Bipolar Disorder Symptoms and Therapies

Overview
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, which is a mental illness that is characterized by severe mood swings, repeated episodes of depression, and at least one episode of mania. Bipolar disorder is one kind of mood swing that afflicts more than 1% of adults in the United States, up to as many as 4 million people. Bipolar disorder has a number of types, including bipolar disorder I and bipolar disorder II, for every type and duration of the illness, the patient experiences significant relapse with his or her functioning at school, at work, or socially, may require hospitalization, or may have psychotic symptoms (for example, delusions or hallucinations).


Bipolar disorder and symptoms
The diagnosis of bipolar I disorder requires that the individual or patient has at least one manic episode but does not require a history of major depression. Bipolar II disorder is diagnosed if the person has experienced at least one episode of major depression and at least one hypomanic (a milder form of mania) episode.
Having mixed episode is defined as a period of time in which both the criteria to diagnose a major depressive episode and a manic episode are fully met, except for the duration requirements of each. The mood problem (manic alternating with depressive symptoms) takes place nearly everyday for a total of at least a week. One may experience abnormally elevated(manic or hypomanic) and in many cases, abnormally depressed states for periods of time in a way that interferes with functioning.
  • Bipolar I disorder the individual may have at least one manic episode but does not necessary require a history of major depression.
  •  Bipolar II disorder individual experience at least one episode of major depression and at least one hypomanic (a milder form of mania) episode.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia) defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well as numerous periods of depressive symptoms.
  • Other types- the symptoms involve does not match any of the aforementioned categories

Here are some additional statistics about bipolar disorder:
  • Bipolar disorder is the fifth leading cause of disability worldwide
  • Bipolar disorder is the ninth leading cause of years lost to death or disability worldwide.
  • The number of individuals with bipolar disorder who commits suicide is 60 times higher than that of the general population. 
  • People who have bipolar disorder are at higher risk of also suffering from substance abuse and other mental health problems.
  • According to research carried out it was concluded that males are prone to have bipolar disorder earlier in life compared to females.
  • Blacks are sometimes diagnosed more often with bipolar disorder compared to whites.


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Signs and Symptoms
People having a manic episode may:
  • Feel elated or euphoria
  • Increased level of energy
  • Increased activity levels
  • Abnormal behaviours, feel “jumpy” or “wired”
  • Changes in sleeping pattern
  • Becomes hyperactive
  • Talkative
  • Feel like their thoughts are going very fast
  • Think they can do a lot of things at once
  • Taking irrational decisions, like spend a lot of money or have reckless sex

People having a depressive episode may:

  • Be feeling depressed
  • Fatigue
  • Low activity levels
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling worthless 
  • Be having trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Change in appetite 
  • Fatigue
  • Thoughts of death

Risk factors
Although research are still ongoing on the possible causes of bipolar disorder.Most agree that there is no single cause. Instead, Bipolar disorder may be as a result of various factors such as;
  • Genetics
  • Family history
  • Brain structure and functioning
  • Drug or alcohol abuse


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Treatment
To date, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. But proper treatments helps most people with bipolar disorder gain better control of their mood swings and related symptoms. This is also true for people with the most severe forms of the illness. Because bipolar is a lifelong and recurrent illness, people with the disorder need long-term treatment to maintain control of bipolar symptoms. An effective maintenance treatment plan includes;

Medications
Bipolar disorder can be diagnosed and medications prescribed by people with an M.D. (doctor of medicine). Usually, bipolar medications are prescribed by a psychiatric. In some states, clinical psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioners and advanced psychiatric nurse specialist can also prescribe medications. Check with your state's licensing agency to find out more.
Some of the types of medications generally used to treat bipolar disorder are as follows:

  • Mood stabilizer
  • Atypical antipsychotic
  • Antidepressant 

Side Effects of these medications
  • Before starting any of the new medication, people with bipolar disorder should consult their doctor about the possible complications and benefits.
  • If the patient happens to notice any effects from the medication, he or she should talk to the doctor who prescribed it as soon as possible. The doctor may change the dosage or prescribe a different medication.
Psychotherapy
In addition to medication, psychotherapy or "talk" therapy can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder. It can provide support, education and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families.
Some psychotherapy treatments used to treat bipolar disorder include:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Family-focused therapy
  • Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
  • psychoeducation
Other treatments
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Sleep medications
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Bipolar Disorder Symptoms and Therapies Bipolar Disorder Symptoms and Therapies Reviewed by Gregory on November 18, 2018 Rating: 5

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