Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental illness that causes severe mood swings that include emotional ups and downs (depression or hypomania) and depression (depression).
When you are depressed, you become sad or frustrated and lose interest in doing more activities. You may feel euphoric, energetic, or unusually irritable when your mood changes to mania or hypomania (less than severe mania).
These mood swings affect sleep, energy levels, activity, judgment, behavior, and thinking ability. Mood swings occur infrequently or several times a year. While most people experience some emotional symptoms at different times, others have no symptoms at all.
Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, mood swings and other symptoms can be controlled by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder can be treated with medication and psychological counseling.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder
There are several types of bipolar disorder related to mania or hypomania and depression. Symptoms of bipolar disorder cause unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, resulting in distress and difficulty in life.
Bipolar I disorder: You have had at least one episode of insanity that occurs before or during periods of major depression. In some cases, mania may even lead to separation from reality (psychosis).
Bipolar II disorder: You’ve had at least one major depressive episode and one hypomanic episode, but you’ve never had a manic episode.
Cyclothymic disorder: You have had at least two years – or a year in children and adolescents – in many periods of hypomania and depressive symptoms (although less severe than major depression).
Other types include bipolar disorder, which is caused by certain medications or alcohol, or by a condition such as Cushing’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
Bipolar II disorder is not a milder type of bipolar disorder but is a separate diagnosis. While periods of bipolar I mania can be severe and dangerous, people with bipolar II can be depressed for a long time, causing significant disturbances. Although bipolar disorder occurs at any age, it is most commonly diagnosed in adolescence or early 20s. Symptoms vary from person to person and from time to time.
Mania and hypomania
Mania and hypomania are two distinct types of episodes, but their symptoms are the same. Mania is more severe than hypomania and causes more significant problems at work, school and social activities, and relationship problems. Mania also detaches from reality (psychosis) and highlights the need for hospitalization. Slowly Both mania and hypomania include 3 or more of these symptoms:
Increase activity, energy or stimulation
Exaggerated feeling of well-being and self-confidence (happiness)
Reduce the need for sleep
Poor decision making, for example, unparalleled purchases, sexual risks or stupid investments
The major part of depression
A period of major depression includes symptoms that are severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty in daily activities such as work, school, social activities, or relationships. A section contains 5 or more of these symptoms:
Depressed mood such as feeling sad, hopeless (in children and adolescents depressed mood appears as irritability)
Loss of interest or lack of pleasure in all activities – or almost all of them – has been identified
Significant weight loss when not on a diet, weight gain or loss or increase in appetite (in children, not gaining weight as expected is a sign of depression)
Insomnia or excessive sleep
Restlessness or slowness of behavior
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feeling worthless or guilty too much
Decreased ability to think and concentrate or uncertainty
Thinking, planning or attempting suicide
Other features of bipolar disorder
Signs and symptoms of bipolar I and II disorders include other characteristics such as anxiety disorder, melancholy, psychosis, or others. In addition, bipolar disorder occurs during pregnancy or changes with the seasons.
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Symptoms in children and adolescents
It is difficult to identify the symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents. It is often difficult to tell if these are normal ups and downs as a result of stress or trauma or signs of a mental health problem other than bipolar disorder. Children and adolescents may have periods of major depression or manic or hypomanic episodes, but this pattern is different from adults with bipolar disorder, and moods change rapidly during episodes.
Some children may have mood swings at different times and without symptoms. The most prominent signs of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents include severe mood swings that are different from their usual mood swings.
When to see a doctor?
Despite the extreme mood, people with bipolar disorder often do not recognize how much their emotional instability is disrupting their lives and that of their loved ones, and they do not receive the treatment they need. Some people with bipolar disorder may enjoy greater euphoria and productivity cycles.
However, this happiness always leads to an emotional collapse that can leave you depressed, worn out, and perhaps in financial, legal, or relationship problems. See a doctor or mental health professional if you have symptoms of depression or mania. Bipolar disorder does not improve on its own. Getting treatment from a mental health professional with experience with bipolar disorder will help you control your symptoms.
When can I get emergency help?
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are common among people with bipolar disorder. If you are thinking of harming yourself, call the emergency or social emergency immediately. If someone around you is at risk of suicide or attempted suicide, make sure someone stays with that person, then call the emergency room.
Causes of bipolar disorder
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is still unknown, but several factors are involved, including:
Biological differences. People with bipolar disorder appear to have brain changes. The significance of these changes is still unclear, but ultimately helps determine the causes.
Genetics. Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have first-degree relatives, such as siblings or parents. Researchers are trying to find genes that may play a role in causing bipolar disorder.
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Risk factors for bipolar disorder
Factors that increase the risk of bipolar disorder or act as a trigger for the first episode include:
Having a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder
Periods of extreme stress such as the death of a loved one or a traumatic event
Drug or alcohol abuse
Complications of bipolar disorder
If left untreated, bipolar disorder can lead to serious problems that affect all aspects of life, such as:
Problems with drugs and alcohol
Suicide or suicide attempt
Legal or financial problems
Poor work or school performance
If you have bipolar disorder, you may have another condition that needs to be treated with bipolar disorder. Some conditions can worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder or reduce the success of treatment. Examples are:
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder
Alcohol or drug problems
Physical problems such as heart disease, thyroid problems, headaches or obesity
Prevent bipolar disorder
There is no safe way to prevent bipolar disorder. However, treating the first signs of mental health disorder helps prevent the worsening of bipolar disorder or other mental health conditions. If you have bipolar disorder, some strategies can help prevent minor symptoms from turning into full-blown episodes of mania or depression:
Pay attention to the warning signs. Addressing symptoms early can prevent episodes from getting worse. You may have identified a pattern for bipolar episodes and their triggers. Contact your doctor if you feel you are in a period of depression or mania. Involve family or friends in warning signs.
Avoid drugs and alcohol. Using alcohol or recreational drugs can make symptoms worse and make them more likely to return.
Take your medications exactly as prescribed. You may be tempted to stop treatment, but do not. Spontaneous discontinuation or reduction of the dose may cause withdrawal effects, worsen symptoms, or cause recurrence.
Translator: Elahe Zarei