You may have watched Shame­less and saw a men­tion of bipo­lar dis­or­der in it. What is this dis­ease and how to under­stand that you have bipo­lar dis­or­der? We will tell you in a new arti­cle.

bipolar disorder treatment


What is bipolar disorder

Bipo­lar dis­or­der (for­mer­ly man­ic-depres­sive dis­or­der) is an ill­ness char­ac­ter­ized by alter­nat­ing depres­sive and man­ic episodes. Between these episodes, the per­son may also expe­ri­ence oth­er, milder symp­toms, or feel nor­mal. Every­thing varies from patient to patient.

How is bipolar disorder different from depression?

Dur­ing bipo­lar dis­or­der, depres­sive episodes are often indis­tin­guish­able from reg­u­lar depres­sion, so they are often con­fused. How­ev­er, some­times such episodes are short­er, often dif­fer in such symp­toms as slow­ness of thoughts, move­ments. I also want to sleep all the time.

Bipo­lar dis­or­der is diag­nosed only after a man­ic or hypo­man­ic episode occurs.

How to know if you have bipo­lar dis­or­der

You need to mon­i­tor the symp­toms and con­sult a doc­tor for advice if you find some­thing dis­turb­ing. Just because you have occa­sion­al bad moods and occa­sion­al good moods does­n’t mean you have bipo­lar dis­or­der.

Only a doc­tor can diag­nose you with bipo­lar dis­or­der!

To exclude patholo­gies, lab­o­ra­to­ry tests are usu­al­ly pre­scribed.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Dur­ing bipo­lar dis­or­der, affec­tive states such as mania and depres­sion are dis­tin­guished. They are oppo­site in many ways. More on each con­di­tion below.

Manic phase — symptoms

Accord­ing to doc­tors, the man­ic phase of bipo­lar dis­or­der includes five stages.

Hypo­man­ic stage char­ac­ter­ized by emo­tion­al insta­bil­i­ty. A per­son in this stage looks cheer­ful and cheer­ful, not at all sus­pi­cious. Symp­toms:

  • Increased emo­tion­al­i­ty.
  • Prob­lems with sleep and falling asleep.
  • Phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal vital­i­ty.

Hypo­ma­nia can be extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from an inspired or joy­ful mood. How­ev­er, if dur­ing such a peri­od a per­son expe­ri­ences dif­fi­cul­ty with con­cen­tra­tion, short-term ten­sion. Some­times a per­son often con­sumes alco­hol too active­ly.

Stage of pro­nounced mania char­ac­ter­ized by aggres­sive-irri­ta­ble mood, eupho­ria. This already looks more sus­pi­cious. Symp­toms:

  • A con­stant desire to joke, to make oth­ers laugh.
  • Reduc­ing the amount of sleep to 4 hours.
  • Lots of point­less and eccen­tric ideas.
  • Out­bursts of anger, irri­tabil­i­ty.

Stage of man­ic fren­zy char­ac­ter­ized by the fol­low­ing symp­toms:

  • Slurred speech.
  • Sharp move­ments.
  • Increased activ­i­ty.

Stage of motor calm­ing and reac­tive stages char­ac­ter­ized by a grad­ual decrease in phys­i­cal and men­tal activ­i­ty, as well as a return to a nor­mal state.

bipolar disorder depression


Depressive phase — symptoms

The depres­sive stage of bipo­lar dis­or­der usu­al­ly occurs in four stages.

The ini­tial stage of depres­sion char­ac­ter­ized by depressed and depressed mood, as well as the fol­low­ing symp­toms:

  • Bad mood, depres­sion espe­cial­ly in the morn­ing, by the evening usu­al­ly the mood and con­di­tion improves.
  • Sleep dis­or­ders — you want to sleep or vice ver­sa a per­son suf­fers from insom­nia.

Stage of increas­ing depres­sion char­ac­ter­ized by a com­plete absence or a sig­nif­i­cant decrease in appetite. The fol­low­ing symp­toms occur in most patients:

  • Increased anx­i­ety, insom­nia.
  • Decreased per­for­mance.
  • The mood wors­ens.

Stage of severe depres­sion dif­fers by thoughts about the mean­ing­less­ness of exis­tence, a per­son at this stage feels unnec­es­sary and unhap­py, as if the whole world is against him. There are also the fol­low­ing symp­toms:

  • Sui­ci­dal thoughts, feel­ings of anx­i­ety, fear.
  • Unwill­ing­ness to move, zero per­for­mance.

Reac­tive stage of depres­sion dif­fers in that the symp­toms are smooth­ly smoothed out and dis­ap­pear.

How Bipolar Disorder Works

This dis­or­der is prone to relapse, and varies from per­son to per­son, so the num­ber of episodes in a life­time varies from a cou­ple to a cou­ple of dozen.

First episode often occurs in peo­ple aged 15 to 35 years. Accord­ing to doc­tors, if the first peri­od of mania came at a lat­er age, the cause of this may be a somat­ic dis­ease.

The fre­quen­cy of episodes always varies from per­son to per­son and also depends on oth­er dis­eases. For exam­ple, hypothy­roidism increas­es the fre­quen­cy of episodes of bipo­lar dis­or­der. In the rapid­ly cycling form of the dis­or­der, episodes occur more than four times a year.

Negative Consequences of Bipolar Disorder

Relaps­es of bipo­lar dis­or­der often lead to divorce, dis­missal from work, dis­abil­i­ty. Bipo­lar dis­or­der is asso­ci­at­ed with an increased risk of sui­cide, episodes of self-harm.

Patients with bipo­lar dis­or­der dur­ing episodes often abuse alco­hol, for­get about its respon­si­ble con­sump­tion.

bipolar disorder treatment


How to help yourself with bipolar disorder

The main thing is accept your pre­dis­po­si­tion and episodes of ill­ness, as well as — ask your doc­tor about all the ways of self-help. Google is good, of course. But only when it comes to Olivi­er recipes. Men­tal health is no joke. Stress­ful sit­u­a­tions can seri­ous­ly increase sus­cep­ti­bil­i­ty and the like­li­hood of a new episode.

With prop­er self-help, you can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the recur­rence of the dis­ease. This includes not only med­i­cines pre­scribed by a doc­tor, but also lifestyle change. Less stress, prop­er nutri­tion, prop­er sleep sched­ule.

It won’t work with­out med­ica­tion. The main means of pre­vent­ing recur­rence is either ongo­ing treat­ment or tak­ing med­ica­tion imme­di­ate­ly after the onset of symp­toms, depend­ing on the com­plex­i­ty of the dis­ease.

Get help from loved ones. It has been proven that it is much bet­ter for a per­son with bipo­lar dis­or­der if his loved ones can sup­port him at dif­fer­ent stages of the dis­ease. If some­one from your envi­ron­ment believes that the dis­ease is not seri­ous, starts peck­ing at you or sham­ing you, you should get rid of this per­son, inter­rupt com­mu­ni­ca­tion with him. Many peo­ple with bipo­lar dis­or­der may deval­ue the prob­lem, hide it, and only make it worse.

Do not make impor­tant deci­sions dur­ing episodes. Make it a rule and tell your loved ones not to let you make impor­tant deci­sions dur­ing mania or depres­sion.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

If you sus­pect bipo­lar dis­or­der, you should con­sult a psy­chi­a­trist. With the right treat­ment, the episodes of the dis­ease are reduced sig­nif­i­cant­ly.

Under no cir­cum­stances should bipo­lar dis­or­der be treat­ed on its own! Con­tact your doc­tor for help.