What is Bipolar?

bipolar treatment

Bipolar

If you have a friend or family member that is suffering from bipolar then you might be asking yourself “What is bipolar?”. There are a number of different things that you need to know about bipolar as well as how it can be treated and the symptoms that can help you to better recognize this condition.

Bipolar

Bipolar

What is Bipolar?

Bipolar is a mental condition. When people suffer from this condition they go between periods of depression, irritable mood, and good mood. These are considered to be mood swings and may be referred to as either depression or mania. These swings can happen extremely quickly and last a few hours to a few days or even a few weeks.

What Are Bipolar Risk Factors?

Bipolar affects people of both sexes. It is found that this illness often starts between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. The reason for this is not known but it is more likely to affect those that have relatives that have been diagnosed with this disorder. However, it can occur even when no previous relative has been diagnosed.

There are some things in life that are thought to trigger a manic episode for suffers. These are:

  • Changes in one’s life like childbirth
  • Periods of not getting enough sleep
  • Using recreational drugs
  • Medications like steroids or even antidepressants

What are Bipolar Type 1, 2, and Cyclothymia?

People who suffer from bipolar type one are found to have periods that involve major depression and have had a minimum of one episode of mania. This type of bipolar used to be referred to as a manic depression. Those who suffer from bipolar 2 have never had a case of full mania. They might have periods where they have impulsiveness and high levels of energy but these are not to the extreme of mania. People with bipolar 2 will alternate between this and depression. Cyclothymia is a form of bipolar that is milder.

The mood swings for people who suffer from this type are not as severe. People with this type will alternate between mild depression and hypomania. Some people with this form and the bipolar 2 forms will be diagnosed wrongly as having just depression.

What Are Bipolar Symptoms?

Those who are going through a manic phase can suffer from the following symptoms which can last days or even months:

  • Little need to sleep
  • Distracted Easily
  • The judgment that is poor
  • Lack of control of one’s temper
  • Lack of self-control
  • Behavior that is reckless
  • The mood that is very elevated
  • Agitation
  • Irritability

Those going through a phase of depression will have the following symptoms:

  • Sadness or low mood
  • Trouble making decisions, remembering, or concentrating
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Lack of Energy
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or even hopeless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Getting too little sleep
  • Sleeping too much
  • Lack of interest in things once enjoyed
  • Pulling away from loved ones

Those who suffer from bipolar have a high suicide risk. Those who use drugs or alcohol are at an even higher risk of suicide as well as a higher risk of worsening symptoms. It is even possible for depressive and manic symptoms to occur at the same time or very quickly experiencing one after the other and this would be considered a mixed state.

Bipolar Tests and Signs

There are many things that are taken into account when one is being diagnosed with bipolar. The person doing the diagnosing might do one or all of the tests listed below:

  • Ask about any mood swings recently as well as how long they have been present
  • Ask if anyone in the family has had bipolar disorder
  • Look for any illnesses that could cause bipolar symptoms
  • Check drugs levels and for problems with the thyroid
  • Talk to family or friends about the patient’s behavior
  • Look at medical problems and current medications
  • Watch the mood and behavior

It is important to know that while using drugs can cause some symptoms of bipolar just because someone uses drugs does not rule out the fact that they could be suffering from bipolar. One of the symptoms of bipolar can be drug use.

What is Bipolar Treatment?

Most patients who suffer from bipolar will find that their symptoms will return. There are several goals when it comes to treatment.

  • Avoid moving from mania to depression
  • Avoid necessary hospital stays
  • Help the patient to function as best as possible
  • Prevent suicide or any self-injury
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of the episodes

It is important for the doctor to understand any emotional or medical problems that could affect treatment. There are a number of different medications that can be used to help treat bipolar but there is no one medication that works for everyone and in many cases finding the right medication can require that several medications are tried before the correct dosage and medication is found.

However many times the medications that are used are anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotic medications, antidepressants, and even mood stabilizers.

There are other forms of treatment that can be used as well. These include:

  • ECT or Electroconvulsive therapy.
  • TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Some patients that are active in the middle of a manic or depressive state might require hospitalization until they are more stable or their behavior is better under control.

Many people will find that a support group helps with their bipolar treatment as well. This is because they are able to learn from others who suffer from the same problem. They might be able to learn more about coping skills as well as what they should watch for to know if they are about to go through a manic or depressive episode.

Bipolar is not an easy condition to deal with. However the good news is that once you know the answer to “What is bipolar?” and you are better capable of recognizing the situation and its medications, then it is more comfortable to deal with the case whether you are the one suffering or if you are trying to learn how to deal with this disorder because a friend or family member is suffering.

It is important that those who suffer from this condition seek help because in more cases than not it is a condition that can be controlled.

There are other forms of treatment that can be used as well. These include:

ECT or Electroconvulsive therapy.

TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

 

Some patients that are active in the middle of a manic or depressive state might require hospitalization until they are more stable or their behavior is better under control.Electroconvulsive therapy

Many people will find that a support group helps with their bipolar treatment as well. This is because they are able to learn from others who suffer from the same problem. They might be able to learn more about coping skills as well as what they should watch for to know if they are about to go through a manic or depressive episode.

Read more about Electroconvulsive Therapy

Bipolar is not an easy condition to deal with. However the good news is that once you know the answer to “What is bipolar?” and you are better able to understand the condition and its treatments then it is easier to deal with the condition whether you yourself is the one suffering or if you are trying to learn how to deal with this disorder because a friend or family member is suffering. It is important that those who suffer from this condition seek help because in more cases than not it is a condition that can be controlled.

read more about bipolar

 

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