What is BiPolar Disease?
All of us are subject to mood highs and lows, but for those suffering from Bipolar Disorder, these highs and lows are rather extreme. Bipolar Disorder can negatively affect both your personal and professional life. It is important to recognize the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and seek help as the condition can worsen without proper treatment. Bipolar Disorder, formerly called Manic Depression is characterized by feelings of mania/hypomania and depression. Where manic episodes make you feel uncharacteristically happy and confident, depressive episodes make you lose interest in daily activities. Both impair your energy, activity levels and judgment.
- Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar I Disorder can only be diagnosed when a person has experienced a manic episode. People who suffer from this variant of the disease oscillate between manic and depressive episodes. They may experience periods of normal mood in between. Mania can sometimes cause psychosis in Bipolar I Disorder
- Bipolar II Disorder
People who suffer from Bipolar II Disorder usually report having at least one major depressive episode if not more. They should also have had undergone one hypomanic episode. Bipolar II Disorder does not require a manic episode to be diagnosed. The depression experienced as part of Bipolar II Disorder can be devastating and is often what compels people to seek psychiatric treatment. Bipolar II Disorder is found to be co-morbid with other mental health conditions like substance abuse disorders and anxiety disorders.
- Cyclothymic Disorder
Individuals who suffer from Cyclothymic Bipolar Disorder commonly experience multiple episodes of hypomania and depression quite frequently. The symptoms experienced as part of Cyclothymia is far less severe in comparison to Bipolar I and Bipolar II Disorders.
There are certain other types of Bipolar Disorder thought to be a result of substance abuse or some pre-existing undiagnosed medical condition like multiple sclerosis or Cushing’s disease.
Medication and psychotherapy are used in conjunction to treat Bipolar Disorder. Patients may have to try out different sets of medications before finding one that is right for them. Treatment is highly personalized as how a person reacts to treatment is completely upon their individual beings. Mood stabilizers and anti-convulsants are usually prescribed to treat Bipolar patients. In the case that both medication and therapy fail to yield any results, Electroconvulsive Therapy is used.
Individuals who suffer from Cyclothymia may benefit from talk therapy.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
- Individuals who suffer from Bipolar Disorder show certain biological differences in their brains.
- A person's chance of being diagnosed with Bipolar is significantly increased if he/she has a first-degree relative who suffers from the condition.
- Alcohol or drug abuse can sometimes lead to the development of Bipolar Disorder.
- Traumatic events in one’s life or extreme stress can lead to Bipolar Disorder.
Certain changes that you can affect in your lifestyle can help decrease symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. Your nervous system will benefit from regular exercise and help you manage your moods better. Learning all you can about your condition will help you tackle the pitfalls of the condition in an educated manner. Engage in meditation and try to keep your stress-level under control. Be in touch with your friends and family and take time out to meet them when you can. Join a support group and externalize your feelings. Eat clean and maintain a sleep routine. You don’t always need medication to treat your Bipolar Disorder; you can take small but significant steps towards recovery.
Bipolar Disorder can be deadly when a Bipolar person contemplates suicide. Identifying warning signs timely can help eliminate this risk. Although recurring from time to time, Bipolar Disorder can be managed with a customized treatment plan consisting of medication and therapy as per individual needs.