You may have watched Shameless and saw a mention of bipolar disorder in it. What is this disease and how to understand that you have bipolar disorder? We will tell you in a new article.
What is bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder (formerly manic-depressive disorder) is an illness characterized by alternating depressive and manic episodes. Between these episodes, the person may also experience other, milder symptoms, or feel normal. Everything varies from patient to patient.
How is bipolar disorder different from depression?
During bipolar disorder, depressive episodes are often indistinguishable from regular depression, so they are often confused. However, sometimes such episodes are shorter, often differ in such symptoms as slowness of thoughts, movements. I also want to sleep all the time.
Bipolar disorder is diagnosed only after a manic or hypomanic episode occurs.
How to know if you have bipolar disorder
You need to monitor the symptoms and consult a doctor for advice if you find something disturbing. Just because you have occasional bad moods and occasional good moods doesn’t mean you have bipolar disorder.
Only a doctor can diagnose you with bipolar disorder!
To exclude pathologies, laboratory tests are usually prescribed.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
During bipolar disorder, affective states such as mania and depression are distinguished. They are opposite in many ways. More on each condition below.
Manic phase — symptoms
According to doctors, the manic phase of bipolar disorder includes five stages.
Hypomanic stage characterized by emotional instability. A person in this stage looks cheerful and cheerful, not at all suspicious. Symptoms:
- Increased emotionality.
- Problems with sleep and falling asleep.
- Physical and psychological vitality.
Hypomania can be extremely difficult to distinguish from an inspired or joyful mood. However, if during such a period a person experiences difficulty with concentration, short-term tension. Sometimes a person often consumes alcohol too actively.
Stage of pronounced mania characterized by aggressive-irritable mood, euphoria. This already looks more suspicious. Symptoms:
- A constant desire to joke, to make others laugh.
- Reducing the amount of sleep to 4 hours.
- Lots of pointless and eccentric ideas.
- Outbursts of anger, irritability.
Stage of manic frenzy characterized by the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech.
- Sharp movements.
- Increased activity.
Stage of motor calming and reactive stages characterized by a gradual decrease in physical and mental activity, as well as a return to a normal state.
Depressive phase — symptoms
The depressive stage of bipolar disorder usually occurs in four stages.
The initial stage of depression characterized by depressed and depressed mood, as well as the following symptoms:
- Bad mood, depression especially in the morning, by the evening usually the mood and condition improves.
- Sleep disorders — you want to sleep or vice versa a person suffers from insomnia.
Stage of increasing depression characterized by a complete absence or a significant decrease in appetite. The following symptoms occur in most patients:
- Increased anxiety, insomnia.
- Decreased performance.
- The mood worsens.
Stage of severe depression differs by thoughts about the meaninglessness of existence, a person at this stage feels unnecessary and unhappy, as if the whole world is against him. There are also the following symptoms:
- Suicidal thoughts, feelings of anxiety, fear.
- Unwillingness to move, zero performance.
Reactive stage of depression differs in that the symptoms are smoothly smoothed out and disappear.
How Bipolar Disorder Works
This disorder is prone to relapse, and varies from person to person, so the number of episodes in a lifetime varies from a couple to a couple of dozen.
First episode often occurs in people aged 15 to 35 years. According to doctors, if the first period of mania came at a later age, the cause of this may be a somatic disease.
The frequency of episodes always varies from person to person and also depends on other diseases. For example, hypothyroidism increases the frequency of episodes of bipolar disorder. In the rapidly cycling form of the disorder, episodes occur more than four times a year.
Negative Consequences of Bipolar Disorder
Relapses of bipolar disorder often lead to divorce, dismissal from work, disability. Bipolar disorder is associated with an increased risk of suicide, episodes of self-harm.
Patients with bipolar disorder during episodes often abuse alcohol, forget about its responsible consumption.
How to help yourself with bipolar disorder
The main thing is accept your predisposition and episodes of illness, as well as — ask your doctor about all the ways of self-help. Google is good, of course. But only when it comes to Olivier recipes. Mental health is no joke. Stressful situations can seriously increase susceptibility and the likelihood of a new episode.
With proper self-help, you can significantly reduce the recurrence of the disease. This includes not only medicines prescribed by a doctor, but also lifestyle change. Less stress, proper nutrition, proper sleep schedule.
It won’t work without medication. The main means of preventing recurrence is either ongoing treatment or taking medication immediately after the onset of symptoms, depending on the complexity of the disease.
Get help from loved ones. It has been proven that it is much better for a person with bipolar disorder if his loved ones can support him at different stages of the disease. If someone from your environment believes that the disease is not serious, starts pecking at you or shaming you, you should get rid of this person, interrupt communication with him. Many people with bipolar disorder may devalue the problem, hide it, and only make it worse.
Do not make important decisions during episodes. Make it a rule and tell your loved ones not to let you make important decisions during mania or depression.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
If you suspect bipolar disorder, you should consult a psychiatrist. With the right treatment, the episodes of the disease are reduced significantly.
Under no circumstances should bipolar disorder be treated on its own! Contact your doctor for help.