Cognitive Dysfunction in Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms

Memory loss, such as forgetting where you are in the steps of a task or forgetting episodes from your past, is possible. You might also have symptoms of attention deficit or trouble concentrating.

Causes

Scientists aren't sure whether the cognitive problems result from the bipolar disorder, or if there is something different about the way the brain of a person with bipolar disorder develops. Medication may also play a role.

Treatments

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about cognitive dysfunction. Medication changes may relieve some of the symptoms. Drugs that treat Alzheimer's or ADD might also help, according to scientists at Harvard Medical School.

Coping

Being aware of your limitations can help you adapt. Use memory aids and be mindful of where your attention is. Consider telling others of your concerns asking for their support and backup when needed.

Considerations

Even the mildest symptoms may contribute to cognitive dysfunction in both the short and long term. Educate yourself about your illness and work hard on recovery and relapse prevention. If you have bipolar disorder, you may have problems with thinking, attention and memory. Understanding these problems can help you deal with them and function better with your illness.