Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is often referred to as manic-depressive disorder. Recurrent mood swings that range from episodes of depression to episodes of mania is the primary characteristic associated with this disorder. During a depressive episode, the person may feel hopeless or sad and lose interest or pleasure in a majority of activities. When the mood shifts a manic episode, the same person may feel euphoric and full of energy. During this disorder, mood shifts may take place merely a couple of times a year, or as often as few times a day. In some cases, symptoms of depression and mania may also be experienced at the same time.
Although this disorder is a disruptive, long-term mental illness, following a treatment plan can help keep moods in check. In a majority of cases, it is possible to control bipolar disorder with medications and psychotherapy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolarism?
Different people suffering from this disorder experience different symptoms. For some of them, most problems are caused by depression, for others, the main concern is manic symptoms. A person may also experience symptoms of both depression and mania can occur together as well, which is referred to as a mixed episode.
Signs and symptoms of the manic phase include:
- Aggressive behavior
- Agitation or irritation
- Easily distracted
- Increased physical activity
- Poor judgment
- Racing thoughts
- Risky behavior
Signs and symptoms of the depressive phase include:
- Chronic pain
- Problems concentrating
What Are The Causes Of Bipolar Disorder?
It is not really known why this disorder really occurs, however, it is believed that the episodes are caused and triggered by several factors:
Biological differences: Physical changes tend to occur in the brains of people who suffer from this disorder. Although it is uncertain how significant these changes are, but eventually they may prove helpful in pinpointing the causes of the disorder.
Hormones: This disorder can also be caused or triggered by imbalanced hormones as well.
Environment: A role in this disorder is also played by abuse, significant loss, stress and other traumatic experiences.
Inherited traits: People are more likely to suffer from this disorder if they have a history of it in their family.
Neurotransmitters: In this disorder, a significant role is played an imbalance in neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that naturally occur in the brain.
How To Treat Bipolarism?
Lifelong treatment is required for people who are suffering from this disorder, even during periods when they feel better. Usually, a psychiatrist who has skills in treating this condition guides the treatment. A treatment team including psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers may also be involved. Medications, family, group or individual psychotherapy, and education and support groups are among the primary treatments for bipolar disorder.
Bipolarism can certainly prove to be rather disruptive; however, cycles of behavior as a result of which this disorder can worsen can be stopped by making certain lifestyle changes. While the precise cause of this disorder may be unknown but it can certainly be treated.