2013 Bipolar Update
Most people tend to have “off” and “on” days; days in which one feels that they are bursting with joy and others where they feel that they are at their lowest. However, for a person with bipolar disorder, the peaks and valleys tend to be much more severe. Bipolar disorder is quite a complex condition that affects more than an individual’s mood.
Persons with bipolar conditions tend to experience mood disorders which are categorized as episodes. The two main episodes that all bipolar sufferers experience are mania and depression. A person suffering from mania tends to experience periods of exaggerated infatuation, happiness, as well as recklessness. Such individuals may participate in risky behavior and may complain of sleepless nights or agitation as well as headaches, stomach aches and a lack of appetite.
The depression episode is the complete opposite of the manic episode. Patients who are depressed generally keep to themselves and limit any and all social interactions. One of the common bipolar conditions present in depressed patients is the tendency to have suicidal thoughts. Other bipolar conditions classified under the depression episode include sleeplessness, stomach aches, as well as long, dull headaches, otherwise called depression headaches.
There are many forms of bipolar conditions and as such, many people who are suffering from bipolar disorders are largely unaware that they have this mental problem. Those around them tend to fail to recognize the bipolar conditions and may react adversely towards the patient because of the uncommon actions they present when they are depressed or manic. Recognizing the problem and identifying which type of bipolar condition an individual has is the first step towards getting control over their mood swings.
Diagnosis of bipolar disorder is based on a psychiatric review of one’s mental health status. The attending physician records family history and takes into account all the present symptoms that may be classified as bipolar conditions only if all other possible causes are ruled out. Though there are different types of bipolar disorder, bipolar I is the most severe form with bipolar II and cyclothymic being milder forms.
There are various treatment methods available for helping bipolar patients live relatively normal lives with their mental condition under control. The first treatment method recommended is prescribed medication such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers to help the patient get control over their bipolar episodes. Another common treatment method that helps bipolar patients to adjust to their condition is through psychotherapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one of the most popular psychotherapy techniques used to help patients with bipolar conditions to adjust to their disorder. Such psychotherapy techniques helps the patient identify triggers to emotional outbreaks and teaches them how to avoid or deal with them.
Bipolar conditions can be frustrating but as stated earlier they can be kept under control to allow individuals to live a normal life. For this reason bipolar disorders should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible for all those involved.