Bipolar disorder is a psychological state distinguished by intermittent agitated and dismal episodes, scattered with episodes of comparatively normal mental functioning of the affected individual. The abnormal mood swings usually have an adverse effect on the daily routine of an individual struggling with bipolar disorder.
Mood swings of individuals affected by bipolar disorder can be characterized by feeling excessively ecstatic or short-tempered at one end & feeling miserable and despondent at the other end.
Adolescents are primarily affected by bipolar disorder, but there is a high probability of its onset among children too.
During an episode of hyperactivity, the affected individual usually becomes imprecise, starts believing that she/he possesses unrealistic abilities and becomes ostentatious. The affected person, during this episode, usually exhibits perilous conduct and engages in activities such as betting & abuse of life threatening drugs. The duration of the first manic episode observed among individuals affected by bipolar disorder is approximately 3 months.
The depressive/drab episodes of bipolar disorder, which usually occur intensely, can happen for weeks together and are devoid of major causes or symptoms. Apart from feeling depressed, depressive episodes may also be comprised of insomnia, lethargy, frequent depletion of energy, despair, etc.
Basis the severity of manic symptoms, Bipolar disorder is divided into several subtypes.
Individuals affected by Bipolar I disorder experience at least 1 episode of mania and one depressive episode. The resultant mood swings are severe enough to disrupt the routine of activities conducted in offices, colleges, schools or even at home.
Bipolar II Disorder is a lot less severe as compared to Bipolar I disorder. Individuals affected by Bipolar II Disorder endure at least 1 hypomanic (which is not as severe as full-blown mania) episode, and at least 1 major depressive episode. In such cases, phases of depression usually last longer than phases of hypomania. Also, disruption of daily routine in such cases is rare.
Input and description of symptoms from relatives, guardians and friends can help in zeroing in on an accurate diagnosis.
Bipolar disorder is a permanently recurring mental disease which has no cure. Yet, prescribed medicines and remedial treatments can be used to help assuage the mood swings and other such associated symptoms of bipolar disorder in order to manage it and to avoid relapse in the long run.
Bipolar disorder is usually treated with mood stabilizers. In addition to medication, one can have psychosocial interventions, get patients involved in community activities, and also teach the family about management of the condition at home.
Mood stabilizers are used to avert and check the acute highs and lows.
In addition to these, other medicine types; such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics may be used to treat specific symptoms.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used to treat highly agitated patients with bipolar disorder, suicidal patients with bipolar disorder or those persons with bipolar disorder who exhibit psychotic or catatonic symptoms. ECT entails administering an electrical stimulus through the scalp into the facade of the brain.
Psychotherapy, especially Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can also be of great help to individuals struggling with bipolar disorder as it can stop negative thought cycles. Participating in various community programs and being part of support groups can also help individuals affected by bipolar disorder stay focused on recovery goals.
It is important for the kith and kin of the affected individual to take responsibility for ensuring her/his proper care and rehabilitation. If you or someone you care for is struggling with bipolar disorder, please feel free to reach out to us at our rehab centre at +91-8800000255.