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Decoding Bipolar Disorder! The casual mood swings are not Bipolar disorder!

17 Jan 2016

Going with the times, it’s been kind of an in-thing to use psychiatric terms to explain a colleague or friend’s behavior.

It might be ‘psycho’, ‘obsessive’ or even ‘bipolar’.

These seemingly harmless terms, however, carry with them a lot of stigma in the life of someone who really suffers from it.

I think I am Bipolar 

This is what people would say when they experience mood swings. But is that what is Bipolar Disorder. Let's find out. 

Arjun had been going through a rough patch lately. Life is giving him a raw deal he thinks. 

He has turned out to be more Sad these days 

But whenever something good happens, like someone praises him,  he feels he gets his mojo and energy back .  

However Neither the sad feelings or the happy feelings over power him. He keeps going with his daily chores normally. 

The sad phase doesn't last for a lot of time and neither does his happy phase without a reason. 

So while Arjun is experiencing regular normal mood swings. 

Arjun is not Suffering from Bipolar Disorder 

Let us take an example of Rohan. 

He had a troubled teenage. He had to deal with a lot of issues at home, school andlove as a teenager. This impacted him. 

Now anything can set him off in his sad cycles. Rain pouring down the window class pane can make him Sad, terribly sad not just for minutes, it goes on up to weeks and months. And it's not just normal sadness, it disrupts his daily functioning life. He keeps himself inside the room most of the times and doesn't get the energy to interact with anyone. 

And then after weeks and sometimes months of Sad Cycles, Something might just trigger his manic or peak phase. 

He would Start feeling, he has the energy to fathom anything. He would have thoughts of Grandiose, of feeling so high that he could even built a rocket. In this phase, he goes on and spends all his money in savings on buying Luxuries, while this money was for his tuition fee. In this phase, he jumps from one good idea after the another and think that he can fathom all. He even sometimes get visual and auditory hallucinations. This phase debilitates him, tires him but the energy and the euphoria is just not stopping, its not getting channelised. It is disturbing him and taking him away from his daily routines. 

Rohan is suffering from Bipolar Disorder 

 

We all have our ups and downs, feeling sad and happy is not what bipolar disorder is all about. We have emotions and are prone to feeling and experiencing them.

With bipolar disorder, however, these peaks and valleys of moods & emotions take a more severe turn. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, these manic or depressive cycles last for days, weeks and even months.

Unlike ordinary mood swings, these mood changes are so intense that they are extremely distressing and interfere with the ability to function.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy, and behavior. It is named so because a person’s mood can alternate between the “poles”—mania (highs) and depression (lows).

Bipolar disorder affects more than 8.7 million Indians today.

 

How to identify Manic Phase and Depression Phase?

Bipolar disorder manifests itself in different ways. There may be periods of mania that often alternate with periods of depressionor there may be periods of depression that alternate with a less severe form of mania called hypomania, or there may be frequent but milder mood fluctuations.

Here are some easily identifiable

Symptoms of Mania and Depression 

 

Symptoms of Mania

 

 

 

Increased physical and mental activity and energy
Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism, Grandiose sense of self (I can build a rocket in 10 days if I want to and over) self-confidence
Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
Racing speech, thoughts, and flight of ideas
Increased sexual drive
Reckless behavior

Symptoms of Depression
Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety

Pessimism, loss of energy, persistent lethargy
Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
Recurring thoughts of death and suicide

 

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

Biological 

 Biologically, it is said to be partly caused by problems with specific brain circuits and the balance of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters).

Hereditary 

 

Bipolar disorder can be caused genetically as it’s often seen to run in families. 

Environmental 

 

Significant environmental stressors within the family at the time of upbringing are also deemed to play a role in developing the disorder.

Other environmental factors can be a troubled adult life, continous stress & pain.

 

Some studies have also found that lack of sleep may trigger manic symptoms.

Men Vs Women

Bipolar disorder occurs with similar frequency in men and women. But the way in which the condition is experienced differs in the two sexes.

Men tend to Begin with a manic episode, women with a depressive episode.

Late-onset bipolar disorder is seen to be associated with menopause.

Women are also at higher risk for rapid cycling, which means having four or more mood episodes in one year.

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Impact of Bipolar Disorder

With mania, the patient may feel extremely irritable or euphoric. They may experience agitation, sleeplessness and talkativeness or sadness and hopelessness. They may also have extreme pleasure-seeking or risk-taking behaviors.

Bipolar disorder negatively affects spouses, partners, family members, friends, and co-workers. The unpredictable mood swings can drive a wedge between patients and their loved ones. In particular, the manic phase may scare off friends and family.

Bipolar Disorder disrupts the patient’s goals at work and at home. It can lead to risky behavior, damaged relationships and careers, and even suicidal tendencies if it's not treated. People with bipolar disorder are 10 to 20 times more likely to commit suicide than people without the illness. 

60% of people with bipolar disorder may drink or abuse drugs to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of their mood swings. This is especially common during the manic phase.

 

Tips if your Loved One is Displaying Signs of Bipolar Disorder

1.

 

2.

 

 

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a chronic, relapsing illness and hence requires long-term treatment. Hence, it’s important to continue with the treatment even when feeling better. The medication is required to prevent new episodes and continue to stay symptom free.

Bipolar disorder is treated and managed in several ways:

 

Medication & Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors that accompany mood swings while Interpersonal therapy aims to ease the strain bipolar disorder may place on personal relationships. Social rhythm therapy helps patients develop and maintain daily routines  Family Counseling: Bipolar disorder extends beyond the patient and can affect the entire family. Families are frequently involved in therapy as they receive education about bipolar disorder and work with the therapist 

Works Like This 

 

 After taking history of the client, we go on to do the clinical assessment to ensure the presence of Bipolar Disorder and assess its severity. Depending on the severity, we lay out a counseling & psychiatric intervention plan and help you manage and take control of your life. The entire intervention is Designed by India's leading Clinical Psychologists & Psychiatrists for

 Ensuring Treatment Outcomes Online

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Take Charge Take Control

Show Courage & Seek Therapy

That is the only way to Defeat the 

Monster that is Bipolar Disorder

 

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Tags: #Bipolar #Depression