Bipolar Disorder Treatment and recognising its symptoms

November 12, 2012

Bipolar Disorder Treatment and recognising its symptoms

Everyone suffers from the occasional depressed mood or feeling down but some people suffer to a much more extreme extent. Bipolar Disorder is a type of depression that can be severe enough to have dramatic negative effects on work, school, relationships and even daily routines. It is a bipolar disorder treatment is very effective but in order for it to be diagnosed the signs and symptoms first need to be recognised. Bipolar Disorder gets worse the longer it goes untreated so being able to identify the initial signs is very important.

Manic Depression

Bipolar Disorder is also known as Manic Depression and causes periods of extreme behaviour, shifting quickly from high energy, behaviour and thinking of mania to the severe lows of depression. These cycles of moods often last for at least one week at a time and are severe enough to disrupt normal life and routine behaviour. A manic episode regularly features impulsive behaviour such as an extreme spending spree or quitting their job. They often also experience a decreased need to sleep and will find that after a couple of hours of sleep they are full of energy. To the other extreme, whilst experiencing a depressive episode the same person may feel unable to get out of bed for days at a time and a feeling of hopelessness or self-loathing.

Bipolar Disorder appears to run in families but generally the causes are unknown. The symptoms often start out subtle and can easily be overlooked or misdiagnosed It often begins in early adulthood and many people end up suffering from years before being properly diagnosed. Once the appropriate Bipolar Disorder treatment has been started, it can be fully managed and controlled allowing patients to lead a full and normal life.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

The signs and symptoms of bipolar can vary greatly from person to person as they differ severity, pattern and frequency. Some people experience equal amounts of mania and depression while others a more prone to one type of episode. Some people will have episodes regularly, while others will only have a few over their entire life. People suffering from an episode of mania will often talk excessively, be hyperactive, creative and require very little sleep. They also often have a feeling of self-importance or invincibility. These feeling will start to make the individual behave recklessly or to become easily irritable and aggressive. Further symptoms of a manic episode include:

  • Unrealistic expectations of their own ability

  • High energy levels despite a lack of sleep

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Impaired judgement and impulsive behaviour

  • In extreme cases, hallucinations and delusions

Bipolar depression has differences to other forms of depression and this is important to be aware of when it comes to treatments. Anti-depressants for example are thought to make Bipolar Disorder worse by triggering more rapid shifts between episodes. People going through an episode of bipolar depression often sleep a lot and move and speak slowly resulting in a decreased ability to socialise. Other common symptoms include:

  • A feeling of sadness or hopelessness

  • A lack of interest in pleasurable activities

  • Fatigue

  • Appetite and weight changes

  • Concentration problems

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Treatment for bipolar disorder

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms or recognise them in someone else, seek help quickly in order to begin Bipolar Disorder treatment. When ignored it is likely to get worse and can lead to problems in many areas of life including career, relationships and health. Bipolar Disorder carries a higher risk factor of suicide than any other forms of depression, particularly in people with a history or alcohol or drug abuse. Treatment for bipolar disorder is long term and should be continues even when the patient is feeling okay in order to prevent new episode from occurring. Medication is often combined with some kind of therapy or social support. It is also important that the patient makes sensible choices in their lifestyle as episodes can be kept at bay through reducing stress, staying healthy, and looking out for signs that an episode may be beginning. Triggers of Bipolar Disorder vary in each individual but some common ones include substance abuse, medication, seasonal changes, stress and sleep deprivation.

Tags: ,

Category: Articles