Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disorder is characterized by alternating episodes of mania and depression. It is also called as bipolar illness or maniac depressive illness. It may strike anyone, but people with Parkinson's disease may be at greater risk. The true prevalence of bipolar disorder among people with Parkinson’s disease is difficult to determine because there are no standard assessment tools designed to evaluate symptoms of bipolar disorder or other mental illness in context of Parkinson’s disease.
Despite enormous advances in brain research, bipolar disorder often goes undiagnosed and untreated because symptoms of mental diseases may overlap with those of Parkinson’s disease and other physical illness. However, skilled health professionals will be able to recognize the symptoms of bipolar disorder, diagnose it and suggest appropriate treatment.
Bipolar disorder along with Parkinson’s disease can be effectively treated. However, some Parkinson’s medications may worsen mania in persons. As mentioned earlier, the prevalence of bipolar disorder among individuals with Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but people in treatment for Parkinson’s disease should be alert for symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by intense mood swings and changes in behavior.
Treatment for Parkinson's and bipolar disorder should be managed by a mental health professional and doctor; for example, a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker who is in close communication with the physician providing treatment for Parkinson’s disease. If possible, it is better to get treated under a mental health professional that specializes in treating individual with bipolar disorder and co-occurring physical illness such as Parkinson’s disease.
People with Parkinson who develop bipolar disorder, as well as people in treatment for bipolar disorder who subsequently develop Parkinson’s disease, should make sure that they inform the doctor about all the drugs and medications they are taking.
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