What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder (Bipolar affective disorder) is a mood disorder that causes extreme emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Bipolar Disorder affects about 1% of the population. People who are suffering from Bipolar Disorder are experiencing life-disrupting episodes and need help. Manic depression and hypomania (also known as bipolar disorder) are both very different mental health disorders. While they are often mistaken for each other, the major difference between them lies in how the condition is experienced by the sufferer. With depression, sufferers experience feelings of sadness, helplessness, and worthlessness for what they do, whereas those with this type can experience mixed feelings or mania. You might initially be diagnosed as having clinical depression only after you have had a full-blown manic episode (in some cases, this can happen in as little as 10 minutes), before then being diagnosed as bipolar disorder. The only reason to differentiate between these two is for the successful treatment of this ailment.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder often begins in adolescence, and symptoms generally worsen with age. There are mainly four types of Bipolar Disorder such as: Bipolar I disorder is a disorder in which you have at least one manic episode. In this, a patient may or may not have a major depressive mood. The other name for Bipolar I disorder is manic-depressive skills. The manic episodes in this can last about a week or more than a week. In rare cases, there are very serious conditions like the hospitalization of the patient. Bipolar II disorder is a disorder when you are having both manic and depressive moods. In this type, the mania is not very severe as Bipolar I, it is hypomania. In this, the mood keeps changing between high and low. The person affected will have at least one hypomanic episode in his or her entire life. Cyclothymia Disorder is a situation when there is no severity of mood swings. Either way, there are relatively mild mood swings. The pattern of these mood swings is always irregular. It mostly remains undiagnosed and untreated. This basically comes from the genes and is likely to develop, if your relatives have it. Other Types: This is a category in which you experience some symptoms of bipolar disorder. These symptoms do not generally fall into the three categories. The main causes of this type are other factors such as drug abuse, alcohol, etc. Each one of which requires treatment in its own right. Manic episodes are commonly associated with psychosis, depression, or a personality disorder, while hypomanic episodes are generally associated with mood instability and possibly psychosis.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder may be brought about by a manic episode in which the patient experiences an unusually severe and sudden change of moods or symptoms. It can have a depressive or manic episode as well. It is either the result of a traumatic event, a chemical imbalance in the brain, or some type of deep distress or crisis. The symptoms last for most of the days. Hypomania and Mania are two types but have the same symptoms. Mania is a more severe condition and shows more noticeable symptoms than hypomania. Low (Depression) shows another set of symptoms. Symptoms of Hypomania and Mania
- Increased self-confidence
- Increase in energy
- Decrease inability to make decisions
- Drug and social abuse
Symptoms of Depression
- Loss of energy
- Weight fluctuations or increase and decrease in appetite
- Inability to make decisions
- Thinking about self-harm or suicide
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
The main causes of Bipolar Disorder are not known. The chemicals in the brain that control the various activities are known as neurotransmitters and contain mainly serotonin, noradrenalin, and dopamine. There is some evidence that when there is an imbalance in the concentrations of either serotonin or noradrenalin, then somebody can get some symptoms of it. This occurs when the chemicals in the brain fail to get the correct balance. The most common symptoms are usually depressive episodes. People with it will experience mood swings of Mixed State as well as euphoria and highs. Some of the other common symptoms that are generally reported by people who have been diagnosed with it now have lack of interest or lack of enthusiasm in things that they used to be interested in, poor judgment, extreme optimism, a constant feeling of guilt, and irritability. Other symptoms that you can observe of this condition are muscle tension, insomnia, unusual hair color, and rapid heartbeat.
Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
It is important that if you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from Bipolar Disorder you consult a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. An unlicensed psychiatrist or psychologist can miss important signs of Bipolar Disorder, so it is vital that you get help as soon as possible. There are a lot of symptoms of Bipolar Disorder that you can see in yourself. It is easy to misdiagnose it if the symptoms are displayed by someone that does not have this ailment. It is always a good idea to speak with a doctor or psychologist whenever is mentioned to ensure that the diagnosis is correct.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
According to a report, almost half the people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder get better within a span of just one year. It takes time for the disorder to stabilize because even after diagnosis, there are many factors that influence moods, cycles, or symptoms.
Medication can help to treat this condition. Doctors prescribe these medications for a shorter period of time and it depends on the severity of mania. In some cases, the doctors prescribe the medicines at the same time and sometimes that’s not the case. Bipolar Disorder medications include mood stabilizers that work to control the moods of the patient. Doctors use some other Bipolar Disorder medications to treat the mania and stop it from reoccurring. While some people respond well to its medication, there are also those that do not get great results from medication. They need to try other treatment options without thinking much about it. In addition, when the disorder is in its advanced stage, it’s important to seek out support groups, such as support groups for bipolar disorder, because getting a handle on the disorder is a key element in helping someone live a more productive life.
When all else fails, in addition to medication, some doctors resort to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Doctors perform this therapy when the patient is actually staying at the hospital. Doctors put patients under and then shock them with a mild electrical current. This shock creates brief feelings of discomfort, which are commonly mistaken for nervousness or a feeling of losing control. The treatments are often successful, but they are often very costly, resulting in a large number of people having to undergo the procedure. Some studies have suggested that Lamotrigine might have a benefit in some patients with Bipolar disorder and depression who do not respond well to conventional treatments, such as mood stabilizers or antidepressants. It is not clear whether Lamotrigine is more effective at treating manic episodes than non-pharmacologic therapies, however. Sometimes many people with Bipolar disorder do not respond to major mood-stabilizing medications, Doctors consider it to be the last treatment option. As you can see, there are many treatment options for this ailment. You may find that you need to try a combination of medications, psychotherapy, vitamins, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Doctors provide treatment only on the basis of the severity of the condition. By staying consistent with your treatment options, you can live a better quality of life.
If you are having any symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, you should start caring for it before it’s too late. If you are having any problem, consult a doctor first. Do not eat anything without consultation from the specialist as it can negatively affect your health. Talk to a therapist about what you are feeling and how it is affecting your life and work. One should not take the situation very lightly. You should intake medicines only after the prescription by the Doctor.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges. At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.