Bipolar Disorder – Conditions

what is bipolar disorder?

Overview

Bipolar Disorder also referred to as manic depression, is a mood disorder. It causes mood swings in individuals who suffer from it. These mood swings entail emotional highs like mania and hypomania and lows like anxiety and depression. Because of these extreme emotional ups and downs, it is difficult for the sufferer to manage even the most trivial daily life tasks like going out or eating. 

As per the National Institute of Mental Health, around 4.4% of adults in the United States suffer from bipolar disorder at some point in their life. A person is usually diagnosed in his/her mid-twenties but the symptoms of bipolar can appear during the teenage years. Bipolar Disorder affects both males and females equally. There are two types of this disorder:

  • Bipolar 1 is a relatively acute bipolar disorder where you may not experience major depressive episodes. 
  • Bipolar 2 is a severe bipolar disorder where your bipolar episodes are extreme. The type normally depends on what aspect of bipolar disorder behavior you exhibit. 

The aspects of bipolar disorder include a feeling of euphoria, extreme sadness, and exceptional energy, and in some cases, a bipolar person can also become suicidal. Bipolar disorder is an extremely manageable mental health disorder. With the right treatment plan, anyone suffering from it can lead a happy and full life.

Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

Researchers and scientists have not yet identified the actual cause of bipolar disorder. Some imbalances and abnormal physical traits of the brain may be characterized as a cause of bipolar disorder. 

Just like other mental health disorders, bipolar disorder is usually inherited. If you have a parent or grandparent who suffers from bipolar disorder, you are likely to develop this condition as well. 

According to some research, bipolar disorder can be caused by severe alcohol or drug abuse, severe stress, or extremely traumatic experiences. 

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

The symptoms of bipolar disorder vary from person to person. They depend on what type of bipolar episode you are experiencing. A bipolar episode can be manic which exhibits symptoms of extreme euphoria, or it can be depressive where the individual experiences feelings of sadness and restlessness. In manic bipolarism, an individual displays  the following symptoms:

  • Excessively happy and hopeful
  • Abruptly changing moods
  • Speaking fast
  • Less concentration
  • Unusually high sex drive
  • Increase energy levels
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Exhibiting poor judgment
  • Less appetite
  • A larger sense of self-confidence

Symptoms exhibited in a depressive bipolar disorder episode 

  • Extreme sadness
  • Loss of energy
  • Hopelessness
  • Less concentration level
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lowered levels of excitement
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

A psychiatrist or a neurologist usually provides a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The doctor will ask questions about your family mental history and ask you about the symptoms that you are experiencing to see if any of them are associated with you having a bipolar mind. 

It is recommended by physicians to visit your doctor with a friend or family member, to establish a sense of trust. If your symptoms appear to be too serious, you may be referred to a mental health specialist.

Bipolar Disorder Treatments

Physicians normally treat bipolar disorder with therapy and in some extreme cases, they might recommend a few meditations as well. You may be prescribed a few mood stabilizers, which you need to take for a long period of time. 

Your doctor may also ask you to keep a journal so you can process your emotions about certain things in a healthy manner. You will be asked to keep track of your moods, sleeping patterns, eating habits, depressive episodes, happy episodes, and significant life events that may impact your mood so that your doctor can help you through any episodes that may be occurring due to these issues. 

When to See a Doctor?

Bipolar Disorder is a manageable disorder, but you require the assistance of a mental health care physician or neurologist to figure out a treatment plan that can help you manage this disorder. You may also want to immediately see a doctor if, during a depressive episode, you are having suicidal thoughts.


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