Bipolar Disorder Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on July 31, 2012

What is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar Disorder is a psychiatric illness characterized by a mood disorder. It is also known as manic depression. People suffering from Bipolar Disorder fluctuate between extreme mood swings. They alternate between two extreme moods - extreme...

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.sadness (depression) and euphoric happiness (mania)a These occur in cycles, and in between these mood swings, they usually have a normal lifef


Bipolar disorder symptoms: Depression and mania are the two opposite and alternate episodes that occur in bipolar disordere

Depression: The depressive episodes usually last longer and occur more frequently than manic onese They are characterized by:

  • Crying spells and sadness
  • They may feel so depressed that they may not get out of bed, change their clothes or even comb their hair
  • While some may over-eat, most others lose interest in food
  • Some have difficulty falling asleep (insomnia), while some sleep too much (hypersomnolence)
  • They have trouble thinking clearly and may forget to do even simple everyday things
  • They withdraw from friends
  • They withdraw from hobbies which had earlier given them pleasure
  • They are overwhelmed with feelings of pessimism, worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness
  • Some develop pains and ailments which have no actual physical cause
  • Some may even think about suicide

Mania: During this phase, the person may feel full of energy and be full of grandiose plansn

  • They become irritable and often lose their temper
  • Talking too fast, as if they can't keep up with their thoughtst Speech is also pressured
  • Increased gestures like tapping feet, pacing
  • Intake of food and sleep decreases
  • Unrealistic and reckless behavior like wild driving, spending sprees or increase in sexual affairs
  • Self esteem becomes highly inflated

Causes of bipolar disorder: Doctors have still not been able to discover the actual cause of bipolar disorder, but they have narrowed down a few factors which trigger iti

  • Chemical imbalance in the braini When the levels of these chemicals (norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin) are too high, the person suffers from mania, and when it is too low, depression occurs
  • Geneticsc If any other family member suffers from BD, others are also at risks But usually the condition is triggered off by a stress factor
  • Sometimes drug use, emotional stress or an illness can trigger off this disease

Treatment of bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder has no cure, but with treatment people can lead a moderately stable lifef

  • Medication: doctors may prescribe certain medicines, such as anti-depressants and mood stabilizers
  • Counseling may help
  • Family therapy: the support of family and loved ones is necessaryr They need to be patient, reassuring and loving
  • Yoga is particularly helpful in treating this disorder

Borderline personality disorder: This condition is characterized by rapidly shifting moods, impulsive actions, threats of self harm, feelings of emptiness and unstable self-imageg

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