On the 30th of March every year, World Bipolar Day is observed. This day is observed every year to educate people about bipolar disorder and raise awareness about spreading information on bipolar disorder. World Bipolar Day also marks the birthday of Van Gogh, who was known globally not only for his impactful art but also for his mental illness, which was later found to be bipolar disorder.
This blog highlights the insights about bipolar disorder to create awareness about this condition. So please keep reading.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a type of mental condition that impacts and causes changes in a person’s energy, mood, and the ability to perform everyday activities. As a result of bipolar disorder, the patient experiences extreme shifts in an emotional state. These mood episodes may happen during specific time periods and are classified into maniac/hypomanic and depressive. With prompt treatment, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications, this condition can be managed.
Bipolar disorder has three major types. These three types include the following,
Bipolar I disorder: This disorder is characterized by the appearance of one or more than one manic episode. Patients having bipolar I disorder are likely to experience episodes of both mania and depression. The patient may experience depressive episodes that typically last for a minimum of two weeks. To confirm the diagnosis of bipolar I, a maniac episode must last for a minimum of seven days or must be chronic enough for the patient to be hospitalized. In addition, the patient with Bipolar I disorder may also experience mixed states, which will involve experiencing both mania and depression symptoms.
Bipolar II disorder: In this disorder, the patient experiences depressive and hypomanic episodes. However, individuals having bipolar II disorder do not usually experience full blow manic episodes, which are the characteristics of bipolar I disorder. However, bipolar II disorder can be more disabling when compared to bipolar I disorder. This is because individuals with bipolar II disorder experience chronic depression often, which can have a more profound impact on the patient’s everyday functioning.
Cyclothymia: This is a condition where the individual experiences a persistently unstable mood state. The patient in this condition experiences mild episodes of hypomania and depression for a minimum of two years duration. Although they may also have brief periods of normal mood called euthymia, these intervals are generally lesser than eight weeks.
What are the signs and symptoms indicating bipolar disorder in an individual?
While in most cases, bipolar disorder involves both hypomanic/manic and depressive episodes, these mood states do not always occur in a pattern that is predictable, and depression does not necessarily follow manic episodes always. People with bipolar disorder are also likely to experience multiple episodes of the same mood state, with Periods of euthymia in between, before transitioning to the opposite mood state.
Although bipolar disorder can manifest at any age in anyone, it is most commonly diagnosed during adolescence or in early adulthood. Symptoms of bipolar disorder may vary significantly from one individual to another.
Symptoms of Mania and Hypomania
Although mania and hypomania are two separate episodes of bipolar disorder, they may share similar symptoms. When compared to hypomania, mania is more chronic and can cause significant issues or impairments at school, work, relationships, and public activities. Mania can also cause a loss of touch with reality (psychosis), which may require hospitalization of the patient.
At least three or more of the below-mentioned symptoms may be experienced during both maniac and hypomanic episodes,
- Feeling excessively jumpy or weird
- Having a decreased need for sleep
- Rapid speech
- Feeling restless
- Making reckless or poor decisions or taking risks such as drug abuse, chronic alcohol intake, etc
- Being distracted easily
- Heightened level of activity, energy or agitation
- Experiencing psychosis
Signs and symptoms of depressive episodes
The signs and symptoms indicating depressive episodes are similar to those that happen during the chronic depression. The various signs and symptoms of depressive episodes may include the following,
- An intense feeling of being sad
- Persistent fatigue
- Extreme low energy levels
- Frequently crying
- Feeling irritated
- Changes in appetite that may lead to weight loss or gain
- Changes in sleeping patterns, such as sleeping more excessively than usual or experiencing insomnia
- Feeling hopelessness or worthlessness
- A lack of motivation to participate in any activity
- Experiencing suicidal thoughts
Causes of bipolar disorder
The exact causes of bipolar disorders are not known yet. However, scientists believe that genetic factors, brain changes, and environmental factors, such as trauma and stress.
Treatment for bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder can be effectively managed with a combination of various treatments. A treatment plan formulated for treating bipolar disorder usually involves a combination of therapies, including,
- Medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety medicines, and mood stabilizers
- Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy
- Sleep medications and supplements
- Electroconvulsive therapy
- Lifestyle modifications, including eating a healthy diet and regular exercising
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong problem. However, acknowledging its signs and symptoms on time and seeking timely treatment can help in managing it better. This World Bipolar Day 2023, spread awareness about the various symptoms of this condition and encourages people to seek early intervention for the same. Additionally, it is also important to consult and stay in touch with a healthcare provider regularly to ensure that the condition is properly monitored. This World Bipolar day 2023 raise awareness among your family, friends and everyone you know to break the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder, and to extend support to those battling it.
At Ayu Health , we are committed to providing the best and most affordable care to all our patients, including those having bipolar disorder. Our expert team of highly skilled, qualified, and experienced doctors, therapists, and staff that works closely together to provide the best-individualized treatment plans and care to all our patients using the latest medical advances and techniques to achieve the best possible results.