Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a traumatic mental condition that not only affects the person suffering from it, but the people around them as well. Extreme highs and lows can affect their decisions and quality of life, and bipolar disorder can make daily life very difficult without treatment. If think you may have bipolar disorder, both researching the disorder as well as seeking professional help can be potentially life changing decisions, for the better. There is no cure for bipolar disorder, though treatment can greatly improve one’s quality of life with the disorder.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

There are many symptoms for bipolar disorder. Some are subtle, and some are drastic. If diagnosed with this disorder, these may be symptoms you have had for most of your life.

There are few different phases of symptoms that manifest at differing times throughout the duration of the disorder. Depression and mania are the most common phases. After one phase in a bipolar episode, one may have the other, or return to a normal state. Some may even have both phases at the same time. These mood swings can often happen in a cyclical fashion, or be drawn out over days, weeks or months.

Also, some people may experience their disorder being triggered by the seasons, similarly to seasonal affective disorder.

Depression Phase Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of drive in work or school
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Weight gain or loss due to appetite increase or decrease
  • Suicidal thoughts

Manic Phase Symptoms

  • Risky behavior
  • Poor judgment
  • Development of addictions
  • Delusions
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased agitation
  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy

Bipolar Disorder Causes

Bipolar disorder can be caused by many various factors.

  • Many people develop bipolar disorder because their parents have it, as their genes are passed on to their children.
  • Additionally, some may develop bipolar disorder by way of emotional and physical abuse or other traumatic experiences.
  • Bipolar disorder can also be the result of hormonal imbalances or traumatic brain injuries.

    Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

    Bipolar disorder is usually diagnosed by a series of evaluations performed by a doctor, who will examine the patient’s various symptoms and signs.

    • A psychiatrist will have a patient explain their personal history, feelings, and their relationships with loved ones.
    • Also, they will ask the patient many questions about their mood swings, such as what they do during them, how long they last, and how it has affected their wellbeing.
    • Once the doctor has acquired enough information, the patient’s criteria will be assessed thoroughly to determine if they have bipolar disorder.

    Bipolar Disorder Treatment

    There is no cure for bipolar disorder. However, a variety of treatments are available that can greatly improve the quality of life for one living with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is treated with prescribed medication and frequent therapy sessions, and the goal of treatment is to reduce the frequency and intensity of episodes.

    • Medication can help stabilize moods and reduce the frequency of episodes. Some may need to go through a process with their doctor to find the right medication and dosage for them to achieve the best results.
    • Therapy sessions can also help talk through problems with a disorder. Frequently talking with a therapist can aid in releasing those depressive or manic feelings.