- by Bangalore Baptist Hospital
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- Nov 04 2017
UNDERSTANDING MANIC DEPRESSION- THE BIPOLAR DISORDER
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness which causes severe mood swings in the individual. The person experiences extreme highs and lows i.e. they are extremely happy-manic or withdrawn and sad-depression. Manic and depression periods are the two ends of a bipolar individual and they sometimes experience both at once which makes them elated and depressed at the same time.
This disorder is not rare and study shows that it affects millions of people in some way and the numbers are seen to be increasing over the years. Study shows that more than 5 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from bipolar disorder and India has seen a 14% rise in the number of individuals being affected over the years.
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
Symptoms of bipolar disorder usually tends to appear amongst individuals who are in their late teens or early adulthood and women are more likely to be diagnosed with this disorder than men for reasons that still remain unclear.
This disorder is hard to diagnose because the symptoms are varied but, there are certain warning signs.
Warning signs of mania
- Overly happy high for long periods
- Decreased sleeping needs
- Racing thoughts and speech
- Risky behaviour and actions- impulsive sex, expensive gambling and spending sprees
- Overconfident and easily distracted
Warning signs of depression
- Feeling sad and hopeless for long periods
- Withdrawing from social gatherings
- Change/loss in appetite
- Losing interest in hobbies and other activities that were usually enjoyed
What causes bipolar disorder?
Study shows that there are a number of factors that interact to cause this disorder:
- Genetic changes and family history of the disorder are factors that increase the possibility of a person becoming bipolar
- Chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters plays a huge role in mood swings
- Hormonal imbalance may trigger the disorder
- Acute mental stress, physical or sexual abuse, a significant loss or any other traumatic event can have a major impact and trigger the disorder.
Bipolar disorder can be of different types:
This is the classic form of bipolar disorder where the manic phases are clear. The mood swings are extreme and escalate till things get out of control. The person exhibits unusual behaviour nearly every day and lasts long periods.
This is the most common type of bipolar. It involves both depressive and manic symptoms but less severe, called hypomania. But hypomania gets worse if not attended to.
Least common compared to the other two and has the same symptoms but not as dramatic. If not controlled or overcome, it could lead to bipolar-I or II.
Bipolar treatment involves medication, behavioural therapy, counselling and substance abuse treatment. The treatment method depends on the condition of the individual after diagnosis.
If you think you or a loved one is suffering, it is best to get help before they harm themselves or pose a threat to someone else’s life.
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