The worldwide bipolar day is set to raise awareness on this condition that affects about one in every one hundred persons. The disorder involves unpredictable mood swings, but its complexity has made it quite difficult to treat.
Apart from the well-known episodes of depression and mania, those affected by the condition also experience irritability, anxiety, change in appetite, increased sleepiness, energy loss, sadness, incessant crying, thoughts about death or suicide and the inability of making decisions. These milder symptoms can be followed by more dramatic ones such as excessive happiness, restlessness, high sex drive, over excitement, grandiose thoughts of a lower need for sleep.
The severity of the bipolar disorder is classified into Rapid Cycling, Bipolar I, Bipolar II and Mixed Bipolar. Rapid cycling affects ten to twenty percent of patients and is identified after the individual has gone through more than four manic or depression episode during one year. Those with Bipolar I have more than one episode of mania, an elevated mood that influences daily activities. Bipolar II refers to patients with the same symptoms but at a lower level of intensity. Mixed Bipolar includes people who experience alternating moods of both depression and mania, which can change very quickly.
While the cause of this disorder has yet to be discovered, doctors believe neurotransmitters, biological differences, and genetics can influence the outcome of the condition. In order to identify it, it is recommended to go through therapy together with friends or family. Many support systems can aid both practitioners and patients in the treatment process.
The identification of the bipolar disorder is crucial, as it can appear at any age and affects one in every one hundred adults. The condition seems to be more prominent in those aged from 18 to 24 years. According to Nia Charpentier from Rethink Mental Illness,
“Bipolar disorder is often misunderstood. Awareness raising is absolutely crucial to reduce the stigma that surrounds it, we know many people with mental illness says the discrimination and prejudice they face can be worse than the illness itself.”
Treatment for bipolar patients usually involves medication and psychotherapy, but also antidepressants for those experiencing depressing episodes. Additionally, psychoeducation is also recommended, along with a consistent routine of sleep, eating, and exercise. For the most severe cases, practitioners are known to make use of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) or ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).
The bipolar disorder is part of these conditions that are taken lightly by the population or even ignored, and raising awareness is crucial in combating it.
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