progressive condition, which means it gets worse over time, and it usually affects people over 65 years old. There’s currently no cure.
It happens when proteins (called plaques) and fibers (called tangles) build up in your brain and block nerve signals and destroy nerve cells. Memory loss may be mild at first, but symptoms get worse over time.
It gets more difficult to carry on a conversation or do everyday tasks. A doctor can’t say you have Alzheimer’s with absolute certainty, but there are things they can do to be fairly sure. They include testing your attention, memory, language, and vision, and looking at images of your brain. These images are taken with an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine, which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to make detailed pictures.