Bipolar: Mood Swings or An Alarming Mental Health Condition
A feeling of confusion, agitation, fear, and anxiety mixed up with sudden changes in mood and inability to take action is a matter of concern. Feeling doubtful or staying indecisive for the maximum amount of time may make you feel like giving up on the world. Then, you might be at the initial stage of bipolar disorder, and you should consult your medical healthcare provider for a clinical diagnosis.
It isn’t true if you think you are the only one dealing with a rare condition. The National Institute of Mental Health report claims that 2.8 % of United States adults (or about 5 million people) have bipolar diagnoses. People dealing with bipolar disorder experience changes in mood, energy level, and activities that can make day-to-day living difficult.
Basic details of bipolar disorder
The National Institute of Mental Health, or NIMH, defines bipolar disorder symptoms as alternating episodes of severe high and low mood. Changes in energy levels, ability to focus, sleep patterns, and other conditions can dramatically impact a person’s life, including work, behavior, relations, and much more.
With growing stress and changes in lifestyle, most people experience changes in mood at times, but people suffering from bipolar disorder experience more intensity than regular mood changes, and other symptoms may occur. Some individuals experience psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
The mood may be stable between episodes for months or years, especially if the person follows a treatment plan. Treatment enables people with this mental health condition to work, study, and live a whole and productive life. However, medications are not the best option as they may make the person feel better until they take them; once they stop the treatment, the symptoms can return.
How does an individual know that they have bipolar disorder?
To receive a bipolar disorder diagnosis, one must experience at least a period of mania or hypomania. Both conditions involve feelings of excitement, high energy, and impulsivity, but hypomania marks less severe symptoms than mania.
Some people with this mental health condition also experience major depressive episodes due to the inability to communicate during attacks. Different bipolar disorder types involve different sets of these symptoms. So, firstly we need to get details about the types of bipolar disorders.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
- Bipolar I disorder includes high-intensity mood episodes from severe mania to depression.
- Bipolar II disorder is not an extreme but a milder form of mood elevation that involves mild episodes of hypomania altering with periods of severe depression.
- Cyclothymic disorder is a series of brief episodes of hypomanic symptoms that alternates with short bouts of depressive symptoms. They are not as extensive as full depressive episodes or full hypomanic episodes.
Bipolar I disorder :
This condition includes extreme erratic behavior, with manic periods lasting at least a week or the severity requiring one to take medical care. Also, have an intense down period lasting for at least two weeks. Diagnosing this mental health condition requires symptoms that affect daily function and at least one episode of mania that persists for at least a week.
Bipolar II disorder :
In this form, you also experience erratic highs and lows, but it is not as extreme as bipolar I disorder. A diagnosis of this type of bipolar disorder requires at least one episode of hypomania lasting for four days or more and involves three or more hypomania symptoms. Cyclothymic disorder involves manic and depressive behavior periods lasting at least two years in adults and one year in children and teens. The symptoms are less intense than the other two previously mentioned disorder types.
Bipolar disorder can make a person feel invincible or untouchable. Common symptoms include:
- Having sex without taking a barrier method.
- Spending sprees.
- Using an excessive amount of alcohol or specific drugs.
But impulsiveness and risk-taking behavior can also show up in various other ways. You may even:
- Quit the job abruptly
- Making significant investments on a whim
- Taking off on a road trip on own without telling anyone
Is there any treatment option available for Bipolar Disorder Treatment?
Finding a permanent treatment might not be possible, but the management of the symptoms of this medical condition is possible. The measures may include counseling, medications, and lifestyle changes together with some natural remedies.
- Antipsychotics, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- Mood stabilizers, such as lithium (Lithobid)
- Benzodiazepines, a category of anti-anxiety medicine that works as a short-term treatment
- Antidepressant-antipsychotics, such as Symbyax (a combination of fluoxetine and olanzapine)
Your medical healthcare provider may recommend you use this treatment method rather than taking medications. Psychotherapy is standard in children and elderly adults (65 years or older) who can not handle potent drugs.
It is one of the best therapeutic approaches to help individuals learn about a condition and its treatment. The knowledge can go a long way towards helping an individual going through this condition and offering a helping hand. It can help you recognize early symptoms of extreme changes in mood and manage them effectively.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
It is a talk therapy that helps individuals spot and address unhelpful thoughts and change unwanted behavior patterns. Therapy offers you the chance to manage the symptoms after discussing the problem correctly. Your therapist may support understanding thought patterns, reframing distressing emotions, and learning and practicing more beneficial coping strategies.
Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy
This therapy focuses on regulating daily habits, such as exercising, sleeping, and eating. Creating a balance in everyday basics could help you get fewer mood episodes and lessen the severity of the symptoms.
Natural remedies for bipolar disorder
Natural methods can also help you with bipolar disorder symptoms. But before trying any natural remedies, consult your doctor or psychiatrist. Some herbs and supplements may help you stabilize your mood and reduce bipolar disorder symptoms by combining them with medication and therapy. It includes Omega-3, Rhodiola Rosea, and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe).