Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme changes in mood. Symptoms include an excessively high mood called mania and episodes of great sadness or depression. Bipolar disorder is also known as bipolar disease or manic depression.
People with bipolar disorder may have trouble carrying out the tasks of daily life at school or work, as well as maintaining relationships. Today there is no cure, but there are many treatment options available that can help control symptoms.
- 1 Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
- 2 Beginning of Bipolar Disorder
- 3 Causes of Bipolar Disorder
- 4 Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
- 5 Types of Bipolar Disorder
- 6 Bipolar disorder in women
- 7 Bipolar disorder in men
- 8 Bipolar Disorder Treatments
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
In bipolar disorder, exaggerated episodes of high and low moods do not follow an established pattern. A person may feel the same mood (depressed or manic) several times, before switching to the opposite mood. These episodes can occur in a period that goes from weeks to months and even years.
The severity of the disorder differs from person to person and can also change over time, becoming more or less severe.
Symptoms of mania
- Excess of happiness, hope and enthusiasm
- Sudden mood swings: from being cheerful and happy, to being irritable, angry and hostile
- Speak fast
- Lots of energy and less need to sleep
- Unusually high sex drive
- Great and unrealistic plans are made
- Sample of bad judgment
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol
Symptoms of depression
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Do not enjoy the things you once liked
- Trouble concentrating
- Uncontrollable crying
- Trouble making decisions
- Need more sleep
- Changes in appetite that make them lose or gain weight
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Suicide attempts
Bipolar Disorder onset
When someone develops bipolar disorder, it usually begins when they are in the late adolescence or early adulthood. Rarely, it may occur earlier in childhood. Bipolar disorder can occur with greater proportion in the same family.
Men and women are equally likely to suffer from this disorder, but women are more likely than men to go through a type of "fast cycle," in which they have four or more different mood episodes within a year. . Women also tend to spend more time depressed than men with bipolar disorder.
Many people with this condition abuse alcohol or other drugs when they are in the manic or depressed phase. In addition, they are more likely to suffer seasonal depression, anxiety disorders coexisting, posttraumatic stress disorder Y obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
It has been found that there is no single cause of this disorder. Genes, brain changes and stress can play a role in the onset of this disease.
Researchers are still studying how and to what extent these factors can contribute to the development of bipolar disorder.
Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is extracted through the person's symptoms, but it must first be ruled out that said symptomatology is not the result of another organic pathology (such as thyroid problems or symptoms caused by drug or alcohol abuse) .
We must also determine the severity of the symptoms, how long they have lasted and how often they pass.
The most revealing symptoms are those that involve ups and downs in mood, along with changes in sleep, energy, thinking and behavior.
Talking with the person's close friends and family can often help the therapist to distinguish bipolar disorder from major depressive disorder (unipolar) or other psychiatric disorders that may involve changes in mood, thinking and behavior.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are several types of bipolar disorder; They all include episodes of depression and mania to some extent.
Bipolar disorder is a disease that can last a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression may eventually occur again if not treated. Many people sometimes continue to have symptoms, even after receiving treatment for their bipolar disorder. These are the types of bipolar disorder:
Type I Bipolar Disorder
In this type there are periods of severe episodes of mood change ranging from mania to depression.
Type II bipolar disorder
It is a milder form of mood elevation, which includes milder episodes of hypomania that alternate with periods of deep depression.
The cyclothymic disorder It presents brief periods of hypomanic symptoms that alternate with also short periods of depressive symptoms that are not as extensive or lasting as those observed in complete manic or depressive episodes.
Bipolar disorder not specified
This type refers to the appearance of simultaneous symptoms of opposite mood polarities during manic, hypomanic or depressive episodes. It is marked by high energy, insomnia and accelerated thoughts. At the same time, the person may feel desperate, desperate, irritable and suicidal.
Bipolar rapid cycle disorder
It is a term that describes the fact have four or more mood episodes within a 12 month period. The episodes must last a minimum number of days to be considered different episodes.
Some people also experience changes in polarity from highest to lowest or vice versa in a single week, or even in a single day, which means that the complete symptom profile that defines separate and separate episodes may not be present (for example, the person may not feel the least need to sleep). Sometimes called "ultra-fast" cyclingThere is a debate within psychiatry about whether this phenomenon is a valid or well established characteristic for diagnosing bipolar disorder.
A rapid cycle pattern may occur at any time during the course of the disease, although some researchers believe it may be more common towards the end of the disease's life. Women seem more likely than men to have rapid cycles. A rapid cycle pattern increases the risk of severe depression and suicide attempts. The antidepressants Sometimes rapid cycle periods are associated with the onset or prolongation. However, that theory is controversial and is still being studied.
Bipolar disorder in women
Men and women are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in equal numbers. Nevertheless, The main symptoms of the disorder may be different between the two genera. In many cases, a woman with bipolar disorder can:
- Be diagnosed at a later age, between 20 or 30 years.
- Have milder episodes of mania.
- Experience more depressive episodes than manic.
- Having four or more episodes of mania and depression in a year, what is called fast cycling.
- Experience other conditions at the same time, including thyroid disease, obesity, anxiety disorders and migraines
- Have a higher risk of making a alcohol abuse during all his life.
Women with bipolar disorder may also relapse more frequently. It is believed that this is caused by hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy or menopause. If you are a woman and you think you may have bipolar disorder, it is important that you understand the facts. This is what you need to know about bipolar disorder in women.
Bipolar disorder in men
Symptoms in men with bipolar disorder are usually the following, although it is never decisive:
- Be diagnosed at an earlier age, between 16 and 20 years.
- Experience more severe episodes, especially maniacs.
- Having major substance abuse problems.
- Be extremely active during manic episodes.
Men with bipolar disorder have less likely than women to seek medical attention on their own. They are also more likely to die from suicide.
Bipolar Disorder Treatments
Bipolar disorder can and should be treated to improve symptoms and allow a more functional life for those who suffer from it. But we must know that it is a long-term condition that needs continuous attention.
Medication is the main treatment, which generally includes "mood stabilizers," sometimes antipsychotic medications are also used, as well as antidepressants. most likely a combination of this type of drugs. The psychotherapy It is also highly recommended and helps to cope with the symptoms.
Unfortunately, people who have four or more episodes of mood in a year, or who also have drug or alcohol problems, may have forms of the disease that are much more difficult to treat.
It may interest you: Bipolar disorder, symptoms, causes and diagnostic errors ...
Here is a wonderful infographic about myths and realities of Bipolar Disorder by MyTherapy (free application on Google Play and iTunes)
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- Depression test
- Goldberg depression test
- Self-knowledge test
- how do others see you?
- Sensitivity test (PAS)
- Character test