Bipolar disorder can be a very debilitating mental health condition because the symptoms involve intense abnormal shifts in moods that are much different than the typical ups and downs a person normally goes through from time to time. The extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression) a person with bipolar disorder experiences are much more intense and severe than that.
Bipolar disorder affects people differently, not everyone with this serious mental health illness suffers from the same symptoms of mania and depression, intensity level or occurrence of episodes exactly the same. There is no known cause for bipolar disorder but because the mental illness runs in families, genes may be a contributing factor as well as abnormal brain structure and brain function according to NIH.
Bipolar disorder is very widespread, anyone can develop bipolar disorder including children and adults, although this mental health illness often begins during late adolescents or early adulthood. There are more than ten million Americans suffering from bipolar issues and the serious mental health illness doesn’t affect one gender more than another.
Again everyone’s symptoms of bipolar disorder vary and so do their pattern of extreme mood swings but there are usually periods of time when moods and behaviors are generally normal and not so extreme. Reoccurrence cycles of mania and depression are different for each person suffering from bipolar disorder and because symptoms vary from person to person, the mental health illness can be very difficult to diagnose.
During a manic state a person with bipolar disorder may be extremely happy, outgoing, irritated, agitated, and highly wired over an extended period of time. They may talk rapidly and go from one thought to another continuously. During a manic episode a person is usually very restless, compulsive and has trouble sleeping. They often participate in risky behaviors during a manic state and may impulsively and carelessly spend money, have sex and take part in other risky activities they find pleasurable. The way a person views everything about themselves during a manic state is often completely unrealistic.
The point about manic depression or bipolar disorder, as it’s now more commonly called, is that it’s about mood swings. So, you have an elevated mood. When people think of manic depression, they only hear the word depression. They think one’s a depressive.
During a depressive state a person with bipolar disorder may be very irritable, restless, and apprehensive and feel empty inside for a long period of time. They’re unable to enjoy doing things they normally enjoyed before. It’s hard for them to concentrate on anything during this time. During a depressive state a person may have thoughts of suicide or may even attempt to hurt themselves or take their own life.
When you are mad, mad like this, you don’t know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else’s reality, it’s still reality to you.
There is no cure for bipolar disorder but it can be treated effectively once a proper diagnose is made by a qualified mental health professional. There is no ‘one size fits all approach’ to treating bipolar disorder. A personalized treatment plan which may include medications, therapy and other forms of treatment can make a huge difference in the life of a person living with bipolar disorder.
Because bipolar disorder is a lifelong chronic illness, as long as a person continues take their medication as prescribed if that’s part of their treatment and follows their physician’s advice, they will start feeling better and begin enjoying life.