BIPOLAR DISORDER AND ITS TREATMENT
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness which is characterized by low and high mood swings. High mood swing is known as “mania”, consequently low mood swings is “depression”. A person with the depression may experience both mood swings at the same time whereby a person feels depressed and elated at the same time. In the united states alone, more than five million people have a form of the disorder. Though not likely to occur in children, symptoms may appear in a person’s early adult or late teen years. The disorder is slow at first but may escalate to extreme conditions if left untreated. The condition can also be treated if proper medications and therapy from both the patient and health professional is applied.
They are several signs connected to the mania and they include:
· Signs of mania
When a person feels happy for long periods of time, having a decreased or less need for sleep, speaking very fast, feeling extremely impulsive, being distracted easily, having too much confidence in your ability and engaging in behaviors which are risky like using a lot of money gambling and engaging in impulsive sex.
· Signs of depression
When a person feels sad for long periods of time, losing interest in things that makes you happy or enjoy doing, withdrawals from friends, having a significant loss of appetite, feeling extremely tired, speaking slowly, lack of concentration, forgetting things easily, not being able to make decisions and having suicidal thoughts.
Bipolar may be categorized into two which include Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2. Bipolar 1 is called manic depression because manic phases are clear. The person experiences extreme moods and behaviors which continue to escalate until a moment is reached where the person is completely out of control. If left uncontrolled the person may end up being hospitalized in the emergency room.
Bipolar 2 is more common than 1 because its symptoms are less severe. A person with the disorder may not easily know unless friends or loved one encourages them to seek medical advice. If they do not get treatment, the person may end up becoming depressed or severely manic.
It is sometimes difficult to diagnose bipolar unless it is extreme. People with hypomania feel too confident, have many ideas, have less sleep and feel more energetic than usual. Doctors may not easily observe the manic side hence they use different approaches to make a diagnoses. These may include a physical exam which is used to rule out other conditions, interviews and questionnaires with members of the family to evaluate on mental health. A diary may also be used to keep track of your daily moods and sleep patterns using a mental disorder statistics manual which is used with the official description to compare symptoms.
If a person is worried about having bipolar, the best option is to learn the moods symptoms and disorders. After this they can share with the doctors. During manic periods people with bipolar often deny having any problem. It is advisable to ask for help from close friends and loved ones. Bipolar is like any other disease and the best approach is to seek professional help at an early stage.
People with bipolar may also have eating disorders, substance abuse, excessive obsession and other psychological disorders. Some may end up using drugs as a way of medicating the disorder but end up at risk of substance abuse. Men may deal with the disorder by substance abuse like alcohol by contrast women experience migraines and obesity with bipolar.
How to handle depression
Depression is one symptom of bipolar which is characterized by major highs and lows. Depression keeps a person from being happy, and also makes it difficult to do the things you want. Having the right treatment results in a big difference. A person with depression may have the following symptoms; feeling sad, empty and worried, lack energy, have less sleep, not enjoying anything, eating less than usual, having a hard time remembering things and having suicidal thoughts. A person may have all or some of these symptoms. One of the best ways of knowing if you have depression is feeling down for at least one or two weeks continuously. Starting and maintaining a bipolar treatment is the best step to take. This may include a mixture of taking therapy with medicine. Doctors may describe different medication that may include antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs. Doctors may also recommend cognitive behavior therapy which include lesson on how to handle negative thoughts that is associated with depression. Steps to take in fighting depression also include; avoiding alcohol and drug abuse which may worsen the condition and inhibits medications from working. Sticking to a routine like exercising, going to bed, waking up, taking medication and eating at the same time during each day. Seeking help from friends, relatives and loved ones. They may help in keeping up with routines and appointments.
Depression can also be treated by a track of activities like sleeping, taking notes on times your moods change. People around you can also be very helpful when you want to know your patterns. Mental health professionals and family members can also watch for behavioral changes which may be a sign of oncoming issue. They may notice things which you may not notice personally. Feeling great can be quite deceitful which is why doctors and professionals recommend people to keep taking their medication in order to prevent a relapse of the condition. A person can also try new ways of managing moods, easing stress, exercising and eating a healthier diet. Alternatively, they can join a support group, yoga, massage or try practicing meditation.
Doctors usually decide on the best treatment for a bipolar patient once a diagnosis has been done. This may include; medication, behavioral therapy, treatment of substance abuse, electroconvulsive therapy. The treatment is usually managed by a licensed psychiatrist while a psychiatric nurse, a social worker and a psychologist are involved with patient’s care. People with bipolar are usually prescribed with mood stabilizing drugs which may contain Lithium and Depakene which are helpful with maniac episodes. A doctor may prescribe antidepressants drugs or antipsychotic drugs if the first treatment is not enough in improving the patient’s condition. The treatment should also be ongoing since depressive and maniac episodes are likely in the event a person stops taking the medication. Bipolar can be controlled with proper medication and a person can continue living a healthy productive life.