Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that causes a person’s mood, energy, and ability to think coherently to change dramatically. Bipolar persons have high and low moods, known as mania and depression, that are different from the ordinary ups and downs that other people have.
The average age of onset is around 25, but it can happen in your teens or, more rarely, as a toddler. Bipolar disorder affects both men and women equally, with roughly 2.8 percent of the population in the United States being diagnosed, and nearly 83 percent of cases being categorized as severe. Follow Bubblonia to learn more!!!
What is Bipolar Disorder (BD)?
Bipolar disorder, often known as manic depression, is a mental condition characterized by extreme mood swings, as well as changes in sleep, activity, thinking, and behavior. People with bipolar disorder can experience periods of extreme happiness and vigor, as well as bouts of extreme sadness, hopelessness, and sluggishness. They normally feel normal in between such periods. The highs and lows of mood can be thought of as two “poles” of mood, which is why it’s termed “bipolar” disorder.
When someone with bipolar disorder feels extremely exuberant and confident, they are said to be “manic.” Irritability and rash or risky decision-making are examples of these feelings. Delusions (believing things that aren’t true and can’t be reasoned out of) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there) affect about half of persons who are experiencing mania.
“Hypomania” refers to mania’s milder symptoms, in which a person does not have delusions or hallucinations and their severe symptoms do not interfere with their daily lives.
The term “depressive” refers to a person’s feelings of sadness or depression. Those symptoms are similar to those reported in major depressive disorder, sometimes known as “clinical depression,” which is characterized by the absence of manic or hypomanic episodes. Depressive symptoms are more common in patients with bipolar illness than manic or hypomanic symptoms.
4 types of Bipolar Disorder
- Bipolar I Disorder is a mental disease in which persons have had one or more mania episodes. The majority of people diagnosed with bipolar I will experience both mania and depression, while a depressive episode is not required for a diagnosis. A person’s manic episodes must endure at least seven days or be so severe that hospitalization is required to be diagnosed with bipolar.
- Bipolar II Disease is a type of bipolar disorder in which persons have depressed episodes that alternate with hypomanic episodes but never reach a “full” manic state.
- Cyclothymic Disorder, also known as Cyclothymia, is a mental disorder in which persons suffer from hypomania and mild depression for at least two years. Those who suffer from cyclothymia may experience brief intervals of normal mood, although they endure no longer than eight weeks.
- When a person does not fit the criteria for bipolar I, II, or cyclothymia but nevertheless has periods of clinically substantial aberrant mood elevation, they are diagnosed with “other specified” or “unspecified” bipolar disorder.
The dramatic periods of high and low moods in bipolar disorder do not follow a predictable pattern. A person may experience the same mood state (depressed or manic) multiple times before shifting to the opposing mood. These episodes might occur over a period of weeks, months, or even years. It varies in severity from one individual to the next, and it can also alter over time, becoming more or less severe.
Mania symptoms (“the highs”) include:
- Excessive joy, optimism, and anticipation
- Changes in mood from happy to impatient, angry, and aggressive in an instant
- Poor attention and rapid speech
- Increased energy and a reduction in the need for sleep
- Exceptionally strong sex desire
- Making great and improbable plans
- Making a wrong decision
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol
- Increasing your impulsivity
- Sleep is not required as much.
- Appetite decreases
During depressive periods (“the lows”), a person with bipolar disorder may have:
- Energy depletion
- Feelings of despondency or insignificance
- They are no longer interested in the things they used to appreciate.
- Concentration issues
- Slowly speaking
- There isn’t as much of a desire for sex.
- Inability to enjoy oneself
- Crying that is out of control
- Having difficulty making judgments
- Sleep deprivation
- Changes in appetite that cause you to lose or gain weight
- Suicide or death thoughts
- Suicide attempts
Causes of BD
Bipolar illness is a pretty prevalent mental health issue, but researchers are still trying to figure out why some people develop it. The following are some of the possible causes of bipolar disorder:
You’re more likely to acquire bipolar disorder if one of your parents or siblings does. Keep in mind, however, that most persons with a family history of bipolar disorder do not develop the disorder.
- Your mind
The structure of your brain may influence your chances of having bipolar illness. Brain chemistry, as well as the shape and functioning of your brain, may increase your risk.
- Environmental determinants
Your odds of getting bipolar disorder are influenced by more than just what you eat. A variety of external circumstances can also play a role. These could include the following:
- extreme stress
- traumatic experiences
- physical illness
A doctor may conduct a physical examination, conduct an interview, and request blood testing to diagnose bipolar disorder. While a blood test or a body scan cannot detect bipolar disorder, they can help rule out other disorders that may seem like it, such as hyperthyroidism. The doctor may offer mental health treatment if no other disorders (or medications such as steroids) are causing the symptoms.
A person must have had at least one episode of mania or hypomania to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used by mental health practitioners to determine the “kind” of bipolar disorder a person is suffering from. Mental health specialists evaluate a person’s symptom pattern and how impaired they are during their most severe episodes to identify what sort of bipolar disorder they have.
Bipolar disorder is treatable. It’s a long-term illness that necessitates continual attention. People who experience four or more mood episodes in a year, as well as those who have drug or alcohol issues, may develop more difficult-to-treat types of the disorder.
Treatment can have a significant impact. You can feel better with a combination of factors, including good medical care, medication, talk therapy, lifestyle modifications, and the support of friends and family. There is no known cure for bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic depression. It’s a long-term health problem that demands constant attention. Many people with this illness are successful; they have families, careers, and go about their daily lives normally.
The most common therapy is medication, which usually includes the following:
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), lithium, or valproate are mood stabilizers (Depakote)
- Antipsychotic medications such as cariprazine (Vraylar), lurasidone (Latuda), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and quetiapine (Quetia) are used to treat schizophrenia (Seroquel)
- Antidepressant-antipsychotic medicines are a type of antidepressant that also acts as a mood stabilizer.
- Anti-anxiety or sleep medications, such as benzodiazepines or other sedatives
Finding the correct combination for you can take some time. You and your doctor may need to try a few different things before determining what works best for you. Once you’ve done that, it’s critical to stick to your drug regimen and consult with your doctor before discontinuing or changing anything. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctors about whether drugs are safe to take.
Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is often recommended, too. There are several different types. Options can include:
- Interpersonal and social rhythm treatment are two types of rhythm therapy (IPSRT). This is based on the premise that sticking to a regular schedule for everything from sleeping to eating might help you maintain a consistent mood.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy (CBT). This enables you to replace negative habits and behaviors with more favorable ones. It can also assist you in learning to cope with stress and other negative triggers.
- Psychoeducation. Learning more about bipolar disorder and informing family members about it can help you get support during episodes.
- Therapy that focuses on the family. This helps your loved ones spot the onset of an episode and establishes a support system to aid in therapy.
Lifestyle changes may also help:
- Get some exercise on a regular basis.
- Maintain a regular eating and sleeping regimen.
- Recognize your mood fluctuations and learn to manage them.
- Seek out the help of friends or groups.
- Keeping a symptom notebook or chart is a good idea.
- Learn how to deal with stress.
- Find some healthy activities or sports to participate in.
- Don’t drink alcoholic beverages or engage in recreational drug use.
Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong diagnosis, it does not have to entirely devastate your life. While living with bipolar disorder can be difficult, keeping to your treatment plan, practicing regular self-care, and relying on your support system can help you feel better and keep your symptoms at bay.