Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive illness, is usually an episodic mental illness that causes many issues in patients who are suffering from this problem. There are episodes of depression alternating with episodes of mania. The patient returns to his/her normal state in between the episodes. The episodes may last for months together if left untreated.
A patient could also feel sad or hopeless and start losing interest in every other thing. Mania or hypomania (a less critical form of mania) is also experienced by a person that makes a person extremely hyperactive and irritable. Mood, activities, and behavior everything gets disturbed in a patient who is suffering from this disease.
Even though bipolar disorder is a chronic disease, the episodes can be stopped from happening by following a systematic treatment plan. Generally, medications and psychological counseling measures like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Interpersonal social rhythm therapy (IPSRT), etc are both used in the treatment of this disease.
Bipolar Disorder Causes
The cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. Experts are trying to discover the factors which play an important role in causing this disease. Sometimes it can be due to genetics, or the way your brain develops also plays an important role. Not only your body or brain plays a role, but outside factors also do, which include: physical illness and extreme stress.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
The episodes of mania don’t follow any pattern. Every different person experiences different symptoms. This can happen over a long period of time. So, some of the common symptoms of bipolar disease are:
- Sometimes, a person feels extremely happy and hopeful or sometimes feels depressed or starts crying inappropriately (also known as mood lability).
- Sudden behavior change, like from being happy to being irritable.
- Poor focus or concentration
- Excessive talkativeness and tall claims example claiming to be someone of important stature, feeling as if owning a lot of money and in turn making unusually high expenditures etc
- Suicidal thoughts
Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Treatment of this disease is best guided by a doctor also known as a psychiatrist who is an expert or skilled in diagnosing and treating this mental condition. As mentioned earlier, bipolar disorder is a chronic disease. Treatment is done on the basis of your symptoms, as every person experiences different symptoms. So, to reduce the side effects of these symptoms, the treatment is done by a doctor. Treatment may include:
- Medicines that are prescribed by a doctor to balance mood swings that a person is experiencing are also known as mood stabilizers
- Insight facilitation that bipolar disorder is an episodic illness and prevention of further episodes is possible.
- Counseling methods and psychological therapy have a role but are usually not in the acute or intense phase of the illness. It is done after the stabilization of the patient.
- If your behavior is dangerous or you feel suicidal, then your doctor may get you hospitalized to get psychiatric treatment there.
Dr. Rahul Mathur