2013 Bipolar Update
In order to fully manage or deal with loved ones that have a bipolar disorder, it is important to draw the line between what bipolar behavior is and what it is not. In many cases, it is easy to blame everything on bipolar behavior and thus not hold the patient accountable for certain actions. In other cases, patients are made to stand up for acts that were clearly driven by bipolar behavior.
While there is no straightforward definition nor method to determine which actions are caused by the illness and which ones aren’t, there is substantive medical information to support the fact that bipolar behavior mainly comprise of the following:
· A manic episode characterized by being more talkative than normal. In some cases, “pressured speech” can also be observed. Pressured speech refers to the condition when a patient in a manic episode talks in a hurried and loud manner even if they are actually not talking to anyone in particular.
· Sleep problems or a general decreased need for sleeping. While this isn’t always a direct product of bipolar disorder. However, it is a good diagnostic tool when mixed with other symptoms of bipolar behavior.
· It would also be impossible to forget the common warning signs of bipolar disorder including general apathy and withdrawal from social activities during a depression episode. Especially when combined with suicidal tendencies, these are a dead giveaway for recurring bipolar behavior.
The most important finding with regard to bipolar behavior is that it is a tool with invaluable benefits towards diagnosing the illness. Beyond that, doctors also strongly recommend that family members must learn to pay attention to these triggers in order to be aware if a specific cycle is happening. Not paying attention to these triggers will render it useless in the way of documenting the behavioral ups and downs which are essential to prescribing the correct medication for a patient.
So how does one put bipolar behavior to good use? Consider the following:
1. Bipolar behavior has to be properly understood, documented and constantly reported to the attending medical professional. This can help modify the medications for the patient as needed.
2. Bipolar behavior is also an excellent cue for which episode is about to rear its ugly head. A sensitive family member can tailor a proper response to the demands of a patient under a specific manic or depressive cycle when they know how to read the behavioral clues.
3. Bipolar behavior is also the most useful tool for gauging the effectiveness of a treatment method. If there are no changes to the cycle despite diligently sticking to a medication, then it might be an indication that the treatment is not working and therefore needs further tweaking.
Doctors strongly recommend using bipolar behavior to help patients cope with their issues. Consequently, only family members are in the right position to do this. By paying attention to bipolar behavior, it becomes easier to report back to the attending physician and likewise deal with the everyday challenges of living with a person suffering from bipolar disorder.