Patient's Complete Guide to Bipolar Disorder

Overview of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder (بائی پولر ڈس آرڈر) is a mental health condition that makes an individual to have emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression) and a feeling of severe mood swings. When the mood shifts to mania, the individual suffering might feel euphoric and unusually energetic, and irritable. On the other hand, as the mood shifts to depression, the one suffering becomes extremely sad and hopeless and loses interest in the activities that he/she once loved.

Some individuals can have multiple episodes of these extreme mood swings and some experience them rarely. Some people with bipolar might also have emotional symptoms that occur between the episodes.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The symptoms of bipolar disorder  vary from person to person. In some people the episodes of high and lows have a set pattern and others just switch to any of the two within minutes. Some people might have the same state (manic or depressed) before switching to the opposite mood. The severity of the symptoms however depends and varies from person to person.

Symptoms of the highs (Maniac)

  • Sudden change from being angry or irritable to being joyful
  • Unneeded hopefulness and excitement
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Less Appetite and sleep
  • Substance abuse
  • Poor concentration and rapid
  • Easy Distraction
  • Uneasiness
  • Poor judgment skills
  • Speech
  • High sex drive than usual making unrealistic plans that are difficult to execute

Symptoms of lows (depression)

  • Extreme sadness
  • Less sex drive
  • Low energy levels
  • Forgetfulness
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Insomnia
  • Constant Anxiety
  • Thoughts of suicide and death
  • Loss of concentration
  • Hopelessness
  • Urge to sleep more
  • Changes in appetite causing weight gain or loss

Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are four major types of bipolar disorder. These are:

Bipolar I

In this type of bipolar disorder, individuals have extreme behavior patterns called “ups” for at least a week that need to be handled with medical care. And extreme “downs” are also observed that can last for at least 2 weeks.

Bipolar II

Patients with bipolar II, experience the same highs and lows but they are less extreme compared to Bipolar I.

Unspecified Bipolar Disorder

Unspecified bipolar disorder describes conditions where a person shows symptoms of manic or hypomanic episodes that don’t last long. For this reason, it is called “other specified” or “unspecified” bipolar disorder.

Cyclothymic Disorder

 

Cyclothymic Bipolar disorder refers to manic behaviors that last for 1 year in children or teens and around 2 years in adults. The symptoms shown by individuals with Cyclothymic Bipolar Disorder are less intense as compared to bipolar I and II.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

There is no one cause of bipolar disorder that causes the condition, however, experts and researchers are still trying to find the exact cause of bipolar disorder. There can be a role of genetics which means if anyone in the family had bipolar disorder already, their kids are likely to suffer from it too. The development of the brain can also play an important role, however, research has taken place to find the exact cause of the bipolar disorder.

Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder

There are a few factors that can lead to experiencing the first episode of a bipolar episode, including:

  • A traumatic event i.e death of a loved one
  • Drug abuse
  • Having a close (parents or siblings) with the disorder can increase the risk of bipolar disorder

Prevention

There is no way bipolar disorder can be prevented. But talking to a mental health professional as soon as you feel your mental health deteriorating can help you prevent your bipolar disorder from getting worse. If you are suffering from bipolar disorder then it is important to prevent the initial symptoms of bipolar disorder. These can be done by:

Avoiding Substance Abuse

The use of recreational drugs can play a huge role in making the symptoms of bipolar worse and can cause more recurring episodes. Avoiding the use of substances can help you prevent symptoms of bipolar disorders.

Be Aware of the warning signs

Being aware of the symptoms can make you avoid the more intense episodes of bipolar disorder. Help yourself by identifying the triggers and the warning signs before an episode.

Don’t Miss your Medication

Stopping the use of medication or changing the dose on your own can result in worsening the symp[toms of bipolar, so it is important to take the prescribed medication.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder depends on each individual’s symptoms. Your health care provider will ask about the symptoms and your episodes and will try to make a proper diagnosis.

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder | When to Consult a Doctor

Bipolar Disorder treatment involves a combination of different therapies that can stabilize mood and reduce symptoms. The treatment helps a lot in leading an effective and healthy life.

The treatment combinations used for treatment include:

Medication

Mental health professionals prescribe different medications that can help in managing extreme mood swings and managing symptoms. The doctors usually prescribe mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medicines, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants to relieve mania.

Counseling

Counseling and psychotherapy can help a person a lot in managing bipolar disorder. Cognitive Behavior Therapy and many other approaches can be used by doctors to reduce the symptoms from worsening. By counseling, a patient can learn to:

  • Identify the triggers beforehand to avoid an episode
  • Work on the things that help in stabilizing moods
  • Talk it out with the family and relatives
  • Recognize early symptoms of bipolar in order to stabilize mood

Lifestyle Changes

There are some lifestyle changes that can help individuals with bipolar disorder to manage their symptoms well. These can be:

  • Taking a healthy and balanced diet
  • Keeping a regular routine
  • Getting regular exercise
  • A regular sleeping pattern

Your doctor may prescribe you supplements that can be used to treat your deficiencies that might lead to mood swings.

Healthcare Providers

Consult with Best Doctors for Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Khalid Masood Ahmed, Psychiatrist
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Ms. Ayesha Shahid Sheikh

Speciality for Bipolar Disorder

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