What is Bipolar Disorder?
It is a mental illness that causes severe mood swings and causes changes in sleeping, thinking, and in behavior. People with bipolar disorder have different phases, in one phase they are extremely happy while extremely sad in the other phase. They feel hopeless most of the time. In some periods they behave like a normal person and feel things are normal as always.
In short, we can say they have two poles of moods, one is high and the other is low. Thus this disorder is called bipolar. This disease is also called manic depression. This manic explains the phase when the person with bipolar feel very normal and confident. When such people are in the manic phase they usually have delusions or hallucinations.
Hypomania is a condition in which mania symptoms are milder like they don’t have hallucinations and delusions and symptoms don’t effect the daily routine. These symptoms are called clinical depression. People with bipolar disorder experience depressive symptoms more than manic symptoms or Hypomanic symptoms.
What are the types of Bipolar Disorder?
Here are few types of Bipolar disorder that are:
Bipolar 1 disorder: in such type of disorder, people experience erratic behavior that is extreme manic periods that can last for weeks or more in severe cases. One may need urgent medical care in a severe case. In this type hypomanic periods are also seen that may also last for 2 weeks.
Bipolar ll disorder: in such type one may have hyper mania which is not followed by hypomania, but this type is not as worst as bipolar l.
Cyclothymic disorder: this type has phases of mania and depression, in adults, they last for about 2 years while in teens and children they last for about one year. The symptoms are not as intense as Bipolar-l and Bipolar-ll disorders.
With any kind of disorder of bipolar if one misuses drugs or alcohol, then episodes can be increased in such cases. If one is having use of alcohol disorder with the combination of bipolar disorder such case is called dual diagnosis and they need a special type of treatment from the specialist so both disorders can be handled and resolved.
Signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? (1)
No set pattern is followed in episodes of hyper or hypomania. One can feel the depressive mood or manic mood several times before they move to the other phase that is opposite to each other. Such episodes can last for weeks, months, and most of the time for years. The severity of such moods differs from person to person and may change with the passage of time, it may become more severe or less severe.
Symptoms of Manic Mood in Bipolar disorder:
- One may become extremely happy, full of hopes and excitement
- There is a sudden change from the joyful mood to angry and irritable.
- Rapid speech
- Poor concentration in daily routine
- Increased energy
- Less need for sleep
- High sex drive unusually
- Makes unrealistic and big plans for future
- They show poor judgment
- Abuse of drug or alcohol
- They become more impulsive
- Less need of appetite
- Great sense of confidence in themselves
- They can be easily distracted
Symptoms of depressive periods in bipolar disorder:
Symptoms of being in the depressive period are:
- Loss of energy
- They feel hopeless or worthlessness
- They don’t like things they had enjoyed once in their life
- They feel trouble in concentration
- They talk slowly
- Less urge of sex
- They have an inability to feel pleasure
- They cry uncontrollably
- They feel trouble in making decisions
- Sometimes they need more sleep
- Appetite changes
- You may lose or gain weight due to changes in appetite
- Suicidal or death thoughts
- Attempting suicide
Causes of Bipolar Disorder: (2)
It is a common mental illness but the cause of this disorder is still a mystery for doctors and researchers. It is still unidentified that what causes this disorder in some people while not in others. The most possible causes of this disorder may include:
If you are living with a family member like your parents or sibling with bipolar disorder, then you are at high risk of developing this disorder. But this should be kept in mind before concluding that most people with a family history of bipolar disorder usually don’t develop bipolar disorder.
The structure of your brain may impose a great impact for this risk of developing bipolar disorder. Changes in brain functioning and abnormalities in the structure of the brain may increase the risk.
Its not only your body that is putting you at risk of developing bipolar disorder, while some foreign factors are also involved and those factors are:
- Extreme stress
- Traumatic experiences
- Physical illness
Each factor is involved in influencing the risk of developing this disorder. The above factors in combination contribute to developing bipolar disorder.
Several treatments are available that can help to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Treatment includes medications, changes in daily routine, and counseling.
Doctors may recommend these medications to stabilize the symptoms:
- Lithium for mood stability
- Antipsychotic drugs include olanzapine
- Antidepressant and antipsychotic like fluoxetine-olanzapine
- Benzodiazepines in which alprazolam is given that is short term treatment.
Recommended treatments for psychotherapy are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
CBT is a kind of talking therapy with the patient. In the session, you and your therapist talk about the better options for you to control your symptoms of bipolar disorder. They help you in improving your thinking style. They try to come up with strategies like POSITIVE COPING STRATEGY.
It is a type of counseling that helps you and your family members to understand it and manage it.
- Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
It focuses on managing daily habits like exercising, sleeping patterns, and eating routine. When these habits are balanced then chances of recovery may be increased or help in minimizing the symptoms.
Other options available for treatment:
Here are some other options for treating bipolar disorder that are:
- Electroconvulsive therapy
- Sleep medications