Bipolar Disorder

Once commonly known as Maniac Depression illness, has mood swings from mania to depression (Two poles/ Bi polar ) punctuated by periods of stable mood in between Bi-polar Disorder.

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. They may include mania or hypomania and depression. Symptoms can cause unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, resulting in significant distress and difficulty 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).
  • Other types: These include, for example, bipolar and related disorders induced by certain drugs or alcohol or due to a medical condition, such as Cushing's disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke.


When to see a doctor ?

Despite the mood extremes, people with bipolar disorder often don't recognize how much their emotional instability disrupts their lives and the lives of their loved ones and don't get the treatment they need.
And if you're like some people with bipolar disorder, you may enjoy the feelings of euphoria and cycles of being more productive. However, this euphoria is always followed by an emotional crash that can leave you depressed, worn out — and perhaps in financial, legal or relationship trouble.
If you have any symptoms of depression or mania, see your doctor or mental health professional. Bipolar disorder doesn't get better on its own. Getting treatment from a mental health professional with experience in bipolar disorder can help you get your symptoms under control.


Recovery

  • Follow and Stick to treatment plan
  • Medication as prescribed by psychiatrist
  • Psychotherapy
  • Planning for crisis (high &low moods)
  • Taking care of whole self
  • Exercise
  • Healthy food & Sleep habits
  • Keeping away from alcohol / smoking / drugs
  • Create support system of family , friends and organization


Mania (At least 3 of the following must be there for most of the day or nearly every day for 1 week or longer)

  • High energy , activity
  • Good / Euphoric mood
  • Irritability
  • Racing and Jumbling Thoughts
  • Reduced concentration
  • Less Sleep needed
  • Unrealistic belief in one’s ability and power
  • High spending
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Abuse of drugs like alcohol, sleeping pills
  • Provocations or aggressive behaviour


Treatment

  • Stabilizing the mood
  • Prevention of Relapse
  • Recovery from the present episode( Mania /depression)
  • Four main types of medications are available and used:
    • Mood stabilizer
    • Anti fit /convulsion medicines
    • Anti Psychotics
    • Anti depressants


Depression (5 or more symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day of a week or weeks or longer)

  • Sad/ Empty mood
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Feeling of Guilt /worthlessness/ helplessness
  • Sad/ Empty mood
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Decreased energy- slowdown
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions
  • Irritability / restlessness
  • Loss or gain of weights due to changed appetite
  • Chronic pain / non specific bodily symptoms
  • Thought of death, suicidal / suicidal attempt


Psychotherapy (Help manage the mood states that can interferes with daily activities)

  • Family focused Therapy
  • Inter personal & Social Rhythm Therapy
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Intriguing facts

  • Many people with these symptoms of bipolar disorder don’t know that they have it, thinking these mood swing are just a normal part of life
  • 60% of these who have bipolar Disorder abuse alcohol or drug during their lifetime
  • Abrupt discontinuation of medicine leads to recurrence & potentially hospitalization or suicide
  • People who undergo intensive psychotherapy in addition to medicine have better life satisfaction

Famous people who had Bipolar Disorder

  • Virginia Wolf
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Winston Churchill
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Isaac Newton
  • Vivien Leigh