What Are Mixed Episodes In Bipolar Disorder? | Mental Health 101 | Kati Morton

What Are Mixed Episodes In Bipolar Disorder? | Mental Health 101 | Kati Morton

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While we all have heard people talk about the highs of mania or hypomania, and the lows of bipolar depression, a mixed episode happens when both of these symptoms occur at the same time. Meaning that we feel impulsive, having flights of ideas, not wanting to sleep, but are also irritable, physically exhausted, and hopeless about our future. It’s diagnosed as having met the criteria for a manic or hypomanic episode while also having at least 3 depressive symptoms. I know it’s hard to comprehend how someone could feel both depressed and manic at the same time, since we often think of people swinging from one extreme to the other, but mixed episodes are common (about 40% of those with bipolar disorder will have one) and are actually very uncomfortable. Many of my patients in the hospital and in my private practice have described it as having so much energy but feeling terrible about it. One patient said she wished she could just tear her skin off, it was so unbearable. Because the manic symptoms are so impulsive and erratic, but we also feel depressed or hopeless, this state can be very dangerous. When we feel that low and have the energy to do something about it, suicide attempts go up, which is why any mental health professional will be watching us closely if they think we are in the midst of a mixed episode. It can also be dangerous to our bank account and our relationships because we can impulsively spend, have casual sexual encounters, and even look to argue or fight with those we love. Which is why it’s important that we let our treatment team know what we are experiencing so that they can help us manage the symptoms before anything bad happens. On average these episodes last for at least a week, but sometimes 2 weeks or longer. So the sooner we speak up and reach out the better.

Introduction 0:00 – 0:18
Mixed episodes explanation 0:19 – 2:24
Sponsor message 2:25 – 3:25
What causes bipolar disorder 3:26 – 5:02
What is affected by bipolar disorder 5:03 – 5:49
Therapy: management of bipolar disorder 5:49 – 7:25
Medication: management of bipolar disorder 7:26 – 8:07
WARNING – Bipolar disorder misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder 8:08 – 9:06
Closing notes 9:07 – 9:43

Research articles I used:

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This is a great video if you are struggling with bipolar disorder, mixed episodes in bipolar disorder, what is bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder support, bipolar disorder therapist, what is bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder therapy, bpd symptoms, mixed episodes in bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder treatment, and so much more!

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