We all experience our share of ups and downs but with manic depression one experiences these highs and lows quite intensely, affecting one’s job and school performance, personal relationships, and altogether disrupting one’s daily living.
Bipolar disorder was formerly known as manic depressive disorder. It is serious mood disorder marked by abnormal levels of mania and depression. Both these moods fall on two extremes on a spectrum, causing a serious effect on the individual’s mood, activity and energy levels. Mania is marked by elation, heightened energy levels and depression is marked by feelings of sadness, low and hopeless. Individuals may also experience hypomania, which are less severe manic episodes.
During a manic episode an individual may probably sleep for 3 hours and feel quite energetic, have an inflated sense of self, talk excessively, have poor attention, indulge in numerous activities, be impulsive wherein they would spend exorbitantly or engage in reckless activities, etc. Whereas in a major depressive episode an individual would experience low energy, low mood where they feel sad, hopelessness or emptiness, they would not find any activity interesting even the ones they previously enjoy, either sleep or eat too much or too little, low sense of self and feelings of guilt, decreased ability to think and have thoughts on death or suicide..
There are types within the bipolar disorders they include:
The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t entirely known. But, over the years, doctors have gained a better understanding of the bipolar spectrum – the highs of mania to the lows of major depression, including the various mood states between the extremes.
Generally, bipolar disorder is seen to run in families. Besides, evidence has also pointed out that an individual’s environment and lifestyle also make an impact on the severity of the disorder. Manic depression can be very difficult to treat if the individual is a victim of alcohol or drug abuse or dealing with extremely stressful life events.
Many experts are also of the opinion that bipolar disorder or bipolar behaviour stems from an underlying problem with the functioning of brain chemicals and specific circuits.
Since you may need medications for bipolar disorder, it’s best to see a psychotherapist since they know when and which drugs to administer to treat you. Although primary care doctors such as general practitioners can help with an initial diagnosis like depression, diagnosing a complex disorder like bipolar disorder can only be done by a trained psychotherapist.
Psychologists and mental health counsellors can offer psychotherapy as a part of treating bipolar disorder. They can also perform psychological and neuropsychological testing as part of the diagnosis process.
Usually, bipolar disorder in individuals can appear between the ages of 15 and 24 and persist for an entire lifetime. Although rare, bipolar disorder or manic depressive disorder has been seen in young children and adults over 65 years of age as well.
People with bipolar disorder tend to have symptoms with varying levels of severity. While the symptoms in some may be quite less, in others, it may affect their ability to carry on with the day to day activities and lead a normal life. Bipolar disorder is marked by relapses and remissions, and in case of severe mania, patients have to be hospitalized to keep them from engaging in risky behaviours.
Individuals with severe depression also need hospitalization to prevent them from acting on suicidal thoughts and psychotic symptoms, such as delusions, disorganized thinking, and hallucinations.
There is no laboratory test or brain imaging method to diagnose bipolar disorder, but a doctor or therapist can evaluate the signs and symptoms after a physical exam. Usually, they will ask a question about personal medical history and family history. A lab test will be done to check for any medical illnesses that may be affecting the mood.
Once that is ruled out, they may talk to the family members to identify any events when the person was overly elated or energized. Although the feeling elation may feel good or normal during periods of depression, in bipolar disorder, it is hard to judge whether the mood was too high. Individuals in a manic phase may make unwise business or financial decisions and display social behaviour that can cause serious problems and embarrassment.
People with bipolar disorder generally tend to have frequent mood and energy shifts. There are several different symptoms that each individual faces, based on the type of bipolar disorder, that can be classified under manic or depressive episode.
Some of the symptoms of manic episode are:
Some of the symptoms of depressive episode are:
Many people with bipolar disorder are not aware when their moods are affecting their daily functioning. Most bipolar disorder patients don’t get the right treatment for their symptoms. Since most of them get medical help during their depressive phases, they are prone to be diagnosed with depression.
In some cases, they may need urgent medical attention too. Some of the emergency situations in which you should get help are:
Bipolar disorder or mania disease is a condition that stays lifelong. The primary treatment method for depression is a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Depending on the individual’s condition, treatment may include the following.
In some cases, other treatments can also be used depending on your need. If none of the above options work, you may move on to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Bipolar disorder is a treatable and manageable illness. A combination of medications such as antipsychotic, mood stabilizers and antidepressants along with psychotherapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, family-focused therapy and social rhythm therapy would aid in treating and keeping a check with the illness. An effective treatment is an essential part of an individual’s recovery along with support from family, friends and community members. For treatment of bipolar disorder, call us now on +919611194949.
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