Many people ask, “Is Bipolar disorder real?” Some people believe that Bipolar Disorder is not real since having mood swings is a common factor in one’s life, especially in adolescence. They also say that all people in one point experience sadness, even the happiest people. But Bipolar Disorder is real. The illness isn’t just about being a little depressed once in a while. Bipolar Mood Disorder, or manic depression, is a serious mental disorder that causes a person to have dramatic changes in his/her mood, ability to function, and energy level. It can cause damaged relationships, risky
behaviors, and even suicidal tendencies in one’s life if left untreated. The illness consists of the changing of mood between two emotional stages; mania and depression. Although the person alternates between these two episodes, at one point he/she may experience normal moods.
Bipolar Disorder was first noticed in the second century, making it one of the oldest known illnesses. The first symptoms of mania and depression were recognized by Physician Arateus of Cappadocia, an ancient city in Turkey. He felt that mania and depression could be linked to each other and that they both were different types of the same disease. Mania is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. It divides into two categories; hypomania and mania. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. During hypomania, one may feel extremely good, excited, and excessively happy. One feels like they can accomplish anything. “At first when I’m high, it’s tremendous … ideas are fast … like shooting stars you follow until brighter ones appear…
All shyness disappears, the right words and gestures are suddenly there … uninteresting people, things become intensely interesting. Sensuality is pervasive, the desire to seduce and be seduced is irresistible. Your marrow is infused with unbelievable feelings of ease, power, well-being, omnipotence, euphoria … you can do anything … but somewhere this changes.” This phase does not last forever. For someone who is bipolar, hypomania can evolve into actual mania, or depression. During Mania, one can go from being happy to feeling furious, irritable, and aggressive. Some symptoms of mania include increased reckless behaviors, talkativeness, sudden shifts from being happy and joyful to being hostile, restlessness, racing thoughts, and excessive energy. Aside from mania, the other symptom of bipolar disorder is depression. During depression, one may feel sad, guilty, anxious, hopeless and/or worthless. Other symptoms of depression include loss of energy, loss of interest in things one used to enjoy doing, difficulty concentrating, feeling restless and agitated, insomnia, changes in appetite, and thoughts of death and attempting suicide.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are many types of Bipolar Disorder; Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic
disorder, and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. In Bipolar I, one goes through severe mood shifts from mania to depression. Bipolar II is a milder form of Bipolar II, containing milder episodes of hypomania that then can evolve into severe depression. Cyclothymic disorder consists of brief periods of depression that last shorter and less extensive than full episodes of depression. Last is rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. The illness is described as rapid-cycling when one has more than 4 episodes in less than a 1-year period. The shift of polarity from mania to depression in rapid-cycling can be in one week, or even as short as in a day. The rapid-cycling pattern can increase severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
Causes of Bipolar
Like any other psychological disorder, there is no exact cause of Bipolar Disorder. It can contribute from many different factors, the main ones being biological, genetic, and environmental. Scientists believe that primarily it is caused from biological factors. This is because in people who are bipolar, some of their brain’s neurotransmitters, which are the chemical transmitters of the brain, don’t function properly. Another factor that contributes to Bipolar Disorder is genetics. Bipolar Mood Disorder tends to run in families, so if one’s parent has bipolar disorder, he/she is 15-25% more likely to inherit the illness. The last factor that causes bipolar is environmental influence. Factors in life such as major stress or a life-changing event can trigger a biological reaction, thus making one develop Bipolar Disorder.
Treatment is available to anyone who suffers from Bipolar Mood Disorder. The illness is often treated with medications. When prescribed medications, the patient is required to take daily medications such as mood-stabilizers. They are the most effective solutions for Bipolar Disorder, along with Lithium. Psychotherapy also plays an important part in treating the illness. If considering counseling, you can consult your family doctor. They may recommend psychotherapy, and prescribe medications for the disease. Other professionals one can visit are psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists with a professional degree in the field of the brain.
Mood Stabilizers have the ability to decrease the severity of depression and mania, and also decreases the frequency in which they happen. The most common type of mood stabilizer is Lithium, which has been known for helping people who deal with mood swings for years.
Bipolar Mood Disorder is actually a serious mental disorder which causes one’s mood to shift dramatically in a period of time. The symptoms of bipolar include mania, which is the high, and depression, which is the low. The illness can affect one’s mood, behavior, and way of living, and can also make concentrating difficult. Depending on the type of the disease, one can change mood in months, weeks, or in days. Bipolar Disorder can be caused from many factors, including genetic, biological, and environmental. Many people suffer from this illness, but luckily there is a solution to improving it. With medications and psychotherapy, one can regulate their mood swings and their severity, making Bipolar Disorder easier to deal with.
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