Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder that is associated with extreme episodes of mood fluctuations. It is also known as manic depression. Bipolar disorder can be a little uncomfortable to deal with if you are not familiar with how it works and what you can do to treat it on your level. People who are suffering from bipolar disorder go through severe high and low mood changes and it also impacts their sleep, appetite, behavior, and energy.
People who have bipolar disorder can have episodes wherein they feel abnormally happy and energetic or sudden sad, gloomy and sluggish episodes. In between these episodes, the person might feel normal. Bipolar patients can also have delusions and hallucinations which is normal in this type of mental illness. Feeling extremely sad and depressed at one point in time and then suddenly feeling a boost of energy and happiness in the next moment can be quite draining out for the person’s physical and mental health.
Bipolar I Disorder- In this type a person faces extreme behavioral changes with manic highs and lows. These extreme mood fluctuations may last for two weeks and drain your energy in and out.
Bipolar II Disorder- This type is not as extreme as bipolar I, but you will still have erratic highs and lows. It won’t drain out much of your physical and mental energy if you learn how to deal with it.
Cyclothymic Disorder- This type is not as intense as bipolar I and bipolar II but it can be quite difficult as the manic and depressive episodes last for a minimum period of 2 years in adults, teenagers as well as children.
Common symptoms and signs of Bipolar Disorder:
Bipolar disorder symptoms are different for manic and depressive episodes. If you feel you are going through any of the symptoms, you must consult a psychiatrist or a therapist as soon as possible.
Bipolar Disorder symptoms of manic highs:
Loss of concentration
High sex drive
Drugs, alcohol and tobacco abuse
Unrealistic plans and decisions
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms of depressive lows:
Low sex drive
Numb to pleasure
Desire to sleep more
What are the Causes of Bipolar Disorder?
The chances of getting this mental health condition are high if you have a close relative, like your parents, siblings and grandparents suffering from the same. Bipolar disorder is genetic in a few cases wherein in other cases it may be triggered if you go through some shock or trauma, even sudden death in the family. The main reason for bipolar is the chemical imbalances in the brain.
Also Read: Anxiety issues and the fear of being alone
How can you treat Bipolar Disorder?
It cannot be effectively cured but it can be treated to some extent. Certain treatments will help you in dealing with this mental health condition.
Medication- Medication is the main regimen of bipolar disorder. There are certain antidepressants and antipsychotic drug medications that will minimize the effects of bipolar disorder. Anti-anxiety medicines and sedatives are also good for treating this illness. Doctors even prescribe mood stabilizers to their bipolar patients to control the mood fluctuations as much as possible. You must stick to the medications to lower the impact of the disorder on your body and mind. You should visit a good psychiatrist and continue his treatment as and when prescribed.
Therapy- Psychotherapy and talk therapy is generally prescribed by the doctor when suffering from bipolar disorder. There are many different types of therapies which include interpersonal and social rhythm therapy which is based on sticking to a daily routine for everything, be it your sleep, work and physical activities. The second therapy is CBT which stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which teaches you to manage stress and triggers. It is based on replacing all the negative habits with positive ones. Third therapy is ECT which stands for Electroconvulsive Therapy. This therapy is mostly used in intense cases where small shocks and seizures are initiated to your brain to kind of sort out the chemicals in your brain.
Acupuncture- There are shreds of evidence that this treatment helps in dealing with the depressive and low episodes of your illness. It is used by many doctors to cure their patient’s depression.
Use of Supplements- Some vitamin supplements help in treating bipolar disorder symptoms. People consume these supplements to treat the disorder to a great extent. Keep your doctor informed of the supplements that you consume. These supplements should not react with your medications and trigger your illness.
Healthy Lifestyle- Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your illness. You must lead a healthy and good lifestyle and stay optimistic about the results. Make sure you do enough physical activity and exercise or work out daily for the best results. You should learn to accept and recognize your mood swings. Join a support group. Practice good eating and drinking habits. Start maintaining a journal and follow your hobbies and passion. Do more of what makes you happy. Yoga and meditation help greatly in dealing with this illness. You should learn to manage your stress. Try not to consume alcohol and tobacco in any form
You can easily get victory over your mental illness if you work hard for it. You must remember that you are a warrior and nothing or nobody can take you down. Make sure to stay positive and calm all the time.