Understanding Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms and Management

By |2018-09-04T16:55:44+00:00December 19th, 2013|Categories: Bipolar Disorder, CBT, Mental Health, Treatment|0 Comments

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

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