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How do you recognize if you have bipolar disorder? Here’s everything you need to know about it. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by manic episodes of depression and mood swings. The symptoms may last from several days up to a week or two. Symptoms of mood swings may vary from person to person. It may appear several times a week to specific patients, but it may only occur very rarely to others. Once diagnosed with bipolar disorder, complete recovery isn’t possible. Instead, one can keep the symptoms under control through various treatments.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar I is a condition that affects both women and men in the same way. A person affected with this bipolar disorder would have experienced at least one manic episode accompanied by hypomanic or depressive episodes before and after the manic episodes. A manic episode pertains to the expression of abnormal behavior, high energy, or even elevated mood swings.
Bipolar II is mainly diagnosed in women. This type is usually characterized by one major depressive episode and another hypomanic episode which lasts up to 4 days.
Episodes of depression and hypomania are commonly seen among patients who suffer from cyclothymia. But the symptoms aren’t as intense as those seen in patients with bipolar disorder I and bipolar disorder II.
Mania, hypomania, and depression are the three main symptoms seen in the patients. These symptoms may vary according to the type of bipolar disorder the patient is diagnosed with. In manic episodes, people usually feel emotionally high, and they possess extreme mood swings, namely highly euphoric, impulsive, or even highly excited. In contrast, hypomania isn’t accompanied by anything as severe as manic episodes. In the phase of depression, people will feel a sense of hopelessness, having no interest in engaging with anything. Despite being a common mental illness, the difficulty of diagnosing bipolar disorder is severe due to varied symptoms.
Possible causes of bipolar disorder
The primary cause for developing symptoms of bipolar disorder points to genetics. The probability of inheriting this disorder is high if this mental illness runs in the family history. The chances are six times higher when compared to a person with no family history of patients diagnosed with this bipolar disorder. Other reasons include the abnormal structure and functioning of the brain and external factors like stress, physical illness, or different traumatic experiences.
Once diagnosed, the only measure to keep it under control is to be aware of the alarming signs or symptoms that indicate the onset of episodes of depression and mania. Incorporating specific lifestyle remedies like following a regular sleep routine, exercising regularly, and maintaining a balanced nutritious diet will be beneficial to prevent the commence of possible symptoms.
One cannot cure bipolar disorder completely. It’s a lifelong medical condition. Based on the type of the illness, its severity, and the occurrence of symptoms, doctors prescribe a combination of several medications. It will help to mitigate the symptoms from disrupting the patient’s daily life routine. Common medications include drug treatments, psychotherapy, and counseling. In the former, patients are prescribed to take antidepressants, second-generation antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants to stabilize their mood swings. In psychotherapy and counseling sessions, a patient goes through cognitive-behavior therapy to get adapted to managing their key triggers, stabilizing their mood swings, and keeping their emotions in check. Apart from consulting a doctor regularly and undergoing the medications without fail, incorporating valuable lifestyle remedies would also be helpful to relieve the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
The need to normalize mental health issues has crossed its threshold. Bipolar disorder is no longer a rare disease. Nowadays, many people are diagnosed with this health condition. One cannot ensure a permanent cure for this disorder. But, moral support from loved ones, coping skills, and mental support can help the patient cope with the challenges of this mental illness.