Bipolar Disodrer-Mental Health Month

by Nnebeana Blessing Chinelo

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ipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness or manic depression, is a severe mental health condition known for its extreme mood changes or mood swings. The shift in mood states always affects the energy levels, attitudes, behaviors, and the ability for the person to live a normal life.  

The switch in mood swings can cause damaged relationships, affect job or school performance, and even result in suicide. Family and friends and the affected person often become frustrated and upset over how severe the bipolar person’s mood swings can be.   

When a bipolar person has lots of energy, it’s called mania, and when their mood crashes, it’s called depression.  A person can be diagnosed with one of three types of bipolar disorder (bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, or cyclothymic disorder).

Symptoms of Biopolar Disorder

Photo by Sdominick

1. High energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality for a maniac patient.

2.  Low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities for a depressive patient.

3. Showing up a very intense emotion which can be extremely high highs and very low lows.

Psychiatrist Aron Tendler, MD, chief medical officer of BrainsWay says, “People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings that include emotional highs and lows. During the emotional highs, individuals have an increase in ideas, energy, creativity, excessive talking, and problematic behaviors.”

According to staff at Psychology Today, “Bipolar disorders, or manic-depressive illness, is a group of disorders characterized by the presence of pronounced high-energy phases known as manic episodes.”

They add,  “Typically, unusual shifts in mood and energy manifest in increased activity levels and impair the ability to function. The impairment created by bipolar disorder can be severe and can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide.”

There Are Several Different Types of Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar I disorder refers to a condition in which an individual experiences a full-blown manic episode for at least one week and may or may not also experience depression. The manic symptoms may be so severe that hospitalization is required.

Bipolar II refers to the presence of a current or past hypomanic episode, which is a slightly less severe form of mania lasting at least four consecutive days, as well as the presence of a current or past episode of major depression.

Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, refers to recurring hypomanic and depressive mood shifts over at least a two-year period in adults.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 4.4 percent of adults in the United States experience bipolar disorder.    It is believed that bipolar develops during childhood, or later in life.  And typically, once a person is diagnosed it’s lifelong.

Treatments of Biopolar Disorder

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Pschotherapy

Psychotherapy, or what we know as the talk therapy section, is a vital part of the treatment for patients with bipolar disorder. A good therapist can assist in modifying the emotional patterns that are the cause of the illness. This can  bring positive results for people suffering from this illness with a combination of medication and talk therapy.

Medication

Having a medication consultation is the person’s choice, but many people who live with this illness can increase the overall functioning of their lives with medication.  

Alternative Treatments

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), dietary supplements and other alternative treatments advertised to address depression or bipolar disorder has helped as well.

This illness can be managed, and we have to believe in them as loved ones, especially when they may not believe in themselves. Let them know there is more to life and you have more to achieve.

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