Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental illness accompanied by severe mood changes, sleep disturbances, and periodic changes in thinking and behavior. A person with bipolar disorder may feel very happy and energetic at one moment, and the next moment they may have a feeling of despair, hopelessness, depression, and laziness. Sometimes, when they are in a hypomania or mania phase, falling asleep is an arduous task for them. They are being so passionate and over-enthusiastic, whereas on some days, getting out of bed is a whole job for them because they feel depressed and lazy.
Bipolar is a mood disorder in which the person has swinging phases. It should be taken seriously, as left untreated, the person can even do suicide. In bipolar having suicidal thoughts is pretty common. Therefore you can not take it lightly. If you notice someone having symptoms of bipolar disorder, you should take them to the doctor soon. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a Neurologist in Lahore.
The word Mania in “Manic depression” describes the period when the person feels overly excited and confident, whereas the word depression describes the time when the person feels sad and hopeless. Mood changes with bipolar disorder are not in one’s own control. Therefore it might be rude to ask people with it to control their feelings. Your brain is wired with various chemicals. And when there is an imbalance of those chemicals or neurotransmitters, it results in a mental health disorder.
There are no specific causes for bipolar disorder discovered so far. Mostly bipolar disorder can be genetic, which means it runs in your family. You might be at risk of having it if any one of your parents has it. Mostly it shows up when you are in your 20s. You might not know about it until symptoms become apparent.
Bipolar disorder usually starts in late adolescence or young adulthood and rarely happens earlier in childhood, but that does not mean that it never happens in childhood.
Risk factors for bipolar disorder include:
- Having someone in the family who has bipolar disorder
- High-stress levels or trauma
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Certain health conditions
Childhood trauma can also play a role in causing bipolar disorder. Children who have undergone abuse of any kind and have had a stressful childhood are at increased risk of having bipolar disorder.
People with bipolar disorder may have episodes of high and low moods that do not follow a specific pattern. Symptoms of mania include:
- Overly excited
- Increased consciousness
- Excessive happiness and hopefulness
- Restlessness and agitation
- Inability to concentrate
- Increased energy levels
- Less sleep or sleep disturbances
- Poor judgment
- Speech problems
- Decreased appetite
- Getting easily distracted
The depressive period is accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:
- Decreased energy
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Unable to enjoy things that once used to make him happy
- Mental disturbances
- Inability to concentrate
- Slow and slurred speech
- Uncontrollable crying
- Increased sleep demand
- Suicidal thoughts
- Changes in appetite
Bipolar disorder can be diagnosed by talking to a doctor or a psychiatrist. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions about your mental well-being or any mental illness you or someone in your family may have.
The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made based on history taking and evaluating the changes in the person’s mood. It may also include ruling out other causes of mood changes (related to thyroid disorders or alcohol or drug abuse).
Bipolar disorder can be treated with efficient medical care, medication, talk therapy, lifestyle modification, and support from family and friends.
- Mood stabilizers like carbamazepine, lamotrigine, lithium, and valproate
- Anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs)
- Sedatives and hypnotics (to induce sleep)
Psychotherapy or talk therapy includes several options for people with bipolar disorder. These options include:
- Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Family-focused therapy
Other treatment options for bipolar disorder can include:
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Supplements (e.g vitamin supplements to help with managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder)
Lifestyle changes may also help:
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining a schedule for everything, including eating and sleeping
- Recognizing mood swings
- Talking to friends or groups
- Maintain a symptom journal or chart
- Stress management
- Getting engaged in healthy hobbies or sports
- Avoiding alcohol or recreational drugs
Coping with bipolar disorder can be really challenging. However, you shouldn’t lose hope. Make sure to take the medications as your healthcare provider has prescribed. And attend follow-up visits with them. To get an expert opinion, you can consult a Neurologist in islamabad.