Bipolar disorder is a psychological condition characterized by intense changes in mood or emotional state impeding everyday activities. The mood changes are categorized as mood episodes such as maniac episodes (excessively happy), hypomanic (irritable) episodes and depressive episodes (sad). Statistics suggest that approximately 4.4 percent people in the United States are grappling with bipolar-disorder.
The major difference between a typical mood swing and a mood episode in bipolar disorder is the duration and severity. Mood fluctuations in bipolar disorder do not fade away with time and people experience cynical mood changes such as feeling extremely high followed by feeling of extreme low for prolonged time. It can disrupt the relationship with loved ones and make the person less productive at work, education or daily responsibilities. People with bipolar disorder can lead a productive life if they seek help at the earliest.
What are maniac episodes?
Maniac episodes involve feeling of extreme highs, during which a person may experience symptoms such as:
- Extreme agitation or anger
- Sleep regression or insomnia
- Feeling grandiose
- High self-esteem
- Inability to focus
- Impaired ability to make decisions
- Feeling euphoric
- Racing thoughts
- Reckless behavior
- Feeling restless
- Adapting risky behavior that can cause physical harm and financial loss
Manic periods can affect a person’s daily life and responsibilities. It can lead to less productivity at workplace. It can also impact relationships.
What are Hypomania episodes?
The symptoms of hypomania are almost similar to maniac episodes, but its severity is less. It can also create impediment in performing daily activities, at workplace and relationships.
What are depressive episodes?
According to a study, published by American Family Physician Journal in 2012, people with bipolar disorder experience higher depressive episodes than maniac and hypomanic episodes.
The depressive episodes symptoms are similar to depression, which can include:
- Low energy
- Either sleeping too less or too much
- Overwhelming emotions
- Loss of concentration
- Anhedonia(not able to enjoy things that were once pleasurable)
- Feeling worthless, guilty and with low self esteem
- Physical pain with no underlying physical reasons
- Suicidal thoughts or adopting suicidal behavior
What are the types of bipolar disorder?
There are four different types of bipolar disorder and they are as follows:
- Bipolar 1 disorder: It includes seven days of extreme maniac episodes, which can be life-threatening. It is followed by 14 days of depressive episodes. During mania episodes people often cause physical harm or meet with accidents that often leads to hospitalization.
- Bipolar 2 disorder: It includes less severe form of maniac episodes known as hypomanic episodes. But the depressive episodes last for a longer period of time. The depressive episodes can either precede or follow maniac episodes. During hypomania people might feel very euphoric. The elevated mood during maniac and hypomanic episodes can disrupt lives.
- Cyclothymic disorder: It is also known as cyclothymia, which involves series of hypomania and depressive episodes that last for up to two years. In case of children it might last for one year. The symptoms do not fully fall in the criteria of depressive and maniac episodes. Symptoms of hypomania are not as severe as maniac episodes.
- Unspecified bipolar disorder: It does not include symptoms of any of the above criteria. People with unspecified bipolar disorder may experience mixed episodes, which involves depression and maniac symptoms simultaneously.
During psychotic episodes people drift away from reality and may experience delusional thoughts and hallucinations. They may also experience rapid cycling of thoughts.
Potential causes and risk factors for bipolar disorder
- Research has shown that people with genetic predisposition for bipolar disorder have greater risk to develop bipolar disorder during exposure to environmental trigger.
- People having family history of bipolar disorder have higher chances to develop bipolar disorder.
- Environmental factors such as trauma, physical injury, high level of stress in life, job loss, death of loved ones, and financial stress can trigger bipolar-disorder.
- Misuse of harmful substances can also act as an unknown trigger for bipolar-disorder.
- Sleep deprivation can compound risk of bipolar disorder.
Treatments available for Bipolar-disorder
Mental health practitioners suggest individualized intervention programs based on severity and type of symptoms the person is battling.
The bipolar disorder treatments aim to manage symptoms because it is a lifelong condition.
The treatment methods include:
- Medication: The practitioner often gives a variety of medication such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants for bipolar-disorder. Research suggests that lithium is the most effective mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder.
- Psychotherapy: It can include therapies such as talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (to transform thinking process that is contributing towards symptoms for bipolar-disorder), group therapy and family therapy. Therapy can enable a patient with coping skills and in establishing a healthy routine to combat the condition.
How we can help?
There are various bipolar disorders with overlapping symptoms, and it can be an arduous task to recognize the actual reasons behind your underlying problem. Hence, it is advisable to seek professional help at the earliest to deal with the condition before it gets worse.
Medical Concierge provides inpatient and residential programs at our bipolar disorder treatment centers. We provide evidence-based therapies, customized bipolar treatment programs and continuous care to ensure full recovery. To know more, call us now on our 24/7 toll free number 877-636-0042 and get immediate assistance.