In bipolar disorder, you are suffering from severe mood swings. Manic and depressive periods alternate. During a manic period, you are remarkably busy, happy and you do not want to make many plans. This excessive cheerfulness does not relate to what happens in your life at that time.
This also applies to a depressive period. Out of nothing, an extreme precipitation can overcome you. The symptoms of a depressed period correspond to those of a conventional (unipolar) depression. In the period between two extreme moods you usually feel and behave normally. Bipolar disorder usually begins in the 15th and 24th year of life.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder and is also called manic depression. The two extreme moods, either ‘poles,’ alternate each other. There is no pattern in the origin and duration of the periods. Sometimes a mania or depression occurs in a day, at times an extreme mood gradually develops. The severity of the complaints also differs by the period.
Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and Type 2
There are two common bipolar disorders: Type 1 and Type 2.
Bipolar Disorder Type 1
A bipolar disorder type 1 is characterized by varying periods of severe depression and mania. Between these periods, your mood is predominantly stable.
Bipolar Disorder Type 2
A bipolar disorder type 2 is reported if someone has experienced hypomania and depression at least once, but has never had a mania. The happy and excited mood is hard to distinguish from ‘normal’ excitement. Also, the complaints are not so bad that your general functioning is disturbed. Thus, the severity of the mania in a bipolar disorder can vary.
Causes Bipolar Disorder
It is not yet known how a bipolar disorder develops. However, certain conditions are known, in which you are at greater risk of manic depression. It is usually a combination of biological, social and psychological factors. Mood disorder is similar to men and women.
Two-thirds of people who are manically depressed have a family member with a mood disorder. Heredity thus plays a role in the development of bipolar disorder. If one of your parents has bipolar disorder, the chance is 10% to 15% that you are also prone to manic depression. The psychological and social factors thus affect the actual development of the disorder.
Not only have the genes played a role. The cause may also be in stressful conditions preceding the mania or depression. You may think of relationship problems, the death of a loved one or many stresses at work. An intense event can then lead to manic or depressive disorders. Also, a profound positive event may be a manic depression, for example, the birth of a child.
Certain character traits or patterns of thought may affect the onset of a manic depressive disorder. A lack of self-esteem or low self-esteem, perfectionism, or the inability to solve problems can cause bipolar disorder. This allows you to develop depressive feelings or to suffer from other symptoms of a mood disorder.
The biggest risk factor when one has bipolar disorder is substance abuse. Those who have mixed episodes are at higher risk for drug addiction because the need to feel balanced is not being met and they would do anything to make the mixed emotions stop.
Some drugs that are considered “downers” help relieve the symptoms of an episode, only to create more problems later. For example, when a person is experiencing a depressive episode, drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine send them into a manic episode, many times followed by a severe depression and other psychotic symptoms while alcohol and tranquilizers send them into a depression episode.
Anybody close to the person diagnosed bipolar disorder who is using drugs needs to be extra cautious. When a person is using drugs and is experiencing an episode, they are not themselves and may be considered very dangerous, especially when the drugs wear off, and psychotic symptoms begin to show. This can range anywhere from delusions, such as: “I think they’re out to get me,” to blaming others around them for not helping them. It is advised that those associated with a person suffering from bipolar disorder to consider this as their cry for help and assist them in treatment as soon as possible.
Triggers for Episodes
Stress is the primary trigger for offsetting an episode. This can be a positive or negative change in someone’s life such as moving, getting fired, getting married, or a divorce. Should any severe changes happen in a person’s life who suffers from bipolar disorder, extra care and support may be necessary to ensure a successful transition.
As stated, substance abuse is also a primary trigger for offsetting an episode. While some who suffer from bipolar disorder may choose to turn to drugs to “cure” themselves, some may already be suffering from substance abuse. Any drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy may send them into a manic episode while downers such as alcohol may send them into a depression episode.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder has many different symptoms because this mood disorder has two “poles.” In a manic period, characteristics are exaggerated and excited, while depression is a strong feeling of gloom. Sometimes the manic or depressive periods are even apart. In general, help is only sought if someone suffers from depression.
Common symptoms of mania and hypomania extreme outburst of mood being excessively happy angry and quickly angry agitated cannot sit still making arguments less need for sleep, wake up at night / sleep problems talk a lot, call, send messages thoughts that hurry all sides doing a lot and making many plans, cannot stop feeling like you can do the whole world.
More sense of sex, sexually unrestrained / Sexual problems impulsively do things without taking into account adverse effects, for example driving too hard or spending too much money psychotic phenomena, delusions or hallucinations
Common symptoms of depression
being very tired or exhausted
being desperate, have no intention whatsoever
Little to no sense of self-esteem
Less interest in work or hobbies
Do not want to contact anyone, cancel appointments
Nothing to say
feel no emotions
thinking about death
sleep poorly or sleep a little, wake up early
eat less or just eat more
Little sense of sex
Difference between mania and hypomania
A mania usually lasts shorter than depression. In a manic period, your daily functioning is often disturbed because you have lost sight of reality. We speak of hypomania if complaints are milder and no problems arise in operation. The environment usually does not see any deviation. In contrast to a depressive period, hypomania is often experienced as positive.
With the fiercer variant, the mania, you usually do not know that you have behavior other than normal. You lost the view of reality, resulting in irresponsible behavior. You make a lot of arguments or spend a lot of money; you do not realize the problem yourself.
Consequences of a mania
The unobtrusive and often impulsive activities usually lead to painful consequences. Because of the lack of mental health, you think better than ever to function. Anyone who indicates a mania can expect a lot of resistance. A mania, therefore, causes many problems in the social and professional field. At the end of a mania, you often feel exhausted physically and emotionally.
Desires and hallucinations
Some people suffer from psychotic or psychosis in a manic (and sometimes depressive) period. You are faced with delusions or hallucinations, causing you to lose contact with reality. In case of a hallucination, someone sees or feels something that is not really. Thus, voice in your head can give commands or comment on the behavior. In a delusion, someone has a conviction or an idea that is not true to reality. Someone in a manic mood can, for example, get grumble or become very suspicious.
Treatment of bipolar disorder
A bipolar disorder cannot be cured but is treated to treat a normal “normal” life. A combination of therapy and medicine often results in the best results. The directive for bipolar disorder indicates that manic depression benefits from psychological conversations and good guidance in the immediate environment. In addition, information and guidance for natives are important because their lives are also affected by someone who is manic depressed. Different treatments for bipolar disorder are listed below:
In psycho-education, you will get more knowledge about bipolar disorder and learn to recognize the symptoms, which provide more insight into the disease. This will help you to live better with the disorder.
Cognitive Therapy (CGT)
In cognitive therapy, you learn that mood, thoughts, and behavior are inextricably linked. The emphasis is on recognizing timely mania or depression.
ACT is a form of behavioral therapy and stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The therapy helps to reduce negative feelings. The ACT is a practical and concrete method of acceptance.
Psychomotor therapy (PMT)
At PMT it is about the interaction between body and mind that is being worked through the body. The treatment can focus on increasing body awareness and learn to listen to the signals of your body.
Medication to Treat Bipolar Disorder
While there is no cure for bipolar disorder yet, there are various ways to treat the symptoms and prevent episodes. Most help begins when medical treatment is enacted. There are many forms of counseling available, from group counseling to individual counseling. Cognitive therapy teaches the individual how to understand their disorder and how to make changes in their life through thought and behavior patterns.
If someone is suffering from bipolar disorder work 60 hours a week and goes to the bar to feel better every day after work, the cognitive therapist would see this as a road to a depressive episode and would help the individual to see and change this behavior. Family therapy has also proven to be a strong way to support loved ones suffering from this disorder. For many individuals with bipolar disorder, they feel alone and hopeless.