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Frequently Asked Questions About Bipolar Disorder
One of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder is the person having extreme mood and energy fluctuations, which make it difficult for them to carry out daily tasks. Knowing that you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder may be devastating. The following are answers to frequently asked questions regarding bipolar disorder, its symptoms, and treatment.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder where patients experience remarkable changes in mood, energy, and behavior. A person with bipolar disorder will have alternating periods of mania (very high mood) and depression that can last from hours to months. The severity of the mood can impair the person's ability to function. Mental illness may lead to impulsive behavior that has long-term effects on the individual and those around them. Everyday activities can become difficult or impossible for someone suffering from depression symptoms.
What are the types of bipolar disorder?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recognizes four distinct categories of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I patients may have one or more periods of mania, which may or may not include a depressive episode at some point
- Bipolar II disorder involves additional periods of mania and depression
- Cyclothymia is where moderate mania and mild depression alternate over a year or more.
- Bipolar disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) involves a wide variety of common bipolar symptoms that may not fit into traditional categories; for instance, a person may have fast cycling in bouts lasting less than a day.
What are the causes of bipolar disorder?
Mental health specialists believe that bipolar disorder is caused by an imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that seem to influence mood. Other circumstances may also trigger bipolar disorder, such as physical differences in the brain, hormone levels, heredity, substantial stress, abuse, or traumatic experiences.
What are a few of the most prevalent symptoms of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar illness is characterized by a dramatic shift in emotions, from euphoria (mania) to sadness (depression). These changes might be subtle in some instances and rather intense in others. Patients experiencing a manic episode may make rash judgments and engage in risky activity. Their creativity and energy levels may increase. Feelings of severe melancholy and worthlessness are common during a depressed episode, which may interfere with their job or home life. They may also have suicidal thoughts.
What are the treatment options for bipolar disorder?
One of the most challenging aspects of successfully treating bipolar disorder is accurately diagnosing the condition. Patients are more inclined to seek treatment during depressive phases. This situation may result in a misdiagnosis of clinical depression. Bipolar depression is becoming more widely recognized as a symptom of bipolar disorder due to the growing knowledge of bipolar disorder symptoms. When a mania pattern is discovered, the mental health specialist can institute more effective therapy.
The psychiatrist may prescribe mood-stabilizing medications to treat bipolar disorder. Treatment must also take into account any underlying physical factors (such as a hormone imbalance). Patients need to understand and document their moods and triggers to get continuing education and behavioral therapy.
If you have additional questions about bipolar disorder, you can schedule an appointment with the psychiatrist to get answers.
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