Bipolar disoder

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What is the definition of bipolar disorder?

It is a manic state of exhilaration, confidence, and activity, and a depressive state of recurrent depression throughout life. Depression periods are usually more frequent and longer (less than 3.7 times, up to 37 times) than bipolar disorder. Compared to the depressive phase of depression, the depressive phase of bipolar disorder begins at a younger age (teens or twenties), often recurs, is accompanied by mood swings, irritability, anger and impulsive behavior, and includes overeating. It can manifest itself in the form of hypersomnia.

Symptoms of Manic Depression

In the 'manic phase', even if you sleep less and eat less, your energy and motivation are so high that your head turns frightfully fast. When you fall into 'depression', you have no fun, no motivation, no appetite, can't sleep, feel anxious, agitated, weak, aching here and there, unable to concentrate, negative thoughts, regrets, guilt, and thoughts of wanting to die.

(1) Manic symptoms

  • Mania can be diagnosed when:

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired.

  • Increased activity, energy or agitation.

  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)

  • Decreased need for sleep.

  • Unusual talkativeness.

  • Racing thoughts.

  • Distractibility

(2) Symptons of depression

  • feeling sad, hopeless or irritable most of the time.

  • lacking energy.

  • difficulty concentrating and remembering things.

  • loss of interest in everyday activities.

  • feelings of emptiness or worthlessness.

  • feelings of guilt and despair.

  • feeling pessimistic about everything.

  • self-doubt.

Even people with bipolar disorder do not always alternate between mania and depression. The period of onset of the depressive phase varies from a few weeks to several years, and the manic phase also sometimes goes from about a week to a year, and even when the depression and mania appear alternately, and sometimes a mixture of depression mania appear. Bipolar disorder is made up of very complex combinations. A patient who exhibits mania at least once should be considered manic, even if he has symptoms of depression.

Causes of bipolar disorder

It is a brain disease that causes problems such as neurotransmitters, activity of brain cell circuits, and hormonal balance. Insomnia and hypersomnia are also symptoms of manic or depressive phase, but insomnia or disrupted sleep-wake rhythm are factors that cause/exacerbate the disease. In the case of women, it is easy to induce depression even after childbirth or menopause when the menstrual cycle (about one week immediately before the start of menstruation) and hormonal changes are severe. In this case, special names such as 'premenstrual syndrome', 'postpartum depression', and 'menopausal depression' are sometimes given. In addition to that, it is closely related to seasonal changes, especially in sunlight. Winter is the season with the least amount of sunlight in the northern hemisphere, and you may be more vulnerable to depression in late autumn and early winter, when days are getting shorter than in midwinter.

Treatment of bipolar disorder

There are several treatment methods for bipolar disorder (bipolar disorder), including drug therapy, interview therapy, education, and social support. Drug treatment is the most important treatment, and when selecting a drug, the characteristics of the symptoms and the individual's vulnerability to expected side effects should be considered. In addition to alleviating the current symptoms, a plan for drug maintenance should be established to prevent recurrence in the future. It is important to recognize that bipolar disorder is a chronic disease, so even if symptoms temporarily improve, continuous treatment is required. Patients and their families need to be educated that medications should be taken regularly and over long periods of time. Cognitive therapy or family therapy in combination with drug therapy can help lower the recurrence rate than when drug therapy alone is administered. You should also pay attention to the stressors associated with relapses and exacerbations, and the circadian and seasonal rhythms of life. Manic depression can lead a healthy and stable life if you maintain the right lifestyle related to the circadian cycle along with steady drug treatment. Since an accurate diagnosis is most important, it is recommended to see a specialist if bipolar disorder is suspected.

Just talking about your issues with someone can really help clarify your position and options. If you still don’t know who to contact, reach out to the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, any day, 24/7.

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