Widely debated as to whether bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a medical or mental illness is of little consequence to those who suffer from this debilitating condition. Many people have been subject to the disease throughout history, medical experts citing Vincent van Gogh as a probability. Scientists believe that the causes come from multiple factors that induce a chemical imbalance in the brain. Symptoms include, mania, depression, and mood swings. Medication and psychotherapy have been proven successful in its treatment and prognosis. Both men and women are equally affected.
Bipolar Disorder, the Illness
Bipolar Disorder, traditionally termed manic depression, generally manifests itself in the late teens or young adult years, although children have been affected also. Its main characteristics are mania, an elevated impetus toward energy and creativity, depression, sadness and gloominess, and mood swings, ups and downs in emotional stability. There is a strong belief by medical experts that it runs in families, and because of this, is exacerbated by life events and circumstances in a person’s environment or relationship to the outside society. Left untreated, some people with bipolar disorder may become agitated, delusional, or hallucinatory.
Symptoms of mania may include:
- Happy or irritable mood
- Amplified energy, mental, and physical levels
- Racing thoughts with increased talking
- Flight of ideas with rapid speech patterns
- Delusions of grandeur
- Risky behavior
- Alcohol abuse, sexual iappropriateness, or out of control spending
Symptoms of depression may include:
- Energy loss
- Long periods of melancholy
- Energy and activity depletion
- Signs of irritability and restlessness
- Unable to focus or decide on things
- Signs of anxiety and worry
- Lack of interest in projects once important
- Signs of hopelessness and guilt
- Suicidal ideations
- Changes in food consumption, eating less or more
- Sleep disturbance and deprivation
Bipolar Disorder has been classified further into three subtypes, bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.
Each subtype addresses the gravity of mood episodes.The bipolar spectrum describes the range of the differences between each subtype. A mixed state entails the occurance of mania and depression simultaneously. Rapid cycling occurs when four or more episodes develop in a twelve month period. More women than men suffer from this.
Bipolar Disorder, the Treatment
Treatments for bipolar disorder consist of both medications and psychotherapy. Some medications used for mania are, lithium, depakote, and zyprexa, and for bipolar depression, symbyax and seroquel. Those used for the delaying or preventing of symptoms are, abilify and lamictal. Psychotherapy, either on an individual or group basis can be a powerful followup to a medication regimen. Sufferers can talk about their feelings in regards to their medications or life’s challenges and problems they face in regards to their illness. All of these treatment modalities must be administered by a trained professional in the mental health field. Sufferers have been known to miss therapy appointments, stop taking their medications, or feeling that they can “go it alone”. Many feel that they do not have an illness, that people are just trying to give them “a hard time”, so to speak. All of this could lead to a person becoming a danger to him or herself and others. If a situation escalates into this scenario, then authorities will be notified and hospitalization may occur depending on the nature and severity of the problem. It is important for treatment centers to give the best care possible by also deciding on the best SEO For Drug Rehab.
The illness and the treatment of bipolar disorder is a medical specialty that has gained tremendous recognition and support in the modern world and clinical sciences. There is no longer a need to fear and shun sufferers of this debilitating disease. The general public needs to be further educated and involved in programs that promote the wellbeing of millions of people. The most important part of this endeavor is to open one’s mind and heart to understanding what being bipolar is all about.