Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder Problem bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that is marked by extreme mood swings. These mood swings range from high emotions as in mania or hypomania to low emotions as in depression. when depression sets in a person may feel sad, hopeless, or lose interest in most activities.
But when the mood shifts to mania or hypomania a person may be full of energy, happy, or irritated. During periods of depression, there may be crying, a negative outlook on life, and poor eye contact with others.
These shifts in moods can affect sleep, behavior, activity, judgment, and the ability to think clearly. Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. The condition affects about 1% of the global population and the age of onset of the symptom is usually around age 25. There are three main types of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar 1,
- Bipolar 2,
Bipolar 1 is marked by at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. Bipolar 2 is characterized by at least one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode but no manic episodes.
Cyclothymia is marked by at least one or two years of many periods of depressive symptoms and hypomania symptoms. these periods are not sufficient to be a major depressive episode or hypomanic episode.
The exact cause is not known but factors such as biological differences, genetics, and environmental factors such as extreme stress, traumatic experience, physical illness, or drug and alcohol abuse. It can also be caused by neurological conditions and injuries such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and porphyria may all be involved.
Symptoms of depressive episodes may include feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or tearful, suicidal thoughts and behavior, decreased ability to concentrate, loss of energy, insomnia, or excessive sleeping. A feeling of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, unintended weight loss, or weight gain that may result from an increase in appetite, and loss of interest in almost all activities are some of the other symptoms.
Mania and hypomania are two different episodes, but they share the same symptoms. Mania is more severe while hypomania is a milder form of mania. While mania is at least one week of elevated or irritable mood that may impair a person’s ability to socialize or work, hypomania is defined as at least four days of elevated or irritable mood.
It does not cause a decrease in a person’s ability to socialize or work. Increase activity energy or agitation, decreased need for sleep, speaking in a rapid uninterruptible manner, racing thoughts, abnormally jumpy or wired, excessive sexuality, or excessive spending are some of the symptoms of mania and hypomania.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A medical evaluation will be carried out to help rule out other medical conditions after which further evaluation is carried out by a mental health professional. Diagnosis is based on a psychological evaluation that aims to assess thoughts, feelings as well as behavior patterns.
Mood charting to keep daily records of your mood, sleep patterns, and other factors that could help with diagnosis. These are the criteria listed in the DSM 5, published by the American Psychiatric Association as a diagnostic tool to evaluate the disorder.
Several treatment options are available that can help manage the condition. Medications such as mood stabilizers such as lithium, and valproic acid, and antipsychotics such as olanzapine and risperidone. we can also use antidepressants or antipsychotics such as fluoxetine or olanzapine.
Anti-anxiety meds such as benzodiazepine, physical therapy such as interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy, and psychoeducation should also be considered. Other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy may be added to depression therapy based on your needs. During this therapy, electric currents are passed through the brain.
Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that can have an impact on your relationships and quality of life. we strictly mention that the diagnosis and treatments written in this article are not bad for a professional healthcare worker. all of these are based on thorough research that was done before drafting this article.
If you feel like you are going through any serious or depressive phase, seek guidance from a psychiatrist and not depend on just Internet sources. This article was meant to bring light to a serious medical condition that prevails in many people across the world.