Category Archives: Bipolar Disorder

An introduction to psychotic disorders

Brief-Psychotic-Disorder-PictureBy definition, a psychotic disorder is a chronic mental illness that requires long-term treatment, medication and sometimes hospitalization, in-patient care as well. This blog post will provide you information on different kinds of psychotic illness, their prevalence, signs and symptoms. Therefore, as soon as you identify them or feel them you can seek immediate medical assistance.

1)    Schizophrenia:

Schizophrenia is considered as one of the most severe forms of mental disorders. It requires long-term treatment. Medications as well as Psychotherapy, both are needed for its management and treatment. Its typical onset is around young adulthood and its global prevalence rate is about 0.3-0.7%. See below to find the different symptoms of schizophrenia:

Symptoms Meaning
Delusions Irrational belief about something. E.g: Limbs turning into stones, someone plotting against the person, thought broadcasting
Hallucination Sensing or feeling something without the presence of any apparent stimulus. E.g: Hearing voices, visual distortions
Flat Affect Lack of ability to express feelings and emotions
Physiological Disturbances Disturbances in sleep, appetite and major physiological functions
Avolition Lack of motivation to do something, even daily activities, hygiene etc are also hampered in this disorder

Other symptoms of schizophrenia include poverty of speech, social isolation, impairment in significant cognitive functions, paranoid delusions and so on. It can be caused due to genetic factors, situational factors, environmental factors, neurochemical disturbances in the brain, etc. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.

2)    Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder as the name suggests, is a disorder where mood swings between the two poles of depression and mania occur. Here is an illustration of symptoms during each stage:

Phase Symptoms Treatment Methods
Depression Phase Feelings of sadness, melancholy, dejection, social isolation, flat affect, lack of appetite, lack of motivation, insomnia, suicidal feelings, self harm etc. Medication, psychotherapy
Mania Phase Feelings of euphoria, drug and substance abuse, becoming overly extravagant and socially interactive, high energy levels, can harm self and others, high levels of voice, verbal abuse, can resort to anti-social activities,lack of sleep, increased appetite etc. Medication, chronic mania can require hospitalization and intensive in-patient care, psychotherapy

3)    Paranoia:

Paranoia is a delusional disorder. It means it is a disorder characterized by distorted thought process. Under the influence of paranoia you would experience strange irrational belief or delusions. I have mentioned about some common forms of delusions with their meanings below:

Delusion Meaning
Delusion of Grandeur or Grandiosity An irrational thought in which one feels to be a supreme human being or supernatural power. One claims to be a Prime Minister or God, Superman in this form of delusion.
Delusion of Persecution In this form of delusion one thinks as if everyone is trying to kill him or her.
Delusion of Reference This form of delusion suggests that one always thinks that others are talking about him/her.
Thought broadcasting  In this form of delusion they think that their thoughts are being broadcasted in News and information channels.

Paranoia can lead to serious problems like social isolation, fear, self-harm, harming others and even suicide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.

4)    Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD):

BPD is a personality disorder characterized by maladaptive personality and behavior in a person. Peolpe with BPD have a lot of trust issues. Due to this they can hardly believe in someone and stick to a relationship. They are more prone to drug and substance abuse too.

These were some of the common psychotic illnesses. The intention of writing this post was not to scare you, but to sensitize you and make you informed about these forms of mental illnesses. Gone are the days when people having mental health problems were subjected to social taboos and discrimination, when they were dumped in mental asylums without proper treatment and care. Today with the progress and advancement in medical science and technology, no matter how chronic or acute a disorder may be, it can be prevented, treated and managed. The best weapons we have so far are medications or psycho-pharmacological interventions, psychotherapeutic treatment, alternative therapies and so on. What is important is identifying them at the earliest and seeking treatment at the earliest.

Therefore, if you get a slight clue about these ailments within you or any of your near ones, do not step back in seeking immediate and proper treatment. There is a way out of every problem!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Understanding Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms and Management

bipolar-symptoms

The world statistics states that approximately 1.0 – 1.2% of people experience bipolar disorder in their lifetime. Did you know? People who have bipolar can be very successful and creative. Want some proof? Some historians think that following people may have shown signs of bipolar disorder: Abraham Lincoln, Hans Christian Andersen, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Sir Isaac Newton and Ludwig van Beethoven.

If you are not introduced to the word bipolar disorder yet, let me give you a short introduction to it. Bipolar Disorder is basically a mood disorder in which one experiences profound mood swings. It is called Bipolar as it oscillates between to poles of moods i.e Mania and Depression. The other names of bipolar disorder are Bipolar Affective Disorder, Manic Depressive Disorder or Manic – Depression.

Now that you know a lil’ bit about bipolar disorder can you remember seeing someone with it? Research reveals the prevalence rate of bipolar illness in men and women is somewhat similar. Bipolar often starts with simpe mood swings turning into major bipolar episodes if left unattended or untreated. Bipolar Disorder is of 3 major types:

  • Bipolar I Disorder: It comprises of rapid cycling episodes between mania and depression.
  • Bipolar II Disorder: In this type of bipolar depression is the primary symptom with mild episodes of mania.
  • Bipolar III Disorder: This is characterized by major manic episodes with mild depression in between.

Now let me tell you the difference between Mania and Depression:

Mania Depression
Highly energetic state Low energy levels
Decreased need for sleep or sleeplessness Increased need for sleep
Hypervigilance, spending too much, too much talkative, hyperactive Slow, sluggish, hopelessness, helplessness, hypoactive
Unstable relationships, engages more in pleasurable activities Tries to escape from social settings, lives more in isolation.

So these were some of the major differences between Mania and Depression. They also constitute the symptoms of Bipolar as well. The causes of bipolar can vary from genetic linkage, environmental factors, psychological factors, and evolutionary causes too. If you suspect bipolar disorder in someone, the best way is to direct him or her towards immediate treatment. The early it is diagnosed and treated, the better is its prognosis.

Management:

  • Psycho-education about bipolar illness
  • Psychotherapies: CBT, Behavior therapy, etc
  • Pharmacologic Interventions
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in acute and chronic cases
  • Other therapies like Group therapy, Support therapy, Milieu therapy, Light therapy and so on.

Prevention:

You can prevent bipolar disorder in the following ways:

  • Regular exercise, balanced diet
  • Healthy coping in different life situations
  • Effective stress management
  • Effective emotion and mood management
  • Abstinence from alcohol and drug abuse

Best Wishes,

Sareeta