Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes strange shifts in temper, energy, activity levels, and the aptitude to carry out day-to-day tasks. It was previously called manic depression, is a mental health situation that causes severe mood swings that contain emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). It is very severe and can cause dangerous activities, even suicidal tendencies, and can be treated with rehabilitation and medication.
The accurate cause of bipolar disorder is unidentified, but some factors may be concerned, such as:
- Biological differences. People with bipolar disorder appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may ultimately help pinpoint causes.
- Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing bipolar disorder.
There are numerous types of bipolar and connected disorders. They may include mania or hypomania and depression. Symptoms can reason impulsive changes in temper and activities, resulting in major distress and complexity in life.
Bipolar I disorder. You’ve had at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. In some cases, mania may trigger a break from reality (psychosis).
Bipolar II disorder. You’ve had at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but you’ve never had a manic episode.
Cyclothymic disorder. You’ve had at least two years — or one year in children and teenagers — of many periods of hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms (though less severe than major depression).
How severe it gets differs from person to person and can also change over time, becoming more or less severe.
Symptoms of mania (“the highs”):
- Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
- Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
- Rapid speech and poor concentration
- Increased energy and less need for sleep
- Unusually high sex drive
- Making grand and unrealistic plans
During depressive periods (“the lows”), a person with bipolar disorder may have:
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble making decisions
Treatment is superlative guided by a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions (psychiatrist) who is skilled in treating bipolar and related disorders. You may have a treatment team that also includes a psychologist, social worker and psychiatric nurse.
However, with effectual treatment, episodes typically improve within about three months.
Most people with bipolar disorder can be treated using a amalgamation of dissimilar treatments. These can include one or more of the following:
- medication to prevent episodes of mania, hypomania (less severe mania) and depression – these are known as mood stabilisers and are taken every day on a long-term basis
- medication to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they occur
- learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
- psychological treatment – such as talking therapies, which help you deal with depression and provide advice on how to improve relationships
The primary treatments for bipolar disorder include medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) to control symptoms, and also may include education and support groups.
Although bipolar disorder is a enduring situation, you can handle your temper swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).