Bipolar disorder, which is categorized as manic-depressive, affects the physical function of the brain. Patients who are classified as bipolar exhibit erratic changes in behavior. Depression, lowered energy levels, and mood swings are just a few of the characteristics of the condition. Upwards of 10 percent of Canadians are said to experience some form of intense, prolonged depression at some point in their lives. To help, the Canadian government offers the Disability Tax Credit for Bipolar Disorder.
What Does Being Bipolar Mean?
Bipolar symptoms are usually associated with dramatic “highs and lows” involving mood. A patient can swing from normal, sometimes even happy behavior, to a state of full-on manic depression. Typically, symptoms of bipolar disorder can be observed in patients starting in their late teens and into their early twenties.
There are 3 basic categories of bipolar disorder. Some of these classifications overlap in some areas but are for the most part distinctive.
- Bipolar Type 1—The most severe form. Intense manic depression and psychosis
- Bipolar Type 2—Strong bouts of depression mixed with hypomania
- Bipolar Type 3—called cyclothymics, alternate between mild depression and hypomania
Facts about bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder, like many behavioral and neurological diseases, does not have any one specific “reason” for occurring. Scientists currently believe that a variety of factors could play a role in the development of bipolar disorder. Genetics, severe and prolonged levels of stress, as well irregular synapses occurring within brain, are all believed to be factors.
- Women are at a higher risk of being bipolar—In general, women experience depression-like symptoms throughout their lives more often than men do. Frequent depression puts you at risk of bipolar disorder.
- ADHD/bipolar mix up—ADHD and bipolar disorder bear many of the same characteristics and symptoms. Misdiagnosis of the conditions is said to occur frequently. Always check with your doctor concerning symptoms.
Though there is no “cure” for being bipolar, treatment can keep the condition from escalating. Monitoring your mood levels with your doctor and taking prescribed medications can greatly aid in keeping the condition in check.
Disability Tax Credit for Bipolar Disorder and Other Support
There are a variety of treatments available for bipolar disorder. The most common form is medication. However, some forms of bipolar are medication-resistant and are sometimes treated with ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy). This method has well-documented side effects and is generally on the decline. Additionally, in Canada, it is currently possible for those suffering from bipolar disorder to qualify for:
- Medication—Some of the more common medications for bipolar include lithium, Tegretol, Depakote. Other antidepressants may also be prescribed.
- Disability Tax Credit for Bipolar Disorder —Diagnosed patients may qualify for a disability tax credit. This credit could be used to assist patients with any therapies or medications that may be required.
Bipolar disorder is one that is still being studied and understood by scientists and neurologists. There have been significant advances in neuroscience and our understanding of the brain. Psychopharmacology is a branch of medicine that already has played a large role in the treatment of bipolar disorder and will no doubt do so in the future.