Mental Health

Bipolar disorder

Description

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness or manic disorder that results in extreme change in mood, allowing the patient to feel highly energetic, impulsive, excited and euphoric. This illness can affect a person’s relationship and career, risky behavior and suicidal tendencies. It tends to make the person experience different emotions from time to time that vary from anger, irritation, confusion, powerful, reckless, depressive, etc. The condition is more common in young adults and older teenagers, especially women.

Types of bipolar disorder are

  • Bipolar I, where a person experience at least one manic episode in his/her life

  • Bipolar II, where a person experience major depression and hypomania

  • Rapid cycling, where a person experience 4-5 episodes of mania in one year

  • Cyclothymia, a mild form of bipolar disorder where mood swings and episodes are less frequent

Causes and symptoms

The exact cause of bipolar disorder is still unknown, but there are some possible risk factors that could increase the chances of developing this condition, which are family history of mental illness, genetic mutation, biological traits, brain chemical imbalance, hormonal issues and environmental factors.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder may include:

  • Feeling highly excited or irritated

  • Feeling extremely energetic even after sleeping very little

  • Being increasing optimistic

  • Talking rapidly

  • Racing thoughts

  • Inflated self esteem

  • Reckless acting

  • Feeling sadness, loneliness or helplessness

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Lack of interest in sex and other activities

  • Unable to concentrate on one thing

  • Hallucinations and delusions

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder is quite difficult due to mood swings. A general doctor won’t be able tell if you have bipolar disorder. Only a psychiatrist or mental health professional can evaluate the condition after discussing about your thoughts and behavior, and examining your symptoms and medical history. If left untreated, this condition can get worse over time.

Treatment

Treatment of bipolar disorder depends on its kind and severity. There are several ways this disease can be cured. Doctors sometimes use a combination of these methods is employed to get better results. Below are given some possible treatment methods of bipolar disorders.

  • Medication: Medication is the initial form of treatment for bipolar disorder where you may require to take the prescription for a lifetime. The condition is a real mental illness and cannot be fixed only by willpower. Taking drugs such as lithium carbonate, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and antidepressants, the effects of symptoms and mood swings can be reduced drastically.

  • Psychotherapy: A way to talk where the patient can share their feelings, emotions and thoughts and get advice from a highly skilled mental therapist on how to improve his/her behavior. It is a very effective way to control the symptoms of bipolar disorders and works brilliantly with medications.

  • Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT): This therapy focus on improving the behavior of the patient by decreasing the stress and learning new ways to thinking and dealing with situations. This can help get relief from sudden mood changes and lead a normal life.

  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT): This therapy involves treating your daily activities such as sleeping, interacting with people and establishing a daily routine plan for the patient such as regular exercise and diet. This allows the person to focus properly on things and reduces mood changes.

Complications

Treatment of bipolar disorders with medication can bring some mild or serious health related complications, which are:

  • Abnormal weight gain or loss

  • Tremors

  • Reduced sexual desire

  • Changes in appetite

  • Dry mouth

  • Drowsiness

  • Blurred vision

  • Change in menstrual period

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Suicidal thoughts

Treatment of bipolar disorder will last long and you may need to take prescription for decades. If you are planning to get pregnant, consult with your doctor to avoid complications.

Join relaxation therapy and Yoga classes to ease your mind and get relaxed. Take the prescribed medications on time and do not stop it, if your symptoms are gone completely.

Try to acquire as much knowledge about your condition as possible and find ways to prevent it from recurring. Being educated will help you learn many things about your condition and how you can cope with serious conditions when confronted.

Give regular visits to your doctor to see your improvement and avoid complications.

If you feel intense fear, mood changes or any other severe symptoms, consult your psychiatrist at once.

Get support from support groups, friends and family and avoid being alone.