Bipolar disorder is called manic depression, which causes extreme mood swings. This includes a high level of emotion (mania or hypomania) and a low level (depression).
When you have depression, you feel hopeless or depressed and lose interest in most activities. On the other hand, when the mood shifts in the other direction, then you can feel full of celebration and energy. Mood changes can happen only a few times a year or even several times a week. Mood swings are more severe, debilitating, and disabling in people with bipolar disorder than are experienced by the general population. Some people may also have hallucinations (nightmares, etc.) and other symptoms.
With treatment, some people with this condition can work or study well and lead a capable life. However, some people stop or stop taking medicines when they feel better.
According to some studies, creativity may increase in some people with bipolar disorder. However, mood swings can make it difficult for them to focus on a project or follow through on a project. As a result of this, individuals start many projects or works but are not able to finish them. Although bipolar disorder is a harmful and long-term condition, you can prevent mood swings by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is controlled with the help of medications and psychological counselling.
Also check out: Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are several types of bipolar and related disorders, including mania or hypomania, and depression. Its symptoms cause unexpected changes in mood and behaviour, resulting in increased difficulty and distress in life.
Bipolar I disorder
You may have had at least one manic episode before or after a hypomanic or depressive episode. In some cases mania also triggers psychosis.
Bipolar II disorder
You may have a major depressive episode or a hypomanic episode, but it is never a manic episode.
It consists of several periods of hypomania symptoms and depressive (less than major depression) symptoms lasting up to 2 years. However, in children and adolescents, it can last up to a year.
For example, bipolar disorder can be caused due to any medical condition or consumption of alcohol, etc. Like Cushing’s disease or stroke etc.
The second type of bipolar (Bipolar II disorder) is not much different from the first (Bipolar I disorder), but the methods of diagnosis are different. After having a manic episode in bipolar I disorder, it can be more serious and dangerous. People who have bipolar II can suffer from depression for a longer period of time, which can cause more harm. More information on mania, hypomania and major depressive disorder is given in the ‘Symptoms’ section.
Symptoms of Bipolar disorder
By the way, bipolar disorder can occur in people of any age, especially it has been seen in adolescence and 20 years of age or earlier. Its symptoms can be different from person to person and its symptoms can also change over time.
Mania and Hypomania
These are two different types of episodes, but their symptoms are similar. Mania, which is more severe than hypomania, leads to difficulty in handling work, studies, and social activities. Mania can also trigger psychosis, which can lead to hospitalization. Both manic and hypomanic have such symptoms-
- feeling unusually excited, irritable, or strange
- increased activity, energy, or agitation
- Increased feeling of being happy and confident (Euphoria)
- Feeling less in need of sleep
- talk or talk unnecessarily
- keep thinking something
- feel more anxious
- Difficulty making decisions – for example going to buy something and taking something there or paying more money
Major Depressive Episode
The symptoms in a major depressive episode are severe enough to make it difficult to carry out daily activities. Difficulties in this are very noticeable, such as difficulty in completing school, work and other social activities or personal difficulties, etc. Symptoms of this episode may include the following –
- Depressive moods such as feeling sad, emptiness, hopelessness, and grief (in children this can also increase irritability).
- Having no interest or desire in almost all kinds of activities.
- Weight gain or loss, sometimes loss of appetite, sometimes excessive, (not gaining weight in children can be a sign of depression).
- Insomnia or excessive sleepiness.
- Being restless or acting slowly.
- Feeling tired or lack of energy.
- Feeling worthless or guilty.
- Decreased ability to think and pay attention, difficulty in making decisions.
- Planning or attempting to commit suicide.
Also check out: Catatonic Schizophrenia – Symptoms, Causes.
Other Features of Bipolar Disorder
Some other features may also contribute to the symptoms of both bipolar (I) and (II), such as anxious distress, sadness, psychosis, etc.
Symptoms in Children and Adolescents
Recognizing the symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents is difficult. This makes it difficult to determine whether these are normal mental fluctuations, the result of stress or trauma, or a general mental health problem other than bipolar disorder. (Read more: Remedies for stress) Episodes of major depressive, manic, or hypomanic can vary in children and adolescents. However, their patterns may be different from those of adults with bipolar disorder. There may be a sharp change in mood during the episode. Some children may even have periods without mood symptoms during the episode.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
The treatment of bipolar-related disorders can be best guided by a skilled psychiatrist.
As needed, treatment for bipolar disorder may include –
Initial treatment – Often, you may need to start taking medications to balance your mood right away. When your symptoms are controlled, your doctor can help you find the best long-term treatment.
Ongoing treatment – A person with bipolar disorder may require lifelong treatment, even when he is feeling better. Its caring treatment can also be used to manage bipolar disorder over a long period of time.
Substance abuse treatment – If you have problems with alcohol or other drugs, you may need drug abuse treatment. Otherwise treating bipolar disorder can be quite difficult.
Hospitalization – If you behave in a dangerous way or the thoughts of suicide keep popping up in your mind, the doctor may admit you to the hospital.
First aid for bipolar disorder may include medications and psychological counselling (psychotherapy), as well as disease information and support groups.
Also check out: 10 Things not to say to someone struggling with mental illness.
Mood stabilizer – whether you have bipolar (I) or bipolar (II) disorder, you may usually need mood-stabilizing medication to control manic and hypomanic
Antipsychotic – If symptoms of depression or mania persist despite treatment with other medications, adding antipsychotic medications to them may help. Your doctor may prescribe some of these drugs alone or in combination with mood stabilizer medications.
Antidepressants – Your doctor may also prescribe an antidepressant to help manage depression. But sometimes antidepressant medications can trigger a manic episode, so mostly mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs are prescribed along with them
Antidepressants-Antipsychotic – Symbyax drugs work as stress relievers and mood stabilizers. Symbian is specifically approved for the treatment of episodes of depression associated with bipolar I and bipolar II disorders.
Anti-anxiety – These drugs are usually used to relieve anxiety for a short time. (Read more – Yogasanas for Anxiety).
All medicines can have side effects. Hence one must consult to doctor before