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Bipolar Disorder Symptoms, Causes and Treatments | Tulasi Healthcare

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Bipolar Disorder

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.

Diagnosis & tests

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.

Treatment & medication

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 +91-8800000255.

Tips to relearn social skills while in a Psychiatric Hospital

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Learning Social skills consists of learning activities utilizing behavioral techniques that enable persons with disabling mental disorders to acquire interpersonal disease management and independent living skills for improved functioning in their respective communities & societies. A large and growing body of research supports the efficacy and effectiveness of social skills training for mental illnesses & disorders. When the type and frequency of training is linked to the phase of the disorder, patients in psychiatric hospitals can learn and retain a wide variety of social and independent living skills. Generalization of the skills for use in everyday life occurs when patients at psychiatric hospitals are provided with opportunities, encouragement, and reinforcement for practicing the skills in relevant situations. Recent advances in skills training include special adaptations and applications for improved generalization of training into the community, short-term stays in psychiatric inpatient units, dually diagnosed substance abusing mentally ill, minority groups, amplifying supported employment, treatment refractory schizophrenia, older adults, overcoming cognitive deficits, and negative symptoms as well as the inclusion of social skills training as part of multidimensional treatment and rehabilitation programs being undertaken at psychiatric hospitals.

Given the key role of effective communication in obtaining one’s needs for normal community functioning, social competence is essential for a satisfactory quality of life. “Social competence” can be defined as the “ability to achieve legitimate, personally relevant goals” through interacting with others in all situations: work, school, home and neighborhood, recreation, shopping and consumer services, medical and mental care. In contrast, “social skills” represent the “constituent behaviors” which, when combined in appropriate sequences and used with others in appropriate ways and places, enable an individual to have the success in daily living reflected by social competence.

Skills are the raw material of social competence and comprise the full range of human social performance: verbal, nonverbal, and paralinguistic behaviors; accurate social perception; effective processing of social information to make decisions and responses that conform to the normative, reasonable expectations of situations, and rules of society; assertiveness; conversational skills; skills related to management and stabilization of one’s mental disorder and expressions of empathy, affection, sadness, and other emotions that are appropriate to the context and expectations of other patients at the psychiatric hospital. In summary, social skills represent the topography of social interaction, whereas social competence reflects the accumulation of self-efficacy and real-world success through experiencing the favorable consequences of interactions within the psychiatric hospital.

The term “skills”—in contrast to the term “abilities”—implies that they are predominantly based on learning experiences. Thus, social skills training utilizes behavior therapy principles and techniques for teaching individuals to communicate their emotions and requests so that they are more likely to achieve their goals and meet their needs for affinitive relationships and roles required for independent living. This modality of treatment at psychiatric hospitals and rehabilitation centers has been empirically validated for a broad range of mental disorders and other psychological problems. Because of its protean and generic applications to such disparate functions as family psycho-education, behavioral marital therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy, social skills training can be best defined by its operational components inside psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centres and psychiatric nursing homes, such as the ones being successfully run by Tulasi’s Group of Psychiatric Hospitals.