ISFP Anime characters (7+ List)

This blog will look into the details and description of 11 significant ISFP anime characters. It will give an insight into the ISFP personality traits of each character.

Significant ISFP Anime Characters

Some of the significant ISFP anime characters are given below:

  • Tatsumi from Akame ga Kill
  • Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Shippuden
  • Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill
  • Simon from Gurren Lagann
  • Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan
  • Haruka Nanase from Free!
  • Ojiro Mashirao from My Hero Academia
  • Genya Shinazugawa from Demon Slayer
  • Asahi Azumane from Haikyuu!
  • Thorfinn Karlsefni from Vinland Saga
  • James from Pokemon

ISFP Personality Traits

ISFP is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. ISFPs are usually described as quiet, happy-go-lucky, and peaceful people. ISFPs try to keep their options open, so they typically delay the decision-making process in hopes that things might change or new options might come up. According to MBTI, ISFPS are compassionate, friendly, quiet, and sensitive people. Unlike the extroverts who are revitalized by interactions with other people, introverts must expend energy around people. After spending time around people, introverts mostly need their downtime to function optimally. Therefore, they prefer to indulge with a small close group of friends and family members.

ISFPs are quiet and reserved, they are famous for being careful, peaceful, and considerate. ISFPs’ easy-going nature and are accepting of other people. ISFPs are meticulous and focus on the details. They are focused on the here and now and do not worry much about the future. ISFPs are the doers instead of the dreamers. They don’t like abstract ideas and love to play and act rationally. They like to have hands-on experience. ISFPs focus on personal concerns instead of logical and objective information. ISFPs have their personal value system and make spontaneous judgments depending on how they fit their ideas. ISFPs have extraverted sensing as auxiliary functions. They are tuned with the sensory information and are observant of their environment. Their tertiary function is introverted intuition. This function runs in the background, feeding off the extraverted sensing function. They have strong gut feelings regarding all situations and events. While they do not like abstract theories and concepts, their introverted intuition leads them to experience epiphanies. Some of the popular ISFPS are 

Marilyn Moroe, actress

Harry Potter, a fictional character

Neil Simon,  playwright

Auguste Rodin, sculptor

David Beckham, soccer player

Without further ado, let’s get into the details of ISFP anime characters.

  • Tatsumi from Akame ga Kill

Tatsumi is the main protagonist of the anime show Akame Ga Kill!. He lives for the moment and truly believes in the fact that you only live once, so he might as well make use of all the energy and resources in the here and now. He is optimistic and idealistic. Tatsumi has big hopes and dreams. However, he does not feel confident to share it openly with others. He is friendly but he has a few close-knit friends with whom he is his most comfortable self.

Although it is mostly debated to be an extrovert,  he does not show any real extroverted tendencies.

  • Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Shippuden

Sasuke Uchiha is an interesting character where he played both the antagonist and protagonist in the anime show Naruto Shippuden. Sasuke is undoubtedly a prominent ISFP anime character. Although his introversion is all but evident by the anime, some anime fanatics prefer to label him an INTJ.

Sasuke is more inclined towards the ISFP despite his introversion, and he is quite an emotional person. He is not a fan of thinking ahead of time–he likes to look in the past. Sasuke would rather play alone than lead the pack.

  • Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill

Ryuko Matoi is the protagonist of the short-lived anime show Kill La Kill!, is a competitive, independent, but not so social fighter whose number one priority is to get the tasks done in the best way possible.

She can be hot-headed at certain times, and she believes in her gut feelings rather than overspending her time on thinking.

  • Simon from Gurren Lagann

Simon from the anime show Gurren Lagann is an ISFP anime character, similar to Tatsumi. They both are young and just learning how the world works. They also have a small bunch of friends but feel nervous when they are around other people.

Simone’s personality characteristics changed a bit over the course of the series, but not that significant to change his Myers=Briggs Type.

  • Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan

Eren Yeager is the main protagonist of the anime show Attack on Titan. He has innate stoicism that is characteristic of an ISFP personality. His associations to the ISFP types are mainly because he prefers to follow his feelings without the need to get approval from others, 

Eren Yeager works great as a team, but his goal is to do his part and perform his duties. That said, he does not make extra efforts to ‘go beyond’ his means to be successful.

  • Haruka Nanase from Free!

Haruka Nanase is one of the protagonists of the sports-based anime show Free! He is one of the iconic examples of modern ISFP characters. He can be extra grim at certain times, and he is not directed towards long-term goals or future plans.

Nonetheless, despite his inability to express his feelings, he undoubtedly has a lot. He also enjoys some experiences of life–especially water sports, like swimming.

  • Ojiro Mashirao from My Hero Academia

Ojiro Mashirao from the famous anime show My Hero Academia is one of the peaceful ISFPs–he still possesses all the core characteristics of an ISFP, but apart from that, he does not have any of negative traits. He is introverted and calm, and he likes to keep his feelings to himself. His motivation is to make sure everyone is heard and not to ignore or push others away.

He is conscious and aware of the environment around him. Sometimes even if he looks calm and aloof, but he is not, he is all aware.

  • Genya Shinazugawa from Demon Slayer

Genya is a character from Demon Slayer. He is a perfect example of a hot-headed ISFP character who can’t be reasoned with. He is independent and free. He lives for no one but himself. However, when the need arises, he holds his moral grounds and recognizes the needs of others

  • Asahi Azumane from Haikyuu!

Asahi Azumane is one of the popularly known ISFP anime characters from a volleyball-based anime show Haikyuu! He is a strong attacker and he can defeat his opponents, often leading them to victory.

However, he is too humble and does not like taking the credits for his accomplishments. Unlike the other team players, he does not play the sport for the social aspect, but he enjoys the adrenaline rush and the thrill the game provides.

  • Thorfinn Karlsefni from Vinland Saga

Thorfinn Karlsefni is the protagonist of the anime show Vinland Saga. He is a pure ISFP; Thorfinn didn’t feel the need to express his emotions or run into situations impulsively. This is how it has always been for him because he has never done it in any other way.

Mostly, ISFP personality types are the most likely to change their types laters, as he has not been encountered as an opposing type. He is not aware if he is secretly garnering feelings that coexist with that personality type or not.

  • James from Pokemon

James from the popular anime Pokemon is value-driven with his Feeling function and has strong emotions about most things. However, he does not know how to express his feelings too well. James can be a bit shy and struggles to show what he truly feels and means to others as well. He can be seen as caring and loving, considering he is a villain. He can be a bit romantic and amicable in an ISFP manner but not like the NF style; thus his Fi dominant makes him this way. 

James has family issues and avoids facing them immediately and pushes them under the rug and escapes from his home. Later, he has to confront his family and past loved ones again. James lives in the moment and responds to the details around him spontaneously. He can be a bit impulsive and responds to situations, often without prior thinking or planning. He is also unconfident or somewhat worried at times showing his Te inferior function. He has to psych himself and try to behave bravely and more efficiently to get his goals achieved and be a more confident person as a whole in life and confront his problems head-on. James is an interesting character overall and one of the best ISFP characters. 

Conclusion:

The blog described 11 ISFP anime characters. It also discussed the characteristics of the ISFP personality type.

ISFP is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. ISFPs are usually described as quiet, happy-go-lucky, and peaceful people. They are the fourth most common personality type. 

Do you agree or disagree with our list of ISFP Anime characters? Do you have any suggestions for the character? Feel free to write in the comments below.

FAQs on ISFP Anime Characters

How rare is ISFP?

ISFPs are the fourth most common personality type in the population. They make up 9% of the general population.

Who should an ISFP marry?

ISFP’s natural partners are ENFJs or ESFJs. ISFP’s dominant function is Introverted Feeling best paired with a person with the dominant function of Extraverted Feeling. However, two well-developed individuals of any personality type can have a healthy relationship.

Is ISFP lazy?

ISFPs can be lazy. They tend to take things easy and savor the moments, thus making them slow-movers at some times, which can be frustrating to others.

What are ISFPs good at?

ISFPs are good at things that require creativity and aesthetics. They are exceptional at the interior and fashion designing. Some of them find their places in cosmetology, art, and architecture. Others excel as jewelers, carpenters, and chefs.

Are ISFPs selfish?

Yes, ISFPs can come across as selfish and unreal. This is because they mostly focus on their own perspective.

What is the rarest personality type?

INFJs are the rarest personality type in the U.S, with around 1.5 % percent of the population coming in this type.

References

https://www.truity.com/personality-type/ISFP

https://www.16personalities.com/

What To Say To Someone Having A Panic Attack Over Text

This brief guide will discuss what to say to someone having a panic attack over text.

What To Say To Someone Having A Panic Attack Over Text

Helping someone during a panic attack over the phone can be challenging. Nonetheless, it is possible.

When someone is experiencing a panic attack, and you can stay on the phone, whether or on-call or over text. You need to keep them online if they are not too responsive. Keep reassuring them or send emojis to know you are there through their storm.

  • “I know this is an overwhelming situation, but you are doing a good job. I am proud of you.”
  • “You can get through this.”
  • “Tell me what I can do for you? What do you need right now?”
  • “Stay with me, and keep listening to what I am saying.”
  • “Focus on your breathing. Stay in the present. Breathe with me.”
  • “I may not know exactly how you are feeling, but we’ll get through this together.”
  • “Tell me 5 things that you can touch in your vicinity? Name 5 colors around you right now? Tell 5 smells in the room? Is there anything that you can taste or eat nearby?”
  • “You are a brave young man/lady; you have got this.”

You may not necessarily know how to take out the person from their panic mode over the phone. However, your reassuring presence will be more helpful to the person than you may think. It is suggested to only offer constructive and doable advice; if you can’t do that, it’s best to stay quiet and present with their experience.

It is essential to ground the person and ensure they are connected with reality. So if someone is reaching out to you in their time of need, i.e., you must ensure you are sincerely present with them during a panic attack.

Panic attacks can be challenging, and devising coping strategies for such situations is essential to get you through the situations. If you are unable to manage your panic attacks, consider seeking a qualified professional therapist; they will work with you to find the solution.

What Are Panic Attacks?

A panic attack is characterized by the rush of emotional and physical symptoms due to severe fear and anxiety, causing a state of intense arousal, which may exhibit itself as physical pain and constricting feeling in the heart.

Panic attacks can make them feel like they are dying, and the feeling of impending doom is a big symptom of a panic attack. The diagnostic criteria for panic attacks as described in DSM 5 are as follows:

A panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, and during this time, four(or more) of the following symptoms are exhibited:

Note: The sudden surge can happen from a state of calm or anxiousness.

  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations, rapid heart rate, or pounding heart.
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Choking feelings.
  • Chest pain or congestion feeling.
  • Nausea or abdominal distress.
  • Heat or chills sensation.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Paresthesias (feeling of numbness or tingling sensations).
  • Fear of losing control or feeling like they are going crazy.
  • Feel like dying
  • derealization (unreal) or depersonalization (detachment from one’s self).

Note: At least one of the panic attacks has been followed by a month (or more) of one or both the following:

  • Persistent worry or concern regarding additional attacks and their impacts (Going crazy, loss of control, and having a heart attack).
  • A significant maladaptive behavioral change related to the attacks (strategies to avoid panic attacks, like exercises and active lifestyle).

Any other mental disorder does not explain the disturbance ( panic attacks do not happen as a response to social situations, as in social anxiety disorder; in response to the phobic objects, as in particular phobia; obsessions, as in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); in response to traumatic events, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or in response to separation from an attachment figure, like separation anxiety disorder).

Helping Someone During a Panic Attack

If someone you know has a panic attack, they may become extremely anxious and not think clearly. You can help them by doing the following:

  • Stay with the individual and keep calm.
  • Speak to them in simple, short sentences.
  • Be predictable. Avoid surprises.
  • Offer them medicine if the person takes it during a panic attack.
  • Don’t make any assumptions about what they need. So it is best to ask them.
  • Help slow down their breathing by breathing with them or by counting steadily to 10.

It is helpful if you say the following things to the person:

  •  “You can get through it.”
  • “Tell me what I can do for you.”
  • “Concentrate on your breathing.”
  • “What you are feeling is scary, but it is not dangerous.”
  • “I am proud of you.”

These simple guidelines can be beneficial in the following ways:

  • Reduce the amount of stress in stressful situations.
  • Help in controlling a confusing situation.
  • Prevent the situation from a worst-case scenario.

You can provide continuous help as the person tries to recover from panic disorder:

  • Encourage the person to proceed with therapy at their own pace.
  • Be present and patient towards the recovery process, even if the person is not accomplishing all the milestones.
  • Do not panic when the person panics.
  • Accept the current situation, but stay aware that it will not last forever.
  • Remember to take care of yourself.

What Things Not To Say To Somebody During A Panic Attack

There are certain things that you should absolutely never say to someone during a panic attack. It won’t help the person in calming the situation, nor will it diffuse their panic. Following are some of the things you should avoid saying to people experiencing a panic attack:

  • Don’t say “calm down.”
  • Don’t disregard their state. Refrain from “it is all in your head.” or “It will be fine, or it will pass.”
  • Don’t embarrass or shame them for their condition. Nothing along the lines of “here we go again” or “here comes the drama queen/king.”.
  • Don’t minimize by bringing up your own experiences. “It happened to me too.” “I got anxiety too, and I did this.”
  • “Don’t think of scary things.”
  • “You aren’t trying hard enough.”
  • “You are blowing it out of proportion.”

Avoid all the condescending and minimizing things to someone who is having a panic attack can make the symptoms even worse. This can also make them feel isolated and embarrassed of their condition, and they may not reach out for help.

Encouraging statements is not necessary; sometimes, silent presence can be helpful, or trying out breathing exercises with the person can help them calm down.

Grounding Techniques to Cope During A Panic Attacks

Grounding techniques and strategies can help during a panic attack. It helps in taking the person out of their head and focus on the present.

  1. Breathing Exercise: Breathing is vital to surviving the chaos. Practice meditation and deep breathing. Focusing on your breath to calm your mind and body will help you get out of the problematic situation. It will help you in reducing the physiological reaction coming from your brain after piercing the danger.
  2. Walk, Move, Dance: The energy built up in your body due to the panic attack may render you immobile and frozen. It is essential to train your mind to keep functioning in this situation. Diffuse the pent-up energy by walking, moving, or even dancing.
  3. Imagine Your Happy Place: Try to drift your thoughts towards the solution. Think of the happy place and focus on that thought.  Your happy place could be an island where sunshine pours down on you or as plain as a walk in the park. Imagining and focusing on the happy place will divert your anxious thoughts.
  4. Question Your Anxious Thoughts: The panicky thoughts usually just focus on the negative scenarios. Try to focus and question your thoughts about the positive outcomes and scenarios. This will help you in getting through the situation.
  5. Practice and Train your Mind through Meditation. Meditation helps in calming your mind and body; it trains your mind to remain under control even in the conflict scenario. Once you have trained your mind, it will help you gauge through difficult situations without yelling in frustration.
  6. Consult a therapist and ask for help. If you think the situation is too overwhelming for you, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Seek a competent counselor to help you manage your emotions effectively. Alternatively, you can express it with your trusted friend or family.

Conclusion

This brief guide discussed what to say to someone having a panic attack over text. If you or your loved ones experience panic attacks, seek the help of a professional mental health practitioner.

Panic attacks may feel like the world is crumbling apart, and you are dying. It aggravates the feeling of loss of control and heightens their emotional condition. Grounding the one who is experiencing a panic attack is essential to their well-being. Helping them over a text can be challenging, but being present is key to the solution. Reassure them that they will get through the situation and they are not their condition. Help them focus on their breathing and get them out of their head. With authentic concern and support, you can help a person during a panic attack over text.

If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments about the panic attacks, please let us know in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What To Say To Someone Having A Panic Attack Over Text

What do you say to someone who is having a panic attack?

  • “You can get through it.”
  • “Tell me what I can do for you.”
  • “Concentrate on your breathing.”
  • “What you are feeling is scary, but it is not dangerous.”
  • “I am proud of you.”

How do you comfort someone with anxiety?

  1. “I’m always here if you need to talk.”
  2. “Let’s sort this together.”
  3. “How can I help?”
  4. “This feeling will pass.”
  5. “Take your time.”
  6. “Your worries/fears/triggers are not invalid.”

How do you calm a panic attack?

Practice breathwork to calm yourself in a panic attack.

  1. Breathe in deep and slowly through your nose.
  2. Breathe out deeply and slowly through your mouth.
  3. Some may find it effective to count steadily from one to five with each breath they take. 
  4. Shut your eyes and be mindful of your breathing pattern.

Do hugs help anxiety attacks?

It is not advised to hug someone during anxiety attacks, especially when someone is particularly sensitive to touch. Nonetheless, it is an effective way to soothe a child. 

Hugging may help in reducing stress and decrease the risk of depression, anxiety, and illness. Hugs may even help in healing. 

References

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/hw53602

https://themighty.com/2018/03/how-to-help-friend-having-panic-attack-on-the-phone/

Do I Have Anxiety Test (5 ways To Assess)

This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the question “Do I have Anxiety”  and assess the symptoms of anxiety. It will also look into the types of anxiety disorders and some potential anxiety treatments.

Do I Have Anxiety Test?

Given below is a list of questions that can help you identify if you have signs of generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. The most commonly used tool for measuring anxiety is the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale.

On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the following questions where 1 implies to never and 5 implies to very often. 

  • Do you worry about various things?
  • Do you get annoyed and/or easily irritated when anxious?
  • Do you find it challenging to control your worries?
  • Do your worry or anxiety make you feel lethargic or fatigued?
  • Does your worry or anxiety interrupt falling and/or staying asleep?
  • Does worry or anxiety make it difficult to concentrate?
  • Do you feel on edge?
  • Do you worry about how better you do things?
  • Do you worry about the future?
  • Do you worry about things that have already occurred in the past?
  • Do your muscles get tensed when you feel anxious or worried?
  • Do you experience recurring thoughts that are discomforting and unwanted?
  • Do you observe strong, strong fear, inducing panic, shortening breath, chest aches, a pounding heart, nausea, shaking, sweating, dizziness, and/or fear of dying?
  • Do you ever avoid places or social environments for fear of panic?
  • Do you experience repetitive behaviors to control your worries (locking doors, counting, washing hands, repetitive words, etc.)?

This questionnaire is NOT a diagnostic tool. This questionnaire can be used for personal knowledge but not the diagnosis. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health practitioner or doctor. Furthermore, if you experience any of these somatic symptoms, you must consult a doctor, as these symptoms could be due to some other underlying illness.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal stress response and sometimes is beneficial in certain situations. It helps in alerting people of some dangers and helps them prepare and focus on the way out.

However, anxiety disorders differ from the normal feelings of anxiousness and nervousness, as it includes excessive anxiety and fear.

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder and influence almost 30 % of adults at some stage of their lives. 

Anxiety disorders can cause people to avoid triggering situations or places or things that worsen the symptoms. These disorders can influence job performance, school productivity, and personal relationships.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders include the disorders which share the characteristics of excessive anxiety and fear and additional behavioral disturbances. 

DSM 5 includes the following anxiety disorders:

  • Selective Mutism 
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Substance or Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder Due to Other Medical Condition

The most commonly observed anxiety disorder is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), so in the next few sections, we’ll be looking into the details of symptoms and treatments.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) include the following:

  • Extreme fear or anxiety induced by the actual or forecasted exposure to two or more of the following conditions:
  1. Being in closed-off places.
  2. Being alone outside of the house.
  3. Standing in line or a crowd.
  4. Being in open areas.
  5. Using public transportation.
  • They avoid the situations because the person believes they may feel stuck or help might be unavailable in the situation, that the person begins to panic.
  • The above-mentioned situations usually induce anxiety or fear.
  • The situations are avoided, require help from a loved one, or are endured with a strong fear.
  • The fear is out of proportion to the possibility of danger.
  • The avoidance or fear is persistent, as it stays for at least six or more months.
  • The avoidance or fear causes significant distress.
  • If another medical condition occurs along with the disorder, the fear or avoidance is undeniably excessive. 

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is characterized by the rush of emotional and physical symptoms due to severe fear and anxiety, causing a state of intense arousal, which may exhibit itself as physical pain and constricting feeling in the heart.

Panic attacks can make them feel like they are dying, and the feeling of impending doom is a big symptom of a panic attack. The diagnostic criteria for panic attacks as described in DSM 5 are as follows:

A panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, and during this time, four(or more) of the following symptoms are exhibited:

Note: The sudden surge can happen from a state of calm or anxiousness.

  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations, rapid heart rate, or pounding heart.
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Choking feelings.
  • Chest pain or congestion feeling.
  • Nausea or abdominal distress.
  • Heat or chills sensation.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Paresthesias (feeling of numbness or tingling sensations).
  • Fear of losing control or feeling like they are going crazy.
  • Feel like dying
  • derealization (unreal) or depersonalization (detachment from one’s self).

Note: At least one of the panic attacks has been followed by a month (or more) of one or both the following:

  • Persistent worry or concern regarding additional attacks and their impacts (Going crazy, loss of control, and having a heart attack).
  • A significant maladaptive behavioral change related to the attacks (strategies to avoid panic attacks, like exercises and active lifestyle).

Any other mental disorder does not explain the disturbance ( panic attacks do not happen as a response to social situations, as in social anxiety disorder; in response to the phobic objects, as in particular phobia; obsessions, as in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); in response to traumatic events, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or in response to separation from an attachment figure, like separation anxiety disorder).

What Causes Anxiety?

Researchers are still discovering the exact cause of anxiety. However, it is likely caused by a combination of factors. These factors may include environmental and genetic factors and brain chemistry. Additionally, researchers are of the opinion that the areas of the brain controlling fear are typically affected when a person is experiencing anxiety.

Ongoing research about anxiety aims to take a  deeper look at the parts of the brain involved with anxiety and panic. 

Factors that can increase the risk of anxiety disorder are listed and described below:

  • Genetics: If someone in the family has an anxiety disorder, then you have a high chance of developing one too. The risk is higher if either of your parents has anxiety.
  • Stress: Everyone experiences stress in various stages of their lives. Excessive or unresolved tension can increase the risk of developing chronic anxiety.
  • Trauma: Severe trauma, like wars, or child abuse, increase the chances of developing anxiety. It can be experienced by the victim themselves, or a close one.
  • Personality type: Some personality types are more susceptible to anxiety. Busy, high-achievers are more at risk of developing anxiety.
  • Sex or gender: women are twice more susceptible as men to have a generalized anxiety disorder and other relevant conditions.

Treatment For Anxiety

After you are diagnosed with anxiety, you can explore the treatment options with your doctor. For some people, medical treatment may not be necessary, considering they may have mild anxiety. Lifestyle changes can help in coping with the symptoms.

Whereas in moderate to severe cases, treatment can help in overcoming the symptoms and lead to manage daily life.

Treatment for anxiety includes two classes: medication and psychotherapy. 

Medications usually include antidepressants, sedatives, and anxiolytic drugs. Most commonly, anxiolytic drugs are used. People often develop anxiety due to various reasons. So, Xanax and Valium can treat the symptoms. However, these are highly addictive drugs and can also cause extreme dependence. Therefore, lesser addictive drugs like fluoxetine and sertraline can be used to treat anxiety.

Meeting the therapist or counselor can help in learning tools to use and coping strategies for anxiety. Some of the natural remedies or coping strategies and techniques to manage anxiety are described below:

  • Meditation and Mindfulness Activities: These activities greatly help reduce the chaotic thoughts and bring a sense of groundedness and calm in the people. It is most effective in relieving stress and anxiety.
  • Physically Active Lifestyle: Improving the physical movements and adding exercise and walking regimen to your routine can help manage your anxiety.
  • Healthy Diet: Including healthy and nutritious meals in your daily routine can help you keep anxiety at bay. Some foods like salmon, turmeric, yogurt, dark chocolate, green tea, and chamomile can help in controlling anxiety. Additionally, stay away from anxiety-causing drinks and foods, typically coffee and tea.
  • Get Adequate Sleep: sleep disturbances are a major sign that you may be experiencing anxiety. However, making conscious efforts to manage your sleep pattern and the cycle can help in managing your anxiety concerns.

Conclusion

This blog provided a comprehensive guide to the question “Do I have Anxiety” and assessed the symptoms of anxiety. It also looked into the types of anxiety disorders and some potential anxiety treatments.

Anxiety generally is not a medical condition but a natural response essential for survival when a person finds themselves in danger. An anxiety disorder may develop when the response is more intense and exaggerated. 

If you have any anxiety disorder, let us know in the comments how you manage it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do I Have Anxiety Test

Can you self-diagnose anxiety?

No, you can not self-diagnose anxiety. It is likely that you observe some signs and symptoms of anxiety.  If you have concerns about anxiety, it is advised to seek the help of mental health professional. An accurate diagnosis is made through clinical examination and assessment. The self-tests can only be used for personal purposes; however, to get the confirmed diagnosis, consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.

How do you know if you have test anxiety?

  1. How often have you been affected by nervousness, anxiousness, or felt on edge over the last two weeks?
  2. How often have you been affected or not being able to stop or control worrying over the last two weeks?
  3. How often have you been affected by worrying excessively about different things over the past two weeks?
  4. How often have your worries and stress hindered your studying and learning process?

What are the 5 signs of anxiety?

  1. Sweating
  2. Hyperventilation, rapid heart rate
  3. Trouble focusing or thinking about anything else.
  4. Having a sense of impending doom, danger, or panic.
  5. Restlessness, nervousness, or tension.

Is there a way to measure anxiety?

The STAI or state-trait anxiety inventory is the most commonly researched and extensively used measure of general anxiety and is available in various languages. Numerous clinicians use the STAI scale under rheumatologic conditions. The measure is comparatively brief to administer and is affordable in scoring or interpretation.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety#foods

https://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm05

DSM 5 Anxiety Disorders (A comprehensive guide)

This comprehensive guide will provide the details of the most significant DSM anxiety disorders and the diagnostic criteria for each anxiety disorder.

DSM 5 Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders include the disorders which share the characteristics of excessive anxiety and fear and additional behavioral disturbances. 

DSM 5 includes the following anxiety disorders:

  • Selective Mutism 
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Substance or Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder Due to Other Medical Condition

Anxiety is a normal stress response and sometimes is beneficial in certain situations. It helps in alerting people of some dangers and helps them prepare and focus on the way out.

However, anxiety disorders differ from the normal feelings of anxiousness and nervousness, as it includes excessive anxiety and fear.

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder and influence almost 30 % of adults at some stage of their lives. 

Anxiety disorders can cause people to avoid triggering situations or places or things that worsen the symptoms. These disorders can influence job performance, school productivity, and personal relationships.

Let’s now delve into the details of DSM 5 anxiety disorders and their diagnostic criteria.

Selective Mutism 

The DSM 5 categories selective mutism as an anxiety disorder. Selective Mutism is a childhood disorder and is differentiated by the inability to speak in specific situations, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).  When the child is in any social environment, like a classroom, in which he is expected to speak up, he may find it difficult to do so. Nonetheless, he may talk effortlessly and smoothly at home. Children with selective mutism usually stay undiagnosed with the disorder until they are in schools, at about 5 to 6 years of age.

The DSM 5 does not associate selective Mutism with trauma, abuse, or neglect. It is not the condition known as traumatic Mutism that may happen suddenly in response to a traumatic event, like losing a loved one.

Signs of Selective Mutism

  • Extreme shyness
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Social isolation; the child does not want to meet and talk to other people.
  • The behavior lasts for at least a month.
  • The child is typically talkative at home with the family members, but they resort to communicating with one-word answers or gestures when in social gatherings.
  • The child is extremely attached to the parents.
  • A determination is made if the condition is resulting in a negative effect on academic and co-curricular activities.
  • The health professionals should rule out the possibility of other disorders, like stuttering or lack of verbal communication in a psychotic disorder.
  • The health professional should rule out the possibility that the child is unable to speak the language or lacks knowledge of the subject.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

The diagnosis of separation anxiety disorder is made according to the following criteria:

  • The child observes excessive or irrational fear or anxiety because of separation from the attachment figure, as shown by three or more of the following conditions:
  1. Regular uncontrollable distress when separated from home or specific people.
  2. Regular uncontrolled worry after losing those people or about them being injured or harmed.
  3. Regular worry about involving an unfortunate event (being lost or sick) that may cause separation from the attachment figures.
  4. Persistent refusal or reluctance to go anywhere or do anything due to the fear of separation.
  5. Persistent refusal or reluctance to sleep away from attachment figures or home.
  6. Frequent nightmares about separation.
  7. Frequent concerns of physical symptoms, like headaches or nausea,  when they are separated from attachment figures or anticipating the separation.
  • The person’s fear and anxiety are persistent, staying at least a month in children and adolescents and at least six months or more in adults.
  • The person’s excessive fear of separation can’t be characterized by other mental disorders.
  • The separation anxiety or fear causes clinically induced distress or changes in essential areas of life.

Some people may also grow extremely uncomfortable when separated from home or attachment figures. According to their age, they may fear the dark, monsters, kidnappers, illness, and other circumstances that can be threatening to them and their close ones.

Obsessive -Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The diagnostic criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder according to the DSM-5 is given below:

  1. The occurrence of obsessions and compulsions, or both

Obsessions can be defined as 1 and 2.

  1. Recurring and persistent ideas, thoughts, urges, or impulses that are observed, at some stage during the disturbance, as unwanted and intrusive, and that in most people induce significant distress or anxiety.
  2. The person tries to suppress or ignore these urges, thoughts, or images or dilute them with other actions or thoughts (i.e., by compulsion).

Compulsions can be defined as 1 and 2.

  1. Repetitive behaviors (ordering, hand washing, checking) or mental acts (praying, repeating words silently, counting, etc.) that the person feels necessary to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules should be strictly done.
  2. Behaviors or mental acts aim to minimize or prevent distress or anxiety or prevent some dreaded situation or event; nonetheless, these mental acts or behaviors are not associated in a pragmatic way with what they are programmed to minimize or prevent or are visibly excessive.

It is important to note that young children may not be able to communicate the aims of the mental acts or behaviors.

  1. The obsessions or compulsions are time consuming (i.e., take more one hour per day) or cause clinically significant distress or change in occupational, social, or other important areas of functioning.
  2. The obsessive-compulsive symptoms are not characterized by the psychological impacts of a substance (drug abuses, medications) or other medical conditions.
  3. “The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder (e.g., excessive worries, as in generalized anxiety disorder; preoccupation with appearance, as in body dysmorphic disorder; difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, as in hoarding disorder; hair pulling, as in trichotillomania [hair-pulling disorder]; skin picking, as in excoriation [skin-picking] disorder; stereotypies, as in stereotypic movement disorder; ritualized eating behavior, as in eating disorders; preoccupation with substances or gambling, as in substance-related and addictive disorders; preoccupation with having an illness, as in illness anxiety disorder; sexual urges or fantasies, as in paraphilic disorders; impulses, as in disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders; guilty ruminations, as in major depressive disorder; thought insertion or delusional preoccupations, as in schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders; or repetitive patterns of behavior, as in autism spectrum disorder).”

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) include the following:

  • Extreme fear or anxiety induced by the actual or forecasted exposure to two or more of the following conditions:
  1. Being in closed-off places.
  2. Being alone outside of the house.
  3. Standing in line or a crowd.
  4. Being in open areas.
  5. Using public transportation.
  • They avoid the situations because the person believes they may feel stuck or help might be unavailable in the situation, that the person begins to panic.
  • The above-mentioned situations usually induce anxiety or fear.
  • The situations are avoided, require help from a loved one, or are endured with a strong fear.
  • The fear is out of proportion to the possibility of danger.
  • The avoidance or fear is persistent, as it stays for at least six or more months.
  • The avoidance or fear causes significant distress.
  • If another medical condition occurs along with the disorder, the fear or avoidance is undeniably excessive. 

Panic Disorder

DSM-5 categorises the approach by classifying panic attacks by offering just two categories: expected and unexpected panic attacks.

Expected panic attacks are linked with a particular fear like that of flying. Unexpected panic attacks have no visible trigger or cue and they may seem to happen suddenly.

According to DSM-5, a panic attack is attributed to 4 or more of the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Palpitations, rapid heart rate, pounding heart,
  • Sensations of shortening of breath.
  • Choking sensation
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Nausea  or abdominal distress
  •  Derealization or depersonalization
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Fear of dying
  • Chills or hot flushes
  • Numbness or tingling feeling (Paresthesias).

Agoraphobia

DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for agoraphobia include the following:

  • Extreme fear or anxiety induced by the actual or forecasted exposure to two or more of the following conditions:
  1. Being in closed off places.
  2. Being alone outside of the house.
  3. Standing in line or a crowd.
  4. Being in open areas.
  5. Using public transportation.
  • They avoid the situations because the person believes they may feel stuck or help might be unavailable in the situation that the person begins to panic.
  • The above mentioned situations usually induce anxiety or fear.
  • The situations are avoided, require help from a loved one, or are endured with a strong fear.
  • The fear is out of proportion to the possibility of danger.
  • The avoidance or fear is persistent, as it stays for at least six or more months.
  • The avoidance or fear causes significant distress.
  • If another medical condition occurs along with the disorder, the fear or avoidance is undeniably excessive. 

Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder

DSM-5 criteria for social anxiety disorder include the following:

  • Persistent fear or anxiety about certain social situations due to the fear of being judged, humiliated, or embarrassed.
  • Excessive anxiety that is out of proportion
  • Avoidance of anxiety-inducing social environments or attending to them extreme anxiety or fear.
  • Anxiety or fear that impacts daily living.
  • Fear or anxiety that can’t be explained by another medical condition, drug abuse, or medication.

Substance or Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder

The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder are similar to those of the other anxiety disorders; predominantly anxiety, panic, or fear; obsessions and compulsions should not be prevalent as the  OCD has a separate category.

Symptoms must develop during or within a month of intoxication or drug use or within a month of withdrawal, causing anxiety as a result of delirium. The drug must be specified.

Anxiety Disorder Due to Other Medical Condition

When a person experiences anxiety disorder due to other medical conditions, the existence of that medical condition directly leads to the experienced anxiety. Anxiety is a significant feature and may exhibit in the form of panic attacks, Obsessive-compulsive behavior, or generalized anxiety.

Conclusion

This comprehensive guide provided the details of the most significant DSM anxiety disorders and the diagnostic criteria for each anxiety disorder.

Do you have any of the DSM-5 anxiety disorders, let us know how you manage your condition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): DSM 5 Anxiety Disorders

What are the anxiety disorders in DSM 5?

DSM 5 mentioned some of the prominent anxiety disorders, which are listed below:

  • Selective Mutism 
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Substance or Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder Due to Other Medical Condition

What are the symptoms of chronic anxiety?

Some of the common anxiety signs and symptoms are as follow:

  • Nervousness, restlessness, or tension.
  • The sensation of impending doom, panic, danger.
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Trouble in concentrations and lack of focus.
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Excessive worries
  • Gastrointestinal problems

What is high functioning anxiety?

People with high functioning anxiety are usually able to achieve tasks and apparently function well in social setups, but internally they are feeling all the symptoms of anxiety disorder that includes severe feelings of impending doom, anxiety, fear, rapid heart rate, and gastrointestinal problems. 

How do psychiatrists diagnose anxiety?

Psychiatrists may diagnose anxiety by performing a physical examination, inquiring about symptoms, recommending a blood test to rule out the chances of other medical conditions, like hypothyroidism. The doctor may also need to know whether you are taking other medications that could be resulting in similar symptoms.

Citations

https://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm05

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/anxiety-disorders/what-are-anxiety-disorders

DSM 5 Depression (A Detailed Guide)

This comprehensive guide will provide the details of the most significant DSM depression disorders and the diagnostic criteria for each depression disorder.

DSM 5 Depression Types

There are now eight specific disorders mentioned in the depressive disorders chapter of DSM 5. These categories are listed below:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Disruptive mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder 
  • Substance//Medication-induced Depressive Disorder
  • Depressive Disorder due to other medical condition
  • Other Specified Depressive Disorder
  • Unspecified Depressive Disorder

The clinical definition of depression, according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5), is “a period of at least two weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had a majority of specified symptoms, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, or self-worth.”

Let’s go into the details of the DSM 5 depression types.

  • Major Depressive Disorder

Five or more of the symptoms have been persistent in the two weeks and show a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either loss of pleasure or interest or depressed mood.

  • Depressed mood most of the day, almost daily, as shown by either subjective reports (feeling sad, hopelessness, emptiness) or observation made by others (apparently tearful). In children and adolescents, it can be irritability.
  • Significant loss of interest or joy in all, or almost all activities, most of the day, almost daily (as shown by either subject account or observation).
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain without conscious efforts.
  • Loss or increase in appetite.
  • Hypersomnia or insomnia
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation almost daily. 
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive misplaced guilt (maybe delusional) almost every day (not just self-reproach or guilt about being ill).
  • Loss of concentration and focus, indecisiveness, almost every day ( either by the subject themself or observations).
  • Recurring thoughts of death (not just fear of death), recurrent suicidal thoughts, and ideation without.

1.  Precise plan, or a suicide attempt, or a planned scheme for committing suicide.

2. The symptoms that result in clinically significant worry or change in occupation, social, or other important areas of functioning.

3. The depressive episode is not characterized by the physiological impacts of a substance or other medical condition.

Note: 1-3 are the symptoms of a major depressive episode.

4. The existence of the major depressive episode is not better explained by schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, or other specified and unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders.

5. There has never been a hypomanic or manic episode. 

  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

DSM 5 criteria for disruptive mood dysregulation disorder includes the following

  • Intense, recurring (more than three times a week) temper outbursts (verbal and/or behavioral) that are severely out of proportion in intensity or duration to the event and inconsistent with the developmental level
  • The mood between temper outbursts a consistently irritable or angry most part of the day, almost every day, and observed by others.
  • The symptoms should be prevalent for a year or more, with no more than three consecutive months of symptom-free duration.
  • The behaviors/symptoms must be seen in at least two of the three environments (i.e., school, home, or peers) and, to a great degree, at least in one setting.
  • The diagnosis is not made for the first time between six years or after eighteen years.
  • By history or observations, the age at the start is before ten years.

Some exclusion criteria include:

 “ (1) the behaviors do not occur exclusively during an episode of major depressive disorder and are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, persistent depressive disorder/dysthymia, posttraumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety disorder); and (2) DMDD cannot co-exist with bipolar disorder, intermittent explosive disorder or ODD (individuals whose symptoms meet criteria for both DMDD and ODD should only be given the diagnosis of DMDD).”

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)

DSM 5 criteria for dysthymia include depressed mood for most of the day, for more days as indicated by others’ subject or observations, for at least two days. It is attributed to the occurrence of the following symptoms while depressed:

  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Hypersomnia or insomnia
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of concentration or difficulty in making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness

There has never been a hypomanic or manic episode, and the criteria for cyclothymia have never been met.

Criteria for MDD may be persistently there for two years; in that case, patients should be comorbidly diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder and MDD.

The symptoms are not better explained by a psychotic disorder.

The symptoms result in clinically significant worry or change in occupation, social, or other important areas of functioning.

The depressive episode is not characterized by the physiological impacts of a substance or other medical condition.

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  1. In most of the menstrual cycles, at least five symptoms must be present in the final week before the start of the period, start to improve within a few days after the start of the period, and minimize or absent in the week post menses.
  2. One or more symptoms should be present:
  1. Notable affective lability (i.e., mood swings, sadness, and tearful attitude, or high sensitivity to rejection.
  2. Notable irritability or anger or higher interpersonal conflicts.
  3. Notably depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-worthless thoughts.
  4. Notable tension, anxiety, and/or feelings of being on edge or keyed up.

      C. One or more of the following symptoms must additionally exist to reach a total of five symptoms when included with symptoms from criterion B 

  1. Lowered interest in usual activities.
  2. Subjective difficulty in concentration
  3. Fatigue, lethargy, or lack of energy
  4. A notable change in appetite, overeating, or certain food cravings
  5. Insomnia or hypersomnia
  6. A feeling of overwhelm or out of control.
  7. Physical symptoms like tenderness or swelling of breasts, muscle or joint pains, bloating, or weight gain.

      D. The symptoms are linked with clinically significant distress or change in occupation, social, or other important areas of functioning.

E. The disturbance is not just due to symptoms of other disorders, like major depressive disorder, panic disorder, Dysthymia, or a personality disorder (although it may coexist with any of these disorders.)

F. Criterion A should be confirmed by daily observations during at least two symptomatic cycles, excluding other medical explanations.

G. The depressive episode is not characterized by the physiological impacts of a substance or other medical condition.

  • Substance//Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder
  1. A significant and persistent disturbance in mood that predominates in the clinical setup and is attributed to depressed mood or notably the loss of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all activities.
  2. There is evidence from history, physical examination, or laboratory findings of the following: 1) the symptoms in criterion A developed during or soon after substance intoxication or withdrawal or after medicine exposure; 2) the involved medication/substance is capable of inducing the symptoms in criterion A.
  3. The disturbance is not better explained by a depressive disorder that is not substance-induced. Such evidence of independent depressive disorder include the following: 1) the symptoms preceded the start of the medicine/substance use; the symptoms stay for a significant period after the cessation of acute withdrawal or intense intoxication, or there is proof suggesting the occurrence of an independent non-substance/medication-induced depressive disorder (e.g., a history of recurring non-substance/medication-related episodes).
  4.  The condition does not exist exclusively during delirium.
  5. The symptoms result in clinically significant worry or change in occupation, social, or other important areas of functioning.
  • Depressive disorder due to other medical condition

Examination of whether another medical condition along a depressive disorder is causing the disorder is dependent on 

a) the absence of an episode(s) of depressive episodes prior to the onset of the medical condition,

 b) the chance that the linked medical condition has the potential to induce or cause a depressive disorder, and 

c) a course of the depressive symptoms soon after the initiation or worsening of the medical condition, especially if the depressive symptoms occur near the time that the medical disorder is effectively treated or remits.

  • Other Specified Depressive Disorder

The other specified depressive disorder category is employed in circumstances in which the clinician opts to communicate the specific reason/ causes that the presented issue does not meet the criteria for any specific depressive disorder.

  • Unspecified Depressive Disorder

According to DSM 5, DD-NOS or Unspecified depressive disorder includes “any depressive disorder that does not meet the criteria for a specific disorder.” Examples in this disorder category include minor depressive disorder or brief recurrent depression.

Conclusion

This comprehensive guide provided the details of the most significant DSM depression disorders and the diagnostic criteria for each disorder.

Depression disorders, according to the DSM 5 are a period of at least two weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had a majority of specified symptoms, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, or self-worth.

Do you have any of the DSM-5 depression disorders, let us know how you manage your condition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): DSM 5 Depression

What is the DSM 5 definition of depression?

The clinical definition of depression, according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5), is “a period of at least two weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had a majority of specified symptoms, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, or self-worth.”

What is the new depressive disorder diagnosis in the DSM 5?

DSM-5 includes some new depressive disorders, namely premenstrual dysphoric disorder and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.

How many categories of depression does the DSM 5 recognize?

There are now eight specific disorders mentioned in the depressive disorders chapter of DSM 5. These categories are listed below:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Disruptive mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder 
  • Substance//Medication-induced Depressive disorder
  • Depressive disorder due to other medical condition
  • Other specified depressive disorder
  • Unspecified depressive disorder

What are the DSM IV criteria for depression?

DSM IV criteria for depression include depressed mood throughout or most part of the day, for at least two years with the existence of two or more of the following symptoms that can cause a clinically prominent change in work, social, or other important aspects of functioning:

  1. Lack of appetite or overeating.
  2. Insomnia or hypersomnia
  3. Fatigue or lack of energy
  4. Worthlessness or excessive guilt
  5. Recurring death thoughts
  6. Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
  7. The depressed mood throughout the day
  8. Unintentional weight gain or loss.
  9. Agitation or psychomotor retardation is experienced by others.

Citations

https://www.psycom.net/depression-definition-dsm-5-diagnostic-criteria/

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.

Bipolar Disorder (A complete guide)

This article provides a comprehensive guide to bipolar disorder. The article will look into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the bipolar disorder.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression, is a mental illness characterized by extremely high and low moods and changes in sleep, thinking, behavior, and energy.

People with bipolar disorder can have periods of extreme joy and energy and other periods with extreme hopelessness, sadness, and sluggish behavior. In the middle of these periods, they are often feeling normal. Thinking of the lows and highs as two mood poles, hence the name “bipolar” disorder.

The term “manic” refers to the times when the person feels excited, confident, and overjoyed. These feelings can be accompanied by irritability and reckless or impulsive decision making. Almost half the people during their mania can have delusions or hallucinations

The term “Hypomania” refers to the milder symptoms of mania. In this period, a person does not have delusions or hallucinations, and their extreme symptoms do not interfere with their daily life.

The word “depressive” characterizes the feeling when the person is typically very sad or depressed. The symptoms in these phases are like those of major depressive order or clinical depression, a condition in which someone never has manic or hypomanic episodes.

The majority of people with bipolar disorder spend more time in the depressive phase than the hypomanic or manic phase.

What Are The Types of Bipolar Disorder?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four main categories of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I disorder: In these manic episodes last for at least seven days and have psychotic or manic symptoms. Episodes of the “extreme down” period usually last for two weeks and pose more of the depressive features.
  2. Bipolar II disorder: It is characterized by one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode in your lifetime. Common symptoms in the major depressive episode of bipolar II disorder include insomnia or hypersomnia, severe fatigue, uncontrollable crying, recurring death thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
  3. Cyclothymic disorder: It is the middle form of bipolar disorder. It consists of mood swings. It usually develops in adolescence and stays for one year, whereas in adults, it stays for at least two years. As the symptoms are not so extreme and intense, they function normally but may appear moody or difficult to others.
  4. Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder: It does not have any specific pattern like the ones mentioned above. Bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder is known as ‘dual diagnosis’, and thus requires to be addressed with a specialist.

What Are The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder does not have a set pattern of the dramatic episodes of highs and lows. Some people may feel the same (manic or depressed) more frequently before transitioning to the other mood. These episodes can occur over a duration of weeks, months, and even sometimes years.

The severity may differ from person to person and also change over time, fluctuating between less to more severe.

.

Some symptoms of mania (high episode) are:

  • Overjoy, excitement, and optimism
  • Sudden transition from happiness to being irritable, angry, and violent.
  • Restless behavior
  • High energy and less need for sleep
  • Lack of concentration and rapid speech
  • High libido
  • Poor decision and judgment 
  • Substance and alcohol abuse
  • Impulsiveness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Less need for sleep
  • Easily distracted
  • A large sense of self-confidence and well-being

During depressive episode or the low phase the symptoms may be exhibited as follows:

  • Feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, and overall pessimist view.
  • Loss of energy
  • Not able to enjoy the things that they previously did.
  • Trouble focusing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Slow speech
  • Less libido
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Uncontrolled crying
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Needing more sleep
  • Trouble in decision making
  • Appetite changes leading to weight gain or weight loss.
  • Death or suicidal thoughts
  • Attempts to suicide. 

What are the Bipolar Disorder Causes?

There is not a single cause of the bipolar disorder. Research has shown there could be a number of factors that can contribute to bipolar disorder in some people.

The main cause of bipolar disorder is believed to be chemical imbalances in the brain. The neurotransmitters serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine, one or more of these, experience an imbalance. Moreover, genetics and triggering factors can also contribute to bipolar episodes.

What Are The Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder?

Usually, bipolar disorder is developed in late adolescence or young adulthood. It is very rare to happen in early childhood.

Bipolar disorder can run in families.

Both men and women are equally likely to have it. Women are slightly more susceptible than men to go through ‘rapid cycling’, which has four or more distinct mood episodes throughout the year.

Females are also likely to have more depressed phases than males with bipolar disorder.

In women, bipolar disorder usually happens later in life, and they are more likely to be hit with Bipolar II disorder and are also prone to seasonal mood changes.

A combination of mental and medical concerns is more common in the female population. The medical conditions can include migraine, thyroid disease, and anxiety disorder.

Some key risk factors in developing bipolar disorder are:

  • Having a family member with bipolar disorder.
  • Drugs or alcohol abuse
  • High stress or traumatic phase
  • Health conditions

People with conditions of drugs or alcohol abuse are susceptible to mania or depression. People with bipolar disorder are also expected to have seasonal depression, co-occurring anxiety disorders, Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD).

How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

If your or your loved ones have symptoms of bipolar disorder, communicate with a family doctor or a psychiatrist. They’ll ask relevant mental health questions and your family history. You’ll also get a complete psychiatric evaluation to rule out the chances of bipolar disorder or other underlying mental health concerns.

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder is determining whether the symptoms are due to other conditions(alcohol or drugs) or medical issues (low thyroid). How severe are the conditions? What was the duration of these conditions? How frequently are the symptoms?

The most significant symptoms of highs or lows in moods, together with changes in sleep, appetite, energy, thinking, and behavior, can help in the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of children and teenagers can be challenging. Although the symptoms may be the same as adults, they have a risk of being misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or even bad temper/behavior.

If you are worried your child might have bipolar disorder, consult and discuss with your doctor for a referral to a child psychologist. 

Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be treated; it is an ongoing treatment as it’s a long term condition. 

People with four or more mood episodes in a year, or people with alcohol or drug addictions, will be difficult to treat.

Medication

Medication is the primary treatment, majorly involving:

  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers, like lamotrigine, carbamazepine, valproate, or lithium.
  • Antipsychotic drugs like quetiapine, cariprazine, olanzapine, and lurasidone.
  • Anti-anxiety pills or sleep medicines like benzodiazepines or sedatives.
  • Antidepressant-antipsychotic drugs, a combination of antidepressant and mood stabilizers.

It can take some time to discover the right combination for you. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor about medications that are safe for safety.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is also recommended, along with medications. Some of the options in this regard are:

  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (ISPRT)
  • Psychoeducation
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Family-focused therapy

Other Treatment Options

  • Acupuncture: There is some evidence that acupuncture therapy can help with depression caused by bipolar disorder.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): Small dosage of electric shocks can reboot the brain and change the balance of some neurotransmitters. Although it’s a last resort, it’s much safer and controlled, and has fewer side effects and risks, as compared to the earlier days of this treatment.
  • Supplements: Supplementary vitamins can help with bipolar disorder, but they may be possible issues with them. For example, unregulated ingredients can result in side-effects. Be sure to let your doctor know if you are using any supplements.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Some lifestyle changes can also be helpful:
  • Regular exercise and workout regimen
  • Follow a routine
  • Learn to pick your mood swings.
  • Get support from family, friends, or groups.
  • Learn to manage stress.
  • Keep a journal or chart for your symptoms.
  • Find sports and healthy hobbies.
  • Avoid alcohol or recreational drugs.

The more you know about your conditions and symptoms, the better you’ll be able to manage your episodes. It will be helpful to have a compassionate company to manage your condition. Support groups and friends can help you in talking through the situation.

Conclusion

This article provided a comprehensive guide to bipolar disorder. It also looked into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. It implies you’ll have to cope and live with it for your entire life. The sooner you get the diagnosis, the better will be the outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Bipolar Disorder

What are the four types of bipolar disorder?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four main categories of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I disorder: In these manic episodes last for at least seven days and have psychotic or manic symptoms. Episodes usually last for two weeks and pose more of the depressive features.
  2. Bipolar II disorder: It is characterized by one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode in your lifetime. Common symptoms in the major depressive episode of bipolar II disorder include insomnia or hypersomnia, severe fatigue, uncontrollable crying, recurring death thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
  3. Cyclothymic disorder: It is the middle form of bipolar disorder. It consists of mood swings. It usually develops in adolescence. They function normally but may appear moody or difficult to others.
  4. Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder. It does not have any specific pattern like the ones mentioned above. 

What is the main cause of bipolar disorder?

The main cause of bipolar disorder is believed to be chemical imbalances in the brain. The neurotransmitters serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine, one or more of these, experience an imbalance. Moreover, genetics and triggering factors can also contribute to bipolar episodes.

How do I know if I’m bipolar?

To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you should have at least one manic or hypomanic experience. The signs and symptoms to watch for are extreme fluctuations in mood, sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. 

Can bipolar go away?

Although the symptoms of the bipolar disorder come and go, the treatment is lifetime, and it does not go away on its own.

Bipolar disorder can be a major factor in job loss, family discord, and suicide, but proper treatment can lead to better outcomes.

Can a bipolar person truly love?

Yes, a person with bipolar disorder can truly love. However, their symptoms and episodes can get overwhelming. So if you love someone with bipolar disorder, be patient and understanding with them and encourage them for treatment.

References

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/bipolar-disorders/what-are-bipolar-disorders

Am I Bipolar Test (5 signs you are)

In this guide, we’ll look at the details of bipolar disorder and how to self-test for bipolar disorder symptoms. It will also provide a range of treatment options for bipolar disorder. 

Am I Bipolar?: Self-Examination for Bipolar Disorder

Although there are no reliable online platforms that offer “Am I Bipolar Disorder” tests, some websites provide quiz and scales to give initial symptoms or indication that you may have bipolar disorder.

Online tests typically have questions regarding a person’s moods, behaviors, and usual lifestyle choices. It is necessary to check the authenticity of these quizzes because self-diagnosis can be problematic. Therefore, if you suspect you might have bipolar disorder, then you can observe your behavior for more than two weeks for the followings signs:

The bipolar test is given below if you are currently experiencing symptoms; note that if you have these symptoms for more than a week, then consult your doctor to confirm.

Keep count of the questions where you answered Yes in the following sections.

Section 1

  • Are you experiencing unusually high energy and/or activities?
  • Are you abnormally overjoyed, although nothing in life is adding to it? The happiness may have started with something special, but the feeling lasted longer than usual.
  • Do you have an unusually expansive mood?
  • Are you unusually irritable for no reason?

Section 2

These symptoms should show a noteworthy difference from your typical behavior experiences.

  • Are you feeling rested with only a few hours of sleep?
  • Is your self-esteem increased than usual, or are you experiencing grandiosity?
  • Are you having racing thoughts, or are you speaking rapidly, switching topic to topic, or a flight of ideas?
  • Are you talking more than typical, or you feel like you must keep talking?
  • Are you easily distracted?
  • Are you taking impulsive risks without any fear of consequences?
  • Are you extremely restless or impulsively overcommitting to various projects?

Section 3

  • Are you having delusions and hallucinations?
  • Is your behavior causing severe difficulties in your life (for instance, in school or at work)?
  • Have you been hospitalized due to these symptoms to prevent harming others or yourself?

Scoring the Bipolar Mania Test

After scoring your results, it is important to read about additional critical factors.

Section 1

1 Yes = 0 point

2+ Yes = 1 point

Section 2

1-2 Yes = 0 point

3+ Yes = 1 point

Section 3

1+ Yes = 1 point

 Results

Generally, 3 points are necessary to be diagnosed with a manic episode. Nonetheless, the occurrence of any symptoms in either section is a sign that you need mental health evaluation. In the end, it is a qualified medical practitioner who can confirm the diagnosis for bipolar disorder.

 Other possibilities

  • You can have mixed episodes.
  • You can be experiencing hypomania instead of mania.
  • You may have other illnesses like schizophrenia or brief psychotic disorder.

Additional Factors

It would help if you also considered the following factors:

  • Did your symptoms start with the use of illegal drugs or alcohol? If yes, the diagnosis of mania can’t be confirmed, but you should take help immediately.
  • Did your symptoms start after the prescription drugs or other medical treatment? If yes, a doctor’s occurrence of bipolar mania should be assessed, but immediate treatment must be sought.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four main categories of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I disorder: In these manic episodes last for at least seven days and have psychotic or manic symptoms. Episodes of the “extreme down” period usually last for two weeks and pose more of the depressive features.
  2. Bipolar II disorder: It is characterized by one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode in your lifetime. Common symptoms in the major depressive episode of bipolar II disorder include insomnia or hypersomnia, severe fatigue, uncontrollable crying, recurring death thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
  3. Cyclothymic disorder: It is the middle form of bipolar disorder. It consists of mood swings. It usually develops in adolescence and stays for one year, whereas it stays for at least two years in adults. As the symptoms are not so extreme and intense, they usually function but may appear moody or difficult to others.
  4. Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder: It does not have any specific pattern like the ones mentioned above. Bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder is known as ‘dual diagnosis’ and requires addressing with a specialist.

What Are The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder does not have a set pattern of the dramatic episodes of highs and lows. Some people may feel the same (manic or depressed) more frequently before transitioning to another mood. These episodes can occur over weeks, months, and even sometimes years.

The severity may differ from person to person and change over time, fluctuating less to more severe.

Symptoms of Manic Episode.

Some symptoms of mania (high episode) are:

  • Overjoy, excitement, and optimism
  • Sudden transition from happiness to being irritable, angry, and violent.
  • Restless behavior
  • High energy and less need for sleep
  • Lack of concentration and rapid speech
  • High libido
  • Poor decision and judgment 
  • Substance and alcohol abuse
  • Impulsiveness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Less need for sleep
  • Easily distracted
  • A large sense of self-confidence and well-being

Symptoms of Manic Episode

During depressive episode or the low phase the symptoms may be exhibited as follows:

  • Feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, and overall pessimist view.
  • Loss of energy
  • Not able to enjoy the things that they previously did.
  • Trouble focusing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Slow speech
  • Less libido
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Uncontrolled crying
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Needing more sleep
  • Trouble in decision making
  • Appetite changes leading to weight gain or weight loss.
  • Death or suicidal thoughts
  • Attempts to suicide. 

How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

If your or your loved ones have symptoms of bipolar disorder, communicate with a family doctor or a psychiatrist. They’ll ask relevant mental health questions and your family history. You’ll also get a complete psychiatric evaluation to rule out the chances of bipolar disorder or other underlying mental health concerns.

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder determines whether the symptoms are due to other conditions(alcohol or drugs) or medical issues (low thyroid). How severe are the conditions? What was the duration of these conditions? How frequently are the symptoms?

The most significant symptoms of highs or lows in moods, together with changes in sleep, appetite, energy, thinking, and behavior, can help in the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of children and teenagers can be challenging. Although the symptoms may be the same as adults, they have a risk of being misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or even bad temper/behavior.

If you are worried your child might have bipolar disorder, consult and discuss with your doctor for a referral to a child psychologist. 

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be treated; it is an ongoing treatment as it’s a long term condition. 

People with four or more mood episodes in a year, or people with alcohol or drug addictions, will be difficult to treat.

The treatment for bipolar disorder includes medications, primarily involving:

  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety pills
  • Mood stabilizers.

Psychotherapy and counseling are also recommended along with the medication. This helps in better managing the triggers and mood episodes. Some of the options in therapy include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (ISPRT), family-focused therapy, and psychoeducation.

The more you know about your conditions and symptoms, the better you’ll be able to manage your episodes. It will be helpful to have a compassionate company to manage your condition. Support groups and friends can help you in talking through the situation.

Conclusion

In this guide, we looked at the details of bipolar disorder and how to self-test for bipolar disorder symptoms. It also provided a range of treatment options for bipolar disorder. 

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. Self-diagnosis and treatment can be problematic, so avoid any medication without consultation with a qualified medical practitioner.  It implies that you’ll have to cope and live with it for your entire life. Therefore, the sooner you get the diagnosis, the better will be the outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Am I Bipolar Disorder Test (Features and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder–A Complete Guide)

How do you test for bipolar?

There are no particular blood tests or brain scans for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. However, doctors perform physical examinations and lab tests, including urine analysis and thyroid function tests. The tests help determine if other underlying conditions are not causing the symptoms.

What are the five signs of bipolar?

Both the manic and hypomanic episodes of bipolar disorder may include the following symptoms:

  • Increased energy, activity, or agitation.
  • Decreased need for sleep.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • Distractibility
  • Exaggerated self-confidence (euphoria)

Can I diagnose myself with bipolar disorder?

Yes, a few questions can help you determine the possibility of bipolar disorder. However, these questions do not diagnose; only a medical health practitioner can provide a diagnosis.

  1. Have you experienced episodes of clinical depression that lasted for two or more than two weeks and were unable to work?
  2. Do you experience mood cycles, you observe the ‘highs’ as well as depression episodes?
  3. In the ups, do you feel more hyper and energetic than you usually experience during the typical happiness times?

Do I have bipolar 1 or 2?

Bipolar I disorder comprises periods of extreme mood episodes from mania to depression. Bipolar II disorder is different from bipolar I disorder in the form that the elevated mood episode does not reach the full-blown manic episode, instead it involves episodes of hypomania and extreme depression.

What are the four types of bipolar disorder?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four main categories of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I disorder: In these manic episodes last for at least seven days and have psychotic or manic symptoms. Episodes usually last for two weeks and pose more of the depressive features.
  2. Bipolar II disorder: It is characterized by one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode in your lifetime. Common symptoms in the major depressive episode of bipolar II disorder include insomnia or hypersomnia, severe fatigue, uncontrollable crying, recurring death thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
  3. Cyclothymic disorder: It is the middle form of bipolar disorder. It consists of mood swings. It usually develops in adolescence. They function normally but may appear moody or difficult to others.
  4. Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder: It does not have any specific pattern like the ones mentioned above.

Can bipolar people tell they are bipolar?

No, not everybody with bipolar disorder knows they have the condition. There could be many reasons why somebody with bipolar disorder may not be aware of it–or why they may deny it even if they do. 

References

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/balanced/201904/test-bipolar-disorder

https://www.verywellmind.com/bipolar-mania-quiz-380310

Bipolar II Disorder (A 5 point guide)

This article provides a detailed guide to bipolar II disorder. The article will look into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the bipolar disorder. It will also discuss how bipolar II disorder is different than bipolar I disorder.

What is Bipolar II Disorder?

Bipolar II disorder is a form of mental disorder. Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, where the mood switches between high and low over time.

However, in the case of bipolar II disorder, the high moods never reach the full-blown extreme of mania. Whereas, the less-intense elevated mood in bipolar II disorder is known as hypomanic episodes or hypomania.

A person with bipolar II disorder has experienced at least one hypomanic episode in their lifetime. The majority of people with bipolar II disorder usually suffer from frequent depressive episodes. This is where the term “manic depression” stems from.

In between these episodes of depression and hypomania, most bipolar II disorder people generally lead normal lives.

Who Develops the Bipolar II Disorder?

Virtually bipolar II disorder can be developed in anyone. Almost 2.5% of the U.S population, constituting six million people,  has some form of bipolar disorder.

The symptoms of bipolar disorder initially start in teens or early 20s. Almost everyone with bipolar II disorder develops the condition before the age of 50. People with a close family member with bipolar disorder are more likely to have the condition.

Symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder

In the hypomanic episodes, a high mood can be exhibited in the form of euphoria or agitation.

Symptoms observed in a hypomanic episode may include:

  • Switching immediately between different ideas.
  • High self-confidence.
  • Fast, uninterrupted, and loud speech.
  • High and increased energy, with a low need for sleep and hyperactivity.

People with hypomanic episodes are actually fun to be around. They appear to be the life of the party–cracking jokes, taking a strong interest in other people and activities, and infecting people with their positive mood.

Now, the question may arise: what could be so bad about being the life of the party?

The answer is, hypomania can lead to intense and unhealthy behavior. Hypomanic episodes can sometimes turn to full-blown manias, which affects the person’s ability to function, i.e., bipolar I disorder.  People may spend money in mania, don’t even have, indulge in sexual activities with people they normally wouldn’t, and engage in impulsive activities that might have potentially dangerous consequences.

However, people with bipolar II disorder observe more prolonged depressive episodes than hypomanic symptoms. Depression can take over soon after hypomania goes, or much later. Some people can also transition back and forth between hypomania and depression, whereas some others have long phases of normal mood in between these episodes.

Depressive symptoms in bipolar II disorder are similar to the typical clinical depression, with low mood, low energy, loss of pleasure, feelings of worthlessness, and suicidal thoughts. Depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder can last weeks, months, or quite rarely years. 

Diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder

Diagnosis of bipolar II disorder requires the person to have at least one episode of hypomania and at least one episode of depression.

People are typically in an elevated and jolly mood in hypomania and seek medical assistance when they experience depression symptoms. Therefore, there is a high chance that doctors usually misdiagnose bipolar II disorder as depression.

Usually, while the doctor is making a diagnosis, they will:

  • Inquire about the symptoms and their severity.
  • Take family history to rule out the genetic cause of the condition
  • Perform a physical examination.
  • Order tests, like blood tests, to rule out other potential causes.

Then, they use criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to make the final diagnosis.

The doctor may also use a checklist to identify hypomania.

Treatments for Bipolar II Disorder

Hypomania often masks itself as happiness and extreme optimism. When hypomania is not resulting in unhealthy behavior, it is most likely to go unnoticed and untreated. This is in contrast to the complete mania, which by definition causes issues in functioning and thus requires treatment, including medications and possible hospitalization.

Treatment for bipolar II disorder typically includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy. It is a long-term and usually continuous treatment. If a person with bipolar II disorder stops the treatment, symptoms are most likely to return even when they feel well.

Medications

The medication may include the following:

  • Mood stabilizers
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Medication to improve quality of sleep

It may take some time to find the perfect combination and dosage. A person would be required to cooperate with their doctor for some period to arrive at a suitable solution.

It is also suggested to report any side effects to their doctor to make the appropriate adjustments. Trusted close ones can also offer better helpful insights.

Mood stabilizers

Lithium: It is highly effective in managing the mood swings (specifically highs) in bipolar disorder. Lithium has been used for over 60 years for bipolar disorder treatment. Lithium may take a few weeks to work completely, making it suitable for long-term treatment rather than acute hypomanic episodes. 

Carbamazepine: It is an antiseizure drug and has been used to treat mania since the 1970s. It is also known to help with bipolar depression or preventing highs and lows. Blood tests for monitoring liver functions and white blood cells are necessary.

Lamotrigine: It is an FDA approved drug used as a maintenance treatment of adult patients with bipolar disorder. It is also known to delay bouts of mood episodes of mania, hypomania, depression, and some mixed episodes in patients with standard therapy treatment. It is specifically suitable for the prevention of low episodes.

Valproate: this antiseizure drug is used for mood regulation. It has more rapid results than lithium; it can be used off label for the prevention of lows and highs. 

Some additional antiseizure medications, like oxcarbazepine, can also be prescribed sometimes for ‘experimental’ treatments for mood episodes or associated symptoms in people with bipolar disorder. 

Antidepressants

Seroquel and Seroquel XR are the FDA approved drugs for bipolar II depression. Common antidepressants like paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertraline are used for bipolar II depression. These drugs are likely to cause or worsen hypomania rather than bipolar I disorder.

Antipsychotics

Hypomanic episodes usually don’t include psychosis and don’t interfere with functioning. Antipsychotic drugs like asenapine, quetiapine, risperidone, olanzapine, etc., are typically used in hypomania. Some notable Seroquel is used for treating bipolar II depression symptoms.

Benzodiazepines: This drug class includes alprazolam, diazepam, and lorazepam and are known as minor tranquilizers. They are used for the short term management of acute symptoms associated with hypomania, like agitation or insomnia.

Psychotherapy and Counseling

Talking about your challenges and feelings associated with bipolar II disorder can be beneficial.

The aim of psychotherapy or counseling may include the following:

  • Identify beneficial ways for stress management
  • Establish coping strategies for the mood episodes and symptoms
  • Identify triggers and stressors and methods to avoid them.
  • Awareness of the condition to the person with bipolar disorder.

Some people may also suffer from accompanying health issues, like drugs or alcohol abuse disorders. Psychotherapy can help with these conditions, as well.

Lifestyle Changes

Numerous strategies can help people with bipolar II disorder to achieve more stable moods and a deep sense of wellness, comprising:

  • Diet: A healthy, nutritious diet will offer essential nutrients to boost overall health.
  • Exercise: A physically active lifestyle as advised by the doctor can help with stress management and the health of bipolar II disorder people.
  • Sleep: Healthy mind and body require sound sleep. Fixing a sleep schedule will help in mood stabilization and well being.
  • Keep a journal: Tracking your mood changes and life experiences can help identify patterns, stressors, and triggers.

While there is evidence, some supplements can help with mild and moderate symptoms. However, it is critical for people with extreme symptoms to consult a professional medical practitioner. Supplements can help in managing the symptoms and preventing the symptoms when used along with conventional treatment. 

Prior to any supplements, it is necessary to seek the help of your doctor.

Can Bipolar II Disorder Be Prevented?

The causes of bipolar disorder are not entirely understood and if it can be prevented altogether. It is possible to minimize the risk of developing hypomania or depression symptoms when bipolar disorder is developed. Psychotherapy and counseling sessions can help people in the identification of their warning signs and relapse symptoms.

Difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II Disorder

In Bipolar I, a person experiences periods of extreme mood episodes ranging between mania and depression. In this form of the disorder, people experience full mania with abnormally high mood, leading to extreme disruption in life. 

Bipolar II disorder is characterized by elevated mood swings that do not reach a full-blown mania, involving milder hypomania episodes that transition with periods of extreme depression. However, the depressive phase of bipolar II disorder is usually long-lasting and more severe than bipolar I disorder. Therefore, bipolar II disorder is not just a “milder” form of bipolar disorder.

Conclusion

This article provided a comprehensive guide to bipolar II disorder. It also looked into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the bipolar disorder. Moreover, it discussed the difference between bipolar I and bipolar II disorder.

Bipolar II disorder is different than bipolar I disorder because it has a more prolonged and severe depressive episode

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Bipolar II Disorder

What is the difference between bipolar I and II?

In Bipolar I, a person experiences periods of extreme mood episodes ranging between mania and depression. Bipolar II disorder is a mild form of mood swings, involving milder episodes of hypomania that transitions with periods of extreme depression.

Is Bipolar II serious?

Bipolar II disorder is a separate diagnosis, where bipolar I disorder has severe and dangerous episodes of mania while bipolar II disorder has more severe and long periods of depression.

Does Bipolar II get worse with age?

Bipolar II may worsen with age or over time if the condition is untreated. As time goes on, an individual may observe more severe and prolonged episodes than the first time the symptoms appeared.

How does a person with Bipolar II act?

In Bipolar II disorder, a person starts to act in extremes of high and low moods. Manic episodes include increased excitement, energy, impulsive and agitated behavior. Depressive episodes include lack of energy, feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts.

Is Bipolar II disorder considered a disability?

Bipolar II disorder is included in the Social Security Listings of Impairments, which implies that if the condition is diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner and is severe enough to keep you from functioning, you can avail the disability benefits.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319280#outlook

https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder#1

Bipolar Test (+ 5 Symptoms)

This article will discuss the psychology of the bipolar test. It will provide a detailed analysis of biomarkers and the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

What Is A Bipolar Test?

Do you suspect that you might have bipolar mania? You may be worried that you are turning manic? Use the checklist in this article to see the symptoms of mania and test your score at the end.

The bipolar test is given below if you are currently experiencing symptoms; note that if you have these symptoms for more than a week, then consult your doctor to confirm.

Keep count of the questions where you answered Yes in the following sections.

Section 1

  • Are you experiencing unusually high energy and/or activities?
  • Are you abnormally overjoyed, although nothing in life is adding to it? The happiness may have started with something special, but the feeling lasted longer than usual.
  • Do you have an unusually expansive mood?
  • Are you unusually irritable for no reason?

Section 2

These symptoms should show a noteworthy difference from your typical behavior experiences.

  • Are you feeling rested with only a few hours of sleep?
  • Is your self-esteem increased than usual, or are you experiencing grandiosity?
  • Are you having racing thoughts, or are you speaking rapidly, switching topic to topic, or a flight of ideas?
  • Are you talking more than typical, or you feel like you must keep talking?
  • Are you easily distracted?
  • Are you taking impulsive risks without any fear of consequences?
  • Are you extremely restless or impulsively overcommitting to various projects?

Section 3

  • Are you having delusions and hallucinations?
  • Is your behavior causing severe difficulties in your life (for instance, in school or at work)?
  • Have you been hospitalized due to these symptoms to prevent harming others or yourself?

Scoring the Bipolar Mania Test

After scoring your results, it is important to read about additional critical factors.

Section 1

1 Yes = 0 point

2+ Yes = 1 point

Section 2

1-2 Yes = 0 point

3+ Yes = 1 point

Section 3

1+ Yes = 1 point

 Results

Generally, 3 points are necessary to be diagnosed with a manic episode. Nonetheless, the occurrence of any symptoms in either section is a sign that you need mental health evaluation. In the end, it is a qualified medical practitioner who can confirm the diagnosis for bipolar disorder.

 Other possibilities

  • You can have mixed episodes.
  • You can be experiencing hypomania instead of mania.
  • You may have other illnesses like schizophrenia or brief psychotic disorder.

Additional Factors

You should also consider the following factors:

  • Did your symptoms start with the use of illegal drugs or alcohol? If yes, the diagnosis of mania can’t be confirmed, but you should take help immediately.
  • Did your symptoms start after the prescription drugs or other medical treatment? If yes, the occurrence of bipolar mania should be assessed by a doctor, but immediate treatment must be sought.

Milan Study on the Biomarkers of Bipolar Disorder

A group of medical researchers from the University of Policlinico Hospital, Milan, Italy, claimed that they had identified biomarkers for bipolar clients with and without psychosis. The study was published in the journal Bipolar Disorders. It was discovered that the brains of both sets of bipolar clients, with and without psychosis, metabolize glucose in different ways than the ones without bipolar disorder.

The biomarkers have been used in the medical field for a long time now; they are hard to identify in the domain of mental health. Researchers have been searching for biomarkers that can be confidently correlated with mental illnesses. Italian researchers have found the first biomarker for the identification with clinical testing. This is likely to be a major discovery, and it has created a sense of optimism among researchers.

Without biomarkers, mental health researchers are unable to use objective testing to identify if a person has a particular mental illness. 

What are Biomarkers?

Biomarkers are a component of a broad category of medical symptoms; it allows for an objective examination of a phenomenon in the body. It can include swelling, pigmentation, skin rashes, etc. It can be observed by anyone, by the patient, or by a doctor.

On the contrary, there are symptoms. Symptoms are subjective as they are reported by the patient to the doctor. Biomarkers are distinct, according to the National Institute of Health group, the biomarker is “a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.” The biomarkers can be used for prognostic or diagnostic purposes to predict the disease. Biomarkers can help to improve the chances to fight the disease.

Biomarker For Bipolar Disorder

The Italian researchers discovered that by using a tracer, fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), they studied the processing of glucose in the brain with the support of positron emission tomography (PET) scans. The researchers found out that glucose uptake was different among patients of bipolar disorder with and without psychosis, as compared to healthy controls. 

While the findings are not so revolutionary, the study shows that it is an observable process in the brain that is correlated with the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Biomarkers can be eventually used to improve the way mental illnesses are treated. They may also show if any neurochemical process causes them.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder does not have a set pattern of the dramatic episodes of highs and lows. Some people may feel the same (manic or depressed) more frequently before transitioning to the other mood. These episodes can occur over a duration of weeks, months, and even sometimes years.

The severity may differ from person to person and also change over time, fluctuating between less to more severe.

.

Some symptoms of mania (high episode) are:

  • Overjoy, excitement, and optimism
  • Sudden transition from happiness to being irritable, angry, and violent.
  • Restless behavior
  • High energy and less need for sleep
  • Lack of concentration and rapid speech
  • High libido
  • Poor decision and judgment 
  • Substance and alcohol abuse
  • Impulsiveness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Less need for sleep
  • Easily distracted
  • A large sense of self-confidence and well-being

During depressive episode or the low phase the symptoms may be exhibited as follows:

  • Feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, and overall pessimist view.
  • Loss of energy
  • Not able to enjoy the things that they previously did.
  • Trouble focusing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Slow speech
  • Less libido
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Uncontrolled crying
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Needing more sleep
  • Trouble in decision making
  • Appetite changes leading to weight gain or weight loss.
  • Death or suicidal thoughts
  • Attempts to suicide. 

How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

If your or your loved ones have symptoms of bipolar disorder, communicate with a family doctor or a psychiatrist. They’ll ask relevant mental health questions and your family history. You’ll also get a complete psychiatric evaluation to rule out the chances of bipolar disorder or other underlying mental health concerns.

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder is determining whether the symptoms are due to other conditions(alcohol or drugs) or medical issues (low thyroid). How severe are the conditions? What was the duration of these conditions? How frequently are the symptoms?

The most significant symptoms of highs or lows in moods, together with changes in sleep, appetite, energy, thinking, and behavior, can help in the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of children and teenagers can be challenging. Although the symptoms may be the same as adults, they have a risk of being misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or even bad temper/behavior.

If you are worried, your child might have bipolar disorder, consult and discuss with your doctor for a referral to a child psychologist. 

Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be treated; it is an ongoing treatment as it’s a long term condition. 

People with four or more mood episodes in a year, or people with alcohol or drug addictions, will be difficult to treat.

Medication

Medication is the primary treatment, majorly involving:

  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers, like lamotrigine, carbamazepine, valproate, or lithium.
  • Antipsychotic drugs like quetiapine, cariprazine, olanzapine, and lurasidone.
  • Anti-anxiety pills or sleep medicines like benzodiazepines or sedatives.
  • Antidepressant-antipsychotic drugs, a combination of antidepressant and mood stabilizers.

It can take some time to discover the right combination for you. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor about medications that are safe for safety.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is also recommended, along with medications. Some of the options in this regard are:

  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (ISPRT)
  • Psychoeducation
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Family-focused therapy

The more you know about your conditions and symptoms, the better you’ll be able to manage your episodes. It will be helpful to have a compassionate company to manage your condition. Support groups and friends can help you in talking through the situation.

Conclusion

This article discussed the psychology of the bipolar test. It offered a detailed analysis of biomarkers and the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

If you are seeking 

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. It implies you’ll have to cope and live with it for your entire life. The sooner you get the diagnosis, the better will be the outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Bipolar Test (How To Identify The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?)

How do doctors diagnose bipolar?

There are no particular blood tests or brain scans to diagnose bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, your doctor may have physical examination and order lab tests, including thyroid function tests and urine analysis. This analysis will help in determining if the underlying conditions or factors are causing the symptoms.

What are the five signs of bipolar disorder?

Both the manic and hypomanic episodes of bipolar disorder may include the following symptoms:

  • Increased energy, activity, or agitation.
  • Decreased need for sleep.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • Distractibility
  • Exaggerated self-confidence (euphoria)

How do you tell if a person is bipolar?

It is possible to identify if the person is bipolar due to the high or manic episode. Bipolar mania can exhibit the following symptoms:

  1. Feeling overly joyed or “high” for long durations.
  2. Decreased need for sleep.
  3. Fast, uninterrupted speech
  4. Extremely restless and impulsive behavior.
  5. Easily distracted.
  6. High sense of self-confidence and capabilities/
  7. Engaging in risky behavior, such as gambling, impulsive sex, extreme shopping sprees.

Can a bipolar person truly love?

Yes, a person with bipolar disorder can truly love. However, their symptoms and episodes can get overwhelming. So if you love someone with bipolar disorder, be patient and understanding with them and encourage them for treatment.

Can bipolar go away?

Although the symptoms of the bipolar disorder come and go, the treatment is lifetime, and it does not go away on its own.

Bipolar disorder can be a major factor in job loss, family discord, and suicide, but proper treatment can lead to better outcomes.

References

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/balanced/201904/test-bipolar-disorder

https://www.verywellmind.com/bipolar-mania-quiz-380310

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bdi.12710

Yelling At Someone During A Panic Attack

This guide will explore why yelling at someone during a panic attack is damaging. The article will also discuss how to manage and ground someone when they have a panic attack, both in-person and virtually, over text or phone.

Yelling At Someone During A Panic Attack

Yelling at someone during a panic attack can be severely detrimental to the psychological well being of people. According to brain research, it gets difficult to think clearly in the state of fear induced by yelling. When a person hears someone yelling, their brain read that as a danger, and thus they experience extreme fear. After the brain reads it as danger– a response of flight/fight/freeze mode is triggered in the person, depending on the level and amount of threat. The response can range from yelling back in defense to withdrawing from the situation or being numb or mute to the situation. None of it gives a satisfactory outcome.

Some people can get a panic attack when they are being yelled at or just being in a space where yelling is happening. Yelling at someone during a panic attack won’t snap them out of their condition. Instead, it can make it even worse due to the sensitivity to sensory overload and danger.

The brain processes the yelling or loud voices in the same way as it processes danger. Hence the amygdala( the emotional brain) reads these signals as danger and produces a fear response. For someone who is already having a panic attack, the yelling worsens and heightens the fear response. 

Another reason that is yelling at someone who is having a panic attack is a bad idea is that it increases stress hormones and cortisol in the system. It manifests in the form of physical symptoms of anxiety. The physical symptoms cause the rush of adrenaline and cortisol in the body and compel human beings to get away from danger.

Due to the above mentioned psychological problems, both the yeller and the one being yelled at will suffer from ineffective communication, leading them nowhere. They mostly face reactivity management problems. Therefore, it is important to seek professional assistance. Your therapist can help you in resolving the psychological issues of being yelled at.

What Is A Panic Attack And How Can You Identify When Somebody Is Having A Panic Attack?

A panic attack is characterized by the rush of emotional and physical symptoms due to severe fear and anxiety, causing a state of intense arousal, which may exhibit itself as physical pain and constricting feeling in the heart.

Panic attacks can make them feel like they are dying, and the feeling of impending doom is a big symptom of a panic attack. The diagnostic criteria for panic attacks as described in DSM 5 are as follows:

A panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, and during this time, four(or more) of the following symptoms are exhibited:

Note: The sudden surge can happen from a state of calm or anxiousness.

  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations, rapid heart rate, or pounding heart.
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Choking feelings.
  • Chest pain or congestion feeling.
  • Nausea or abdominal distress.
  • Heat or chills sensation.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Paresthesias (feeling of numbness or tingling sensations).
  • Fear of losing control or feeling like they are going crazy.
  • Feel like dying
  • derealization (unreal) or depersonalization (detachment from one’s self).

Note: At least one of the panic attacks has been followed by a month (or more) of one or both the following:

  • Persistent worry or concern regarding additional attacks and their impacts (Going crazy, loss of control, and having a heart attack).
  • A significant maladaptive behavioral change related to the attacks (strategies to avoid panic attacks, like exercises and active lifestyle).

Any other mental disorder does not explain the disturbance ( panic attacks do not happen as a response to social situations, as in social anxiety disorder; in response to the phobic objects, as in particular phobia; obsessions, as in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); in response to traumatic events, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or in response to separation from an attachment figure, like separation anxiety disorder).

Things Not To Say To Somebody During A Panic Attack

There are certain things that you should absolutely never say to someone during a panic attack. It won’t help the person in calming the situation, nor will it diffuse their panic. Following are some of the things you should avoid saying to people experiencing a panic attack:

  • Don’t say “calm down.”
  • Don’t disregard their state. Refrain from “it is all in your head.” or “It will be fine, or it will pass.”
  • Don’t embarrass or shame them for their condition. Nothing along the lines of “here we go again” or “here comes the drama queen/king.”.
  • Don’t minimize by bringing up your own experiences. “It happened to me too.” “I got anxiety too, and I did this.”
  • “Don’t think of scary things.”
  • “You aren’t trying hard enough.”
  • “You are blowing it out of proportion.”

Avoid all the condescending and minimizing things to someone who is having a panic attack can make the symptoms even worse. This can also make them feel isolated and embarrassed of their condition, and they may not reach out for help.

Encouraging statements is not necessary; sometimes, silent presence can be helpful, or trying out breathing exercises with the person can help them calm down.

How to Soothe Someone During Panic Attack Over The Phone

Helping someone during a panic attack over the phone can be challenging. Nonetheless, it is possible.

When someone is experiencing a panic attack, and you can stay on the phone, whether or on-call or over text. You need to keep them on line if they are not too responsive. Keep reassuring them or send emojis to know you are there through their storm.

  • “I know this is an overwhelming situation, but you are doing a good job. I am proud of you.”
  • “You can get through this.”
  • “Tell me what I can do for you? What do you need right now?”
  • “Stay with me, and keep listening to what I am saying.”
  • “Focus on your breathing. Stay in the present. Breathe with me.”
  • “I may not know exactly how you are feeling, but we’ll get through this together.”
  • “Tell me 5 things that you can touch in your vicinity? Name 5 colors around you right now? Tell 5 smells in the room? Is there anything that you can taste or eat nearby?”
  • “You are a brave young man/lady; you have got this.”

You may not necessarily know how to take out the person from their panic mode over the phone. However, your reassuring presence will be more helpful to the person than you may think. It is suggested to only offer constructive and doable advice; if you can’t do that, it’s best to stay quiet and present with their experience.

It is important to ground the person and ensure they are connected with reality. So if someone is reaching out to you in their time of need, i.e., you must ensure you are sincerely present with them during a panic attack.

Panic attacks can be challenging, and devising coping strategies for such situations is essential to get you through the situations. If you are unable to manage your panic attacks, consider seeking a qualified professional therapist; they will work with you to find the solution.

Conclusion

This guide explored why yelling at someone during a panic attack is damaging. The article discussed how to manage and ground someone when they have a panic attack, both in-person and virtually, over text or phone.

Panic attacks may feel like the world is crumbling apart, and you are dying. Yelling at someone while they are having a panic attack is not only humiliating but downright condescending and inhumane. To the one who is having a panic attack, it aggravates the feeling of loss of control and heightens their emotional condition.

If you experience panic attacks due to loud noises and voices, reach out to us about your coping strategies during such a situation. If you have any questions regarding panic attacks due to yelling, let us know in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS): Yelling At Someone During A Panic Attack

Can you get angry during a panic attack?

Yes. It is a common sight people with panic disorders or other anxiety disorders can get angry due to the frustration because of their condition. The person may blame themselves or others for their condition, aggravating their resentment and anger.

What should you not say during a panic attack?

Some of the things that you must not say anyone during a panic attack are:

  • Don’t say “calm down.”
  • Don’t disregard their state. Refrain from it is all in your head or it will be fine or it will pass.
  • Don’t embarrass or shame them for their condition. Nothing along the lines of here we go again.
  • Don’t minimize by bringing up your own experiences.

Why does yelling trigger my anxiety?

Frequent yelling can change the brain, mind, and body in multiple ways; increased activity of the amygdala (the emotional brain) causes the increase in stress hormones in the bloodstream. The physical manifestation of anxiety can then be observed in the form of tenses muscles, palpitations, and hyperventilation.

Can you get PTSD from someone yelling at you?

Yes. Yelling is usually a contributing factor in more serious kinds of abuse, for instance, domestic violence and verbal abuse. These events are registered as trauma memory in your brain and body. When a specific sound is played, it can cause a replay of that traumatic memory, putting you into the flight, flight, or freeze mode. Common examples may include someone yelling in anger, a baby crying, screaming, loud noise, etc.

How do you calm down when having a panic attack?

Deep breathing is key to grounding when someone has a panic attack. Ask them to have 5 to 10 deep breaths. 

Another way of grounding is to point out three things that you see around you and find attractive. Three things that you find soothing to touch. Three things that you can smell in your surroundings. Three things that you can hear in your surroundings. Thus, engaging them with their senses will help them return to reality and get them out of their fearful state.

Can being yelled at cause anxiety?

Yes, yelling can induce anxiety in some people. Studies have observed a connection between emotional abuse and psychological issues like depression and anxiety. These behaviors may lead to worsened behavior and may involve self-destructive activities.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/yelling-at-kids#effects-on-children