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Bipolar Mood Disorder
Specialization

Bipolar Disorder

Overview

Bipolar disorder is a common mental health problem where mood fluctuations may occur in months, weeks, days and at times even for hours within a day. The mood swings in bipolar disorder range from an extreme heightened emotional state called mania to a low emotional state called depression. Hypomania, a condition also associated with bipolar disorder, is characterized by an altered emotional state in which there is heightened emotion than usual but less than mania.

Bipolar disorder is an episodic illness in which hypomanic, manic and depressive episodes occur in various combinations. The frequency and duration of episodes vary significantly among individuals and in the same individual, from one episode in many years to multiple episodes in a single year.

During the hypomanic episodes, patients feel overtly cheerful, euphoric, irritable, and increased energy and activity with indulgence in risky behaviours. 

During a depressive episode, the patient may experience sadness in moods, loss of interest and pleasure in previously pleasurable activities, reduced energy, and disturbance in biological functions like sleep, appetite, and sexual behaviour.

Although bipolar disorder is a chronic and lifelong disease, the episodes can be managed well with treatment with complete inter-episodic recovery.

Key Features

  1. Bipolar disorder is a common disorder affecting both males and females  
  2. The usual age of onset is adolescent and young adult but can occur at any age
  3. Hypomanic, manic and depressive episodes occur in various combinations, which requires different management strategies
  4. Severe cases are associated with high risk owing to self-injurious and suicidal thoughts/acts. Such issues may need active management with hospitalization.

Symptoms

Symptoms of bipolar disorder depend upon the nature of the episode, whether the person is suffering from a hypomanic, manic or depressive episode

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar I disorder

When there is at least one manic episode that may or may not be preceded or followed by any major depressive or hypomanic episodes. 

Bipolar II disorder

when there are major depressive and hypomanic episodes in the course of illness but never had a manic episode.

Cyclothymic disorder. 

Many periods of hypomania symptoms alternate with periods of depressive symptoms (less severe than major depression) for at least two years.

Other types

bipolar and related disorders induced by substances, drugs or due to another medical condition.

The usual age of presentation of bipolar disorder is adolescent and young adults, but it can occur at any age. Symptoms of bipolar disorder change over time in the same individual and may vary from person to person.

Symptoms in children and teens

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be challenging to identify and diagnose in children and adolescents. It’s difficult to tell whether these are normal fluctuations induced by trauma or stress or indicate a mental health condition which requires proper attention.

Children and adolescents may have distinct manic, hypomanic or major depressive episodes, but the presentation can differ from that of adults with bipolar disorder. In children and adolescents, moods rapidly shift during episodes associated with irritability and agitation.

The most significant and prominent indicator of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents includes rapid mood swings that are different from their usual ones.

Need for Treatment

People with bipolar disorder often fail to recognize their illness. They fail to understand their emotional instability, disruptions in their lives, interpersonal conflicts it creates and hardships it brings in their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Before they come for treatment, they lose many years of their productive lives to the illness.

Near and dear ones better recognize symptoms and signs of bipolar disorders, and educating them to recognize the symptoms may help bring the patient under treatment. 

Bipolar disorder is not a self-limiting disease and doesn’t get better by itself. Getting proper treatment from a mental health expert is needed in all such cases. Treatment helps reduce the duration and severity of each episode, the number of episodes, and the chronicity of the illness, thereby reducing the time spent on the disease and improving the quality of life.

If you, your near and dear ones, friends, colleagues or neighbours are experiencing symptoms of mania or depression, consulting an expert mental health professional with experience treating bipolar disorders can help get symptoms under control.

If case you are having a mental health issue, make an appointment to see your mental health professional at the earliest. If you’re hesitant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or dear one, or someone else you trust.

Call Divyansh Neuropsychiatry Centre at +91 7543976796/+91 7759945555 and speak to any of our office staff to schedule an appointment. Or visit our website to book an appointmenthttps://divyanshneuro.com/.