What is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar Disorder use to be known as manic depressive disorder. The reason for that is because of its extreme mood swings from depression to mania. Bipolar disorder is very serious and can cause risky behavior, even suicidal tendencies, and can be treated with therapy and medication.
Can Bipolar Disorder be prevented?
The short answer to this question is “no” Bipolar Disorder cannot be prevented. However, it’s important to be aware of early warning signs of an impending episode of bipolar depression or bipolar mania. Early recognition of bipolar warning signs and seeing your doctor on a regular basis can allow you to monitor your mood and medications and keep illness from escalating. In fact, although treating bipolar disorder moods is critical, there is a convincing case supported by scientific studies that the prevention of further mood episodes should be the greatest goal.
What are the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Symptoms of bipolar disorder can fall between two extreme mood states:
- Bipolar Depression which will include feelings of being sad, hopeless, helpless, and worthless.
- Bipolar Mania which includes feelings of elation and exuberance coupled with increased energy and activity and little need for sleep.
In addition, those with bipolar disorder can have manic episodes that occur simultaneously with depressive symptoms, or vice versa. When a manic or depressive episode simultaneously includes symptoms of the opposite pole, that episode is said to have “mixed features.”
What are the symptoms of bipolar depression?
Symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder may consist of the following:
- Depressed mood and low self-esteem
- Excessive crying spells
- Low energy levels and an apathetic view of life
- Sadness, loneliness, helplessness, feelings of guilt.
- Slow speech, fatigue, and poor coordination and concentration.
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Thoughts of suicide or dying
- Changes in appetite (overeating/not eating)
- Unexplainable body aches and pains
- Lack of interest or pleasure in usual activities.
What are the symptoms of bipolar mania?
- Euphoria or irritability
- Excessive talking;racing thoughts
- inflated self-esteem
- Unusual energy; less need for sleep
- Impulsiveness, a reckless pursuit of gratification-shopping sprees, impetuous travel, more and sometimes promiscuous sex, high-risk business investments, fast driving.
- Hallucinations and or delusions (psychotic features such as these may be involved in about one out of every two of cases in bipolar mania).
How is bipolar disorder treated?
Bipolar disorder can be treated with medications to stabilize ones mood. If the mood stabilizers do not fully manage the symptoms, other medications may be added to help calm the mania or ease the depression. Along with mood stabilizers, psychotherapy is recommended to help the patient develop appropriate and workable coping strategies to deal with everyday stressors and to increase medication compliance.
As you can see Bipolar Disorder is serious. If not treated properly there could be some serious issues. Those with Bipolar Depression have thoughts of suicide and harm. We need to be thoughtful of those who are bipolar in helping them with their treatments. Sometimes those with bipolar just need medications. Other times, they may need a mix of medications and therapy. Whatever may be the treatment that works we need to support those people.
Those with bipolar often aren’t supported by family and friends. Whatever we can do to help them always is a great thing. But, the one thing to look for with those with bipolar disorder are the symptoms. If you see symptoms that someone is experiencing please make sure they get help. Although, those with bipolar will know their own signs and symptoms they may not always think it’s best to go to the doctors even though it probably is the best option for them. However, if we feel that someone is not in danger it may just be ok to keep an eye on them until they seem like they might become a danger to society.
Whatever the case we need to prepare for the worse and hope for the best with bipolar disorder patients. They may not understand that they can be of harm. It is our job as friends and relatives of those who have bipolar to make sure that they get the help they need. If they do not get the appropriate help then they will risk harm to themselves and/or others around them.
Is bipolar something everyone needs to learn about? I believe that it would be helpful to everyone if they learned what bipolar is and how to help those around them who may have bipolar. Sometimes peoples feelings may get hurt if they are not aware of how bipolar can affect people. Those with bipolar don’t always realize what they are doing or saying. It can be very hard to take care of someone with bipolar disorder. This is why there are doctors and other medical professionals to help with caring for someone who has bipolar. If for some reason you feel like you cannot handle someone with bipolar then maybe you need to hire a caregiver for that specific person so that they can help care for that person.