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Bipolar Disorder: Causes, Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Bipolar Disorder: Causes, Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental health illness that involves emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression) (depression).

Feelings of hopelessness and despondency can set in when you’re depressed. A maniac or hypomanic person may feel ecstatic, energetic, or irritable, depending on the severity of their condition. Insomnia, fatigue, irritability, erratic behavior, and a lack of concentration are all symptoms of mood swings.

Mood swings might happen just once or several times a year. Some people may not have any emotional symptoms at all between bouts.

The symptoms of bipolar illness can’t be cured, but by following a treatment plan, you can keep them under control for the rest of your life. Bipolar disorder is often treated with medication and psychotherapy (psychotherapy).

Symptoms of Bipolar disorder

There are a number of different forms of bipolar disorder. Mania, hypomania, and depression are all possible outcomes. Symptoms can create severe anguish and difficulty in daily living by causing unpredictability in mood and behavior.

Bipolar type I illness. You’ve had at least one manic or hypomanic episode, which may have been preceded or followed by a major depressive episode. ‘ In other circumstances, mania can lead to a loss of touch with the real world (psychosis).

Mental illness with bipolar II. However, you have never had an experience of such mania in your life, having had at least one major depression and one hypomanic episode in the past.

Disorder of the cyclothymic. Two years or one year of many hypomanias and depressive symptoms in adolescents and teenagers is required for diagnosis (though less severe than major depression).

Other kinds of organisms as well. There are a number of conditions that can lead to bipolar disorder, including Cushing’s illness, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.
Although bipolar II disorder may appear milder than bipolar I disorder, it is not the same condition. When compared to bipolar I condition, bipolar II disorder sufferers might be depressed for long periods of time, which can have serious consequences.

It is common for bipolar disorder to be diagnosed in adolescence or early adulthood and such medical condition, symptoms can be different from person to person and even over time.

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There is a difference between mania and hypomania.

Although manic and hypomanic episodes are separate, they have many of the same symptoms. In comparison to hypomania, mania is more intense and can lead to more obvious issues at work, school, and in social settings, as well as difficulties in interpersonal relationships. Hospitalization may be needed in the case of mania that results in a dissociation from reality (psychosis).

Three or more of the following symptoms are present in both a manic and hypomanic episode:

Anxious, agitated, or jittery.
Anxiety, irritability, or heightened activity
Confidence in one’s own abilities that is exaggerated (euphoria)
Sleep deprivation and a tendency to talk a lot
Thoughts whirring in my head
Distractibility
Poor decision-making, such as overspending, engaging in risky sexual behavior or making ill-advised financial decisions

As a result of a severe depression

Symptoms of serious depression are severe enough to interfere with daily activities including job, school, social interactions, or personal relationships. Five or more of the following symptoms characterize an episode:

Moods of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, or tears (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)
Decreased desire for all or nearly all of one’s favorite pastimes
A significant reduction in body weight when not on a diet, as well as a rise or fall in hunger (in children, failure to gain weight, as expected, can be a sign of depression)
Insomnia or oversleeping can be the cause.
Either agitation or a sluggish pace of life
Energy depletion or exhaustion
Feelings of inadequacy or excessive guilt that are not warranted
Inability to think and concentrate clearly, or a lack of self-confidence
Suicide thoughts, plans, or attempts

Bipolar disorder has other symptoms.

Other symptoms of bipolar I and II illnesses may include anxious anxiety, melancholy, psychosis, or other characteristics. Diagnostic descriptors such as mixed and rapid cycling may be used to describe the onset of symptoms. Symptoms of bipolar disorder may also be exacerbated by pregnancy or seasonal changes.

In children and adolescents,
The symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents might be difficult to recognize. Sometimes, it’s difficult to discern if these ups and downs are the result of stress or trauma, or are indicators of a mental health problem other than bipolar illness

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Adults with bipolar illness may have distinct significant depressive or manic or hypomanic episodes, but in children and teens, the pattern can be different. During episodes, moods might quickly change. Some children may have intervals of calm between episodes of agitation.

Children and adolescents with bipolar disorder may have extreme mood changes that differ from their normal mood changes.

When to see a doctor

For many people, bipolar disorder is not noticed as a serious mental illness due to the fact that they have some dramatic mood swings, and as a result, they do not receive the therapy they ought to be needing.

You may also like the exhilaration and productive cycles that come with the bipolar disease if you’re like many others. Although this exhilaration is followed by an emotional fall that might leave you miserable, worn out—and perhaps in financial, legal, or romantic trouble—the euphoria itself is short-lived.

Consult your physician or a mental health professional if you experience any of the symptoms of depression or mania. There is no cure for bipolar disorder. You may be able to manage your symptoms better if you get help from a mental health professional with experience treating people with bipolar disorder.

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Causes of Bipolar Disorder

Although the specific cause of bipolar illness is not yet established, a number of factors may play a role, including:

Differences in our ancestry. Physical alterations in the brains of people with bipolar disorder have been seen. The significance of these alterations is still up in the air, but they may one day aid in the search for underlying reasons.

Genetics. People who have a first-degree family with bipolar disorder, such as a brother or parent, are more likely to get the disorder themselves. Bipolar disorder is being studied as a possible genetic cause.

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Risk Factors

One or more of the following may increase the likelihood of developing bipolar disorder or triggering the onset of an episode:

Having a first-degree family with bipolar disorder, such as a parent or sibling.
After the death of a loved one or other life-altering event
Addiction to drugs or alcohol

Complications

When bipolar disorder goes untreated, it can cause a wide range of difficulties, including:

Drug and alcohol abuse issues
Attempts to commit suicide or take one’s own life
Problems with the law or money
Relationships that have been damaged
Negative results in the workplace or at school


Contraindications

In the event that you have bipolar disorder, you may also be suffering from a comorbid medical condition. The symptoms of bipolar illness can be exacerbated or treated less effectively if certain factors exist. As a starting point, here are some examples:

Disorders of anxiety
Disordered eating
hyperactivity and inattention (ADHD)
Drug or alcohol abuse
Problems with one’s physical well-being, such as cardiovascular disease, thyroid disorders, migraines, or obesity

Prevention

Bipolar disorder can’t be prevented. Bipolar illness and other mental health issues can deteriorate if therapy isn’t sought at the earliest possible opportunity.

In the case that you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there are a few methods for dealing with small symptoms before they become major ones:

Keep an eye out for warning signals. Taking care of symptoms early on can help prevent them from worsening. It’s possible that you’ve figured out what causes your bipolar episodes.

If you think you’re about to go into a depressive or manic mood, make an appointment with your doctor right away. Consider enlisting the help of loved ones or acquaintances to keep an eye out for warning indicators.
Adopt a drug-free lifestyle. You can make your symptoms worse and increase the likelihood of recurrence by abusing alcohol or recreational substances.
Follow the directions on your prescriptions exactly. Stopping treatment may be tempting, but don’t. Withdrawal symptoms, worsening, or recurrence of symptoms are all possible if you stop or reduce your prescription dose on your own.

 

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I am a practising physician and medical expert also a blogger and content creator

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