What Should You Know about Bipolar Disorder
What is bipolar disorder?
Women with the disorder tend to have more depressive and fewer manic episodes than men do. … However, women are more prone than men to rapid-cycling bipolar, which is characterized by four or more episodes of depression and mania in one year
Bipolar disorder involves many mixed emotions. unstable behaviors
The main symptoms of bipolar disorder are alternating episodes of extreme euphoria, or mania, and major depression. The fluctuations can be severe, but moods may be normal between the peaks and troughs.
The mood swings involved in bipolar disorder are far more severe, debilitating, and incapacitating than those experienced by most people.
Hallucinations and other symptoms may occur in some people. this debates on how severe your disorder is.
Can treatment help?
yes With treatment, many people with the condition can work, study, and live a full and productive life. However, some people stop taking their medication or choose not to take it. That’s when it gets worse due to the disability to control the disorder and frustration
Symptoms vary among people, and according to mood. Some people have clear mood swings, with symptoms of mania and then of depression each lasting for several months, or with months of stability between them. Some spend months or years in a “high” or “low” mood.
A “mixed state” is when a manic and a depressive episode happen at the same time. The person may feel negative, as with depression, but they may also feel “wired” and restless.
Mania or hypomania
Hypomania and mania refer to a “high” mood. Mania is the more severe form.
Symptoms can include:
During a manic episode, a person may engage in risky behavior, such as spending excessive amounts of money.
- impaired judgment
- feeling “wired”
- a sense of distraction or boredom
- missing work or school, or underperforming
- thinking they can “do anything” ( causing abnormal behaviors)
- the belief that nothing is wrong ( very common)
- being extremely forthcoming, sometimes aggressively and un-controlling of their own behaviors
- a sense of being on top of the world, exhilarated, or euphoric as if they are above the risks
- excessive self-confidence, an inflated sense of self-esteem and self-importance
- excessive and rapid talking, pressurized speech that may jump from one topic to another and unfocus on the main idea.
- “racing” thoughts that come and go quickly, and bizarre ideas that the person may act upon
This may include squandering money, abusing illegal drugs or alcohol, and taking part in dangerous activities.
During a depressive episode, the person may experience:
- a feeling of gloom, blackness, despair, and hopelessness
- extreme sadness
- insomnia and sleeping problems
- anxiety about trivial things
- pain or physical problems that do not respond to treatment
- guilt, and a feeling that everything that goes wrong or appears to be wrong is their fault
- changes in eating patterns, whether eating more or eating less
- weight loss or weight gain
- extreme tiredness, fatigue, and listlessness
- an inability to enjoy activities or interests that usually give pleasure
- low attention span and difficulty remembering
- irritation, possibly triggered by noises, smells, tight clothing, and other things that would usually be tolerated or ignored
- an inability to face going to work or school, possibly leading to underperformance
In severe cases, the individual may think about ending their life, and they may act on those thoughts.
Symptoms of psychosis may include delusions, which are false but strongly felt beliefs, and hallucinations, involving hearing or seeing things that are not there.
Children and teenagers with bipolar disorder are more likely to have temper tantrums, rapid mood changes, outbursts of aggression, explosive anger, and reckless behavior.
These features must be episodic rather than chronic to receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
It is possible to manage all these symptoms with appropriate treatment.
Types of bipolar disorder
There are 3 types of bipolar disorders.
A person may receive a diagnosis of one of three broad types of bipolar disorder.
For a diagnosis of bipolar I:
- There must have been at least one manic episode
- The person must also have had a previous major depressive episode
- The doctor must rule out disorders that are not associated with bipolar disorder, such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and other psychotic disorders.
Bipolar II Disorder
For a diagnosis of bipolar II, the patient must have experienced one or more episodes of depression and at least one hypomanic episode.
Some people experience a mixed state, in which they feel depressed but also restless.
A hypomanic state is less severe than a manic one.
manic one can put the person through hell on earth
Features of a hypomanic episode include sleeping less than normal and being competitive, outgoing, and full of energy. However, the person is fully functioning, which may not be the case with manic episodes. small details about a single person’s behavior can tell you a lot about the condition they are in
Bipolar II can also involve mixed episodes, and there may be symptoms of mood-congruent or mood-incongruent psychotic features..
Cyclothymia involves episodes of low-level depression that alternate with periods of hypomania. which is classified as separate from bipolar disorders because of the mood changes are less dramatic and severe. known as ” not as severly harmful as the other 2″
A person who receives a diagnosis of bipolar disorder has a lifelong diagnosis. They may enter a period of stability, but they will always have the diagnosis.
medication is preffered to remain in the individuals life
Treatment aims to minimize the frequency of manic and depressive episodes and to reduce the severity of symptoms to enable a relatively normal and productive life. as well as giving the patient the ability to feel stable.
Treatment involves a combination of therapies, which may include medications and physical and psychological interventions.
The person may continue to experience mood changes, but working closely with a doctor can reduce the severity and make the symptoms more manageable.
left untreated can result in self-destruction, or thoughts of suicide
Lithium carbonate is the most commonly prescribed long-term drug to treat long-term episodes of depression and mania or hypomania. Patients usually take lithium for at least 6 months.
It is essential for the patient to follow the doctor’s instructions about when and how to take their medication in order for the drugs to work.
Other treatments include:
- Anticonvulsants: These are sometimes prescribed to treat manic episodes.
- Antipsychotics: Aripiprazole, olanzapine, risperidone are some of the options if the behavior is very disturbing and symptoms are severe.
Medication may need to be adjusted as moods shift, and some drugs have side effects.
Psychotherapy, CBT, and hospitalization
Psychotherapy aims to alleviate and help the patient manage symptoms.
If the patient can identify and recognize the key triggers, they may be able to minimize the secondary effects of the condition.
The person can learn to recognize the first symptoms that indicate the onset of an episode and work on the factors that help maintain the “normal” periods for as long as possible.
This can help maintain positive relationships at home and at work.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as an individual or family-focused therapy, can help prevent relapses.
Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, combined with CBT, can also help with depressive symptoms.
Hospitalization is less common now than in the past. However, temporary hospitalization may be advisable if there is a risk of the patient harming themselves or others.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may help if other treatments are not effective.
Keeping up a regular routine with a healthy diet, enough sleep, and regular exercise can help the person maintain stability.
Any supplements should first be discussed with a doctor, as some alternative remedies can interact with the drugs used for bipolar disorder or exacerbate symptoms.
Bipolar disorder does not appear to have a single cause but is more likely to result from a range of factors that interact.
please remember it is not an individuals fault for having such a disorder nor is it easy on them either. as a family member or a close friend, you are encouraged to remain as a mental support and seek help if you feel like a family member or a friend is diagnosed with such a disorder.