Types of Bipolar disorder

bipolar disorder
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Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is a chronic mental illness characterized by fluctuations in mood, emotions, and energy levels ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Less than 1% of the global population is affected by it. The low moods are similar to unipolar depression where the individual feels hopeless and discouraged, lacks energy and mental focus, and might also have physical symptoms, like eating too much or too little. Along with these lows, the thing that sets bipolar disorders different from unipolar depression is the presence of manic episodes (“high” moods). In a manic state, an individual can feel energetic, overly optimistic, euphoric, and display high self-esteem. These episodes also include the person going through pressured speech or having racing thoughts. The features reach a dangerous level and lead the person to make rash or impulsive decisions.

Like most mental health conditions, the exact cause of the bipolar disorder is unknown and there is no single bipolar gene that has been identified yet. This disorder is believed to be the result of the complicated relationship between genetic and environmental factors. It is observed that people with family members who have bipolar disorders are 10 times more likely to suffer from it as well. Some drugs and medications might also be able to trigger manic episodes. The age of onset is considered to be at its peak between 15 and 24 years. If the symptoms start to occur after 60 years of age the condition is probably because of other medical causes—e.g. neurological, endocrine, infectious (AIDS), or inflammatory disorders. These episodes have a high recurrence rate. More than 90% of the individuals who have had one manic episode are prone to have future episodes as well.

There are different types of bipolar disorders have been identified. They are:

Bipolar disorder I:

A person affected with bipolar disorder I have had at least one manic episode in his/her life. A manic episode causes the person to have abnormally elevated moods or energy levels that are accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life.

Symptoms of a manic episode include:

  • Moving suddenly from one plan to the other
  • Rapid, uninterruptible, and loud speech
  • High energy, with hyperactivity and less prone to sleep
  • Inflated self-image
  • Hypersexuality
  • Substance abuse

If left untreated, an episode of mania may last up to several days or months. Depression follows this episode shortly or might not even occur for another few weeks or months. There is usually a cycle between manic and depressed states.  Many people do not suffer through any symptoms between the two episodes. Although, a few people experience rapid-cycling symptoms of mania and depression, in which they may have distinct periods of mania or depression.

Some people have “mixed” features in which manic and depressive symptoms occur simultaneously. Depressive episodes in bipolar disorder are similar to “regular “clinical, with depressed mood, loss of pleasure, low energy and activity, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.

Bipolar disorder type II:

It is similar to bipolar disorder type I; however, the elevated moods never reach full-blown mania. These less intense mood levels are called hypomania or hypomanic episodes. A patient of this type of disorder has suffered from at least one episode of hypomania. Episodes of depression are more occur quite often as well.

The symptoms include:

  • Moving suddenly from one plan to the other
  • Having exaggerated self-confidence
  • Rapid, uninterruptible, and loud speech
  • Increased energy, with hyperactivity and a decreased need for sleep

People with hypomania are fun to be around. They are considered to be quite cheerful and often infect others with a positive mood. Even though hypomania is not considered to be very severe, It can lead to erratic and unhealthy behavior. The episodes can progress into a manic episode in no time which in turn affects the ability of the person to function accurately.

Cyclothymic disorder

Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder. An individual is considered to be cyclothymic if he/she displays cyclic mood swings. This condition usually develops during adolescence. People might appear as ‘moody’ or difficult to deal with others.

The treatment of bipolar disorder can be done in numerous ways. It is important for the patient to come forward and seek health for their illness. On average he/she might suffer from 5 or 6 episodes over a span of 20 years if not done so.  However, the recurrence of episodes can be brought under control within a few months of starting with the treatment. Medicines play a major role in stabilizing mood swings. Some of the commonly used medicines include Lithium Carbonate, Anti-convulsant medicines, and Anti-psychotic medicines. Treatment may also include:

  • medicine to prevent episodes of mania, hypomania, and depression
  • medicine to treat the main symptoms of depression or mania
  • psychological treatment such as talking therapy to help deal with depression and to get advice about how to improve relationships and reflect on how a person is thinking or behaving
  • lifestyle advice such as doing regular exercise, planning activities that he/she enjoys, advice on improving diet and getting more sleep

Bipolar disorder treatment should not be avoided and if you are looking for good treatment of Bipolar Disorder than the right place is TalktoAngel(www.talktoangel.com), an online mental health platform providing Bipolar Disorder treatment globally.

 Dr(Prof) R K Suri Founder of Psychowellness Center and mentor of TalktoAngel is available offline at (www.psychowellnesscenter.com) for any type of mental health disorders, relationship issues, and sexual problems

Read also:

12 Tips to resolve & manage conflicts in a relationship

How Bipolar Disorder Is Treated

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