What is bipolar disorder and how can it be treated?

What is bipolar disorder and how can it be treated?
January 21 09:04 2019 Print This Article

Bipolar disorder is a medical condition in which people go through extreme mood swings. The person experiencing it can go from happy to angry without any reason. Besides the mood swings, one can have lack of control or uncontrolled impulse. Bipolar disorder can be categorized into three different conditions; bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder and further the mood episodes are categorized as mania, hippomania and depressive.

In case of Type I bipolar disorder the person has one manic episode and periods where he or she can be extremely depressed. While the one with type II bipolar disorder doesn’t experience mania rather they experience very high energy as well as bouts of depression and they keep switching.  The third type or cyclothymic disorder is basically the same as type II but is comparatively less severe.

What are the causes?

  1. Structure of brain

For years, researchers are trying to prove that, there exist some link between neurotransmitter and mood disorders as the drugs that alter these transmitters also relieves mood disorder. High or low level of specific neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine or imbalance between them is said to be the reason for developing bipolar disorder. According to some other research, it has been found that sensitivity of the receptors on nerve cell can also contribute to bipolar issues.

  1. Genetic factor

According to a research report in families with bipolar disorder, the first-degree relatives are more likely to have a mood disorder like issues. Bipolar disorder can be inherited and therefore genetic vulnerability is one of the reasons developing such illness.

  1. Environmental triggers

Environmental triggers might vary as per depressive episode and manic episode.

– For Depressive Episodes
once someone experiences bipolar disorder, small stresses may trigger depressive episodes. Reading a sad book, talking to someone who’s depressed, receiving a poor grade on an assignment, or even catching cold might can be some of the triggers. Other factors include physical injury, lack of sleep or exercise and hormonal changes.

-For Manic Episodes
there are some unique triggers of manic or hypomanic episodes including falling in love, late night partying, loud music, starting a creative project or vacationing.

Diagnosing bipolar disorder is not really easy and one needs to go through multiple tests including physical exam, mental health evaluation and mood journal. Medical experts may also follow some other diagnostic criteria’s.

How is bipolar disorder treated?

With the advancement in medical field, several treatments have been introduced which can help treat bipolar disorder efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the useful and verified treatment options

  1. Proper medication

Multiple drugs have been designed which helps to control the mood of the sufferer. The person with bipolar disorder must be provided with mood stabilizers, antipsychotics or combination of antidepressant and antipsychotics as they help to balance the neurotransmitters in the brain resulting in a calming effect. Along with routine medicines, one may also consider psychotherapy. The most recommended therapies for this medical condition includes cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy.

  1. Change in lifestyle

Combination of routine medicines along with some positive change in lifestyle can provide some great result instantly. Some minor changes like following proper routine especially for eating and sleeping, learning to recognize mood swings, asking dear ones for the support, trying to establish good and clear communication with your doctor.

If treated well, people with bipolar disorder can lead a full and productive life.

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