Every person has to go through ups and downs in their lives. But, for someone having bipolar disorder these peaks and valleys are more severe.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression is a disease that causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior.
From the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other, bipolar disorder can cause serious issues in a person’s life.
More than just a transitory good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months.
Unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function well.
During bipolar disorder, you might impulsively want to quit your job, or feel rested after sleeping for hours.
You might also be too tired to get out of your bed, fill yourself with full of hopelessness over being unemployed and in debt.
There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder which is mania or hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes.
Each type of bipolar disorder mood episodes has a unique set of symptoms.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t completely understood by many people.
But, bipolar disorder often appears to be hereditary. The first manic episode of bipolar disorder usually occurs in the teenage years or early adulthood.
Some brain imaging studies shows that physical changes in the brains of people causes bipolar disorder.
Also, some of the external and psychological factors such as stress, substance abuse, medication and sleep deprivation can cause bipolar disorder.
Episodes of mania and depression often follow a seasonal pattern. They are more common during the summer.
However, depressive episodes are more common during the fall, winter, and spring.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. It includes mania or hypomania and depression.
Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency.
The major symptom of bipolar disorder is that it causes unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, resulting in significant disease and difficulty in life.
Also, symptoms of bipolar disorder varies between people, and according to their mood.
Some people have clear mood swings, with symptoms of mania and then of depression each lasting for several months.
However, some people spend months or years in very high or low mood. Also, there is a mixed stated where a manic and a depression episode happen at the time.
This time, the person may feel negative, wired and restless at the same time.
In the first phase i.e. manic phase of bipolar disorder, it is common to experience feelings to heightened energy, creativity and joy.
Someone with this phase of bipolar disorder talks a mile a minute, sleeps very less, and is very hyperactive.
They also feel like they are all powerful, invincible, or destined for greatness.
In the mania phase of bipolar disorder, the person feels really good at first. Later, the person starts to behave reckless.
The person starts to become angry, irritable, and aggressive. Some people even become delusional or start hearing voices.
Bipolar Depression Symptoms
In the past, bipolar depression was considered as regular depression. However, there are significant difference between the two.
There are certain symptoms more common in bipolar depression than in regular depression.
For instance, bipolar depression is more likely to involve irritability, guilt, unpredictable mood swings, and restlessness.
With bipolar depression, a person may move and speak slowly, sleep a lot, and gain weight.
In addition, a person is more likely to develop psychotic depression where they can lose contact with reality.
Mixed Episode Symptoms
This is the last stage of bipolar disorder which includes symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression.
Some of the common signs of mixed episode includes depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility and acing thoughts.
This episode of bipolar disorder is a combination of high energy and low mood which makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
If a person spots the symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is better to get help as soon as possible.
Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. In fact, it will most certainly get worse.
Living with untreated bipolar disorder can lead to problems in everything from career to relationships and health.
But, bipolar disorder is certainly treatable. It just that the problem and starting needs to be diagnosed.
Bipolar disorder requires long-term treatment. Since, bipolar disorder is a chronic, relapsing illness, it is important to continue treatment even at the first stage.
Most people with bipolar disorder need medication to prevent new episodes and stay symptom free.
The most effective treatment for bipolar disorder involves a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and social support.
However, if it does not help to reduce bipolar disorder, the best option is to see a psychiatrist who is skilled in bipolar disorder treatment.
It will help to navigate these twist and turns happening in life due to bipolar disorder.
Self-help for Bipolar Disorder
Dealing with bipolar disorder isn’t easy at all. It’s a lots of stuff to go through which requires enough courage.
Everything does not work out only if by visiting a doctor and consuming medicine.
Bipolar disorder can be cured by making certain changes in lifestyle and daily habits.
First thing to do to get rid of bipolar disorder is to learn about bipolar disorder and discover how it can be recovered.
Secondly, doing exercise can have a beneficial impact on mood and may reduce the number of bipolar episodes.
Also, avoiding high stress situations, maintaining a healthy work-life and trying some relaxation techniques might help.
Keeping track of the symptoms and mood and watching for signs that moods are swinging out of control can also help to stop bipolar disorder.
Lastly, keeping family and friends close and seeking for their support whenever necessary is the best option.
Trying to join a support group or talking to trusted friend, hanging out with family is good option to reduce bipolar disorder.