Bipolar Disorder and Long-Term Disability

Bipolar disorder actually refers to a category of disorders that used to be referred to as manic-depressive illness. The general term “bipolar disorder” defines all instances of mental illness characterized by episodes of abnormally high or low mood. The different types of bipolar disorder are specified by how many episodes of extreme mood swings the person has had and how severe they are.

Bipolar I disorder is diagnosed when a person has had one or more manic episodes. Bipolar II disorder means there have been one or more hypomanic episodes and one or more major depressive episodes. Cyclothymia involves a history of hypomanic episodes with bouts of depression, and bipolar disorder NOS is for any other variation of the disorder not otherwise specified.

Mania is a term that describes a frenzied, energetic and excitable state that often causes the affected person to behave irrationally. Bad, impulsive decisions are frequently made in states of mania—and at particularly heightened points, psychotic and violent behavior can occur. Hypomania is a form of mania that isn’t as erratic as other forms and it can be difficult to recognize. Other symptoms of mania include rapid speech, trouble sleeping, difficulty in concentration, and intermittent feelings of extreme optimism.

In states clinically defined as depression, a person can experience irritability, fatigue, chronic pain without logical cause, consistent feelings of hopelessness or guilt, and thoughts of suicide. People with bipolar disorder can often behave “normally” for lengthy periods before reaching points of mania or depression. Some experience rapid cycling, or a quickly alternating rotation of the two moods. This can have serious repercussions on the suffering person’s daily life.

If you suffer from a bipolar disorder and your long-term disability claim has been denied or cut off, you will need advice from an experienced disability lawyer like Nick Ortiz. Call his office at 850-308-7833 for a free case evaluation.