Bipolar disorder is a serious brain disorder in which a person goes through unusual mood changes. It is also known as manic depression and under this condition a person experiences an unusual change in mood, energy levels and the ability to carry out tasks. This disorder is characterized by the experience of high mood in which a person feels extreme happiness and excitement and by the experience of low mood in which a person feels extremely sad. The high mood is known as manic episodes and low mood is known as a depressive episode.
1. Manic episodes
Manic episodes are described as abnormally elevated or irritable mood which lasts for at least one week. People who experience manic episodes finds an increase in the speed they think and due to this rapid thought process, they become easily angered when other people don’t seem to understand them or like their ideas. People who suffer from manic episodes often think that they are better than others and are always right. Lack of sleep or a decreased need for sleep is another most common symptom that occurs during manic episodes.
2. Depressive episodes
Depressive episodes are those periods in which a person experiences low mood, a persistent feeling of sadness, and they often find lack of interest in those activities in which they used to find pleasure. Depressive episodes are often accompanied by anxiety and due to the anxiety, people often find difficulty sleeping. Disrupt sleep is one of the most common symptom of depressive episodes. Also, suicide attempts are most common in this form of episodes as when people are tired of their sadness and hopelessness, they think of committing suicide.
Hypomanic episodes last for at least four days and they are characterized as a milder form of manic episodes. It is severe and causes significant decreases the capability of doing everyday activities and socialize.
4. Mixed episodes
In mixed episodes, people experience mood that changes rapidly and it is a condition in which the symptoms of both, manic episodes and depressive episodes are experienced. It is often accompanied by the hopelessness and it is considered to be at high risk for suicidal behaviors due to anxiety disorders.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
1. Bipolar 1 disorder - It is the most common and the most severe type of disorder in which a person experiences at least one manic or mixed episode and severe depressive episodes.
2. Bipolar 2 disorder - It is characterized by mostly depressive episodes which are occasionally accompanied by the hypomanic episodes. Hypomanic episodes are milder than manic episodes but make it difficult for a person to perform tasks.
3. Cyclothymic disorder - This type of disorder is described as fluctuations in the mood which involves the periods of hypomanic episodes and depressive episodes. It is a chronic disorder in which the severity varies from person to person.
4. Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified - It is characterized by the condition in which a person experiences symptoms of the manic episode and depressive episode but, their symptoms do not fit into the types of bipolar disorders. Such episodes are known as the bipolar disorder not otherwise specified.
A severe form of bipolar disorder is known as rapid cycling bipolar disorder and it is characterized by the occurrence of four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania or mixed state during the previous 12 months.
Symptoms of Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorders are often accompanied by the changes in the ability to perform tasks and in the cognitive function. It affects the way of doing daily activities and sometimes, it also affects the concentrating power.
- Having trouble sleeping
- Becoming more active than usual
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Eating disorders
- Fluctuations in energy level
Causes of Bipolar disorder
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is still not known but there are some possible causes of this mental disorder such as
Genes highly increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder because it is believed that this disorder runs in the family. Children with parents having bipolar disorder are more likely to develop this disorder as compared to those children who do not have any family history of bipolar disorder.
There are several environmental factors that play a vital role in the development of bipolar disorder. There are several pieces of evidence that suggest that stress greatly contributes to the onset of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and can be considered to be responsible for the development.
3. Brain functioning
The brain of the people with bipolar disorder differs from the brain of the healthy person. There is an important relationship between cognitive function and the development of bipolar disorder. Researchers have found out the differences in the average size of the brain of a person suffering from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a serious disorder and it is not diagnosed easily. It is necessary to know about the symptoms of this disorder in order to be careful. Share this post with your family and friends and create awareness. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!!