Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by extreme mood episodes, characterized as manic, hypomanic or depressive. This condition affects about 70 million people globally. People suffering from bipolar disorder experience unusual highs and lows in mood, energy and activity levels. Psychotherapy is key to the treatment of bipolar disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
- Extreme mood swings
- Increased or decreased energy levels
- Reduced need for speed or excess sleepiness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities
- Depression, manic episode or paranoia (suspiciousness)
- Weight gain or weight loss.
- Feeling hopeless or elated
- Unwanted/racing thoughts
- Lack of concentration
- Increased tendency to take risks
There are following types of bipolar disorder:
- Criteria that represent the modern understanding of the classic manic depressive disorder symptoms are as follows
- Extreme unpredictable behaviour with manic up at least for one week and present nearly every day.
- For the diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, at least one in lifetime manic episode is required.
- Extremely depressive mood for at least 2 weeks.
- Lifetime experience of at least one episode of major depression and at least one hypomanic episode required.
- It is no longer thought to be a milder condition than bipolar I disorder, largely because of the amount of time individuals with this condition spend in depression and the instability of mood experienced by individuals with this type is typically accompanied by serious impairment in work and social functioning.
- Adults who experience at least 2 years and children full one year of both hypomanic and depressive periods without ever fulfilling The criteria for an episode of mania, hypomania, or major depression.
Myths and facts about Bipolar
Myth: Bipolar disorder is hard to diagnose as easily as physical illness.
Fact: Though bipolar disorder cannot be diagnosed similarly to physical illnesses, there are some standard diagnostic criteria. An accurate diagnosis of bipolar illness is made by Psychiatric assessment in which psychiatrist and clinical psychologist will talk to the patient about their thoughts, feelings and behaviour patterns. There are psychological self-assessment or questionnaire tool too. With the client's permission, family members or close friends may be asked to provide information about your symptoms. There are DSM diagnostic criteria for each disorder on the basis of which diagnosis can be done.
Myth: Bipolar is not at all a childhood disorder.
Fact: Bipolar disorder can arise in children even as young as age six. It is generally observed that the parents of such children affected by bipolar. Children with this disorder experience very fast mood swings between mania and depression and it occur many times during the day. The adults tend to experience intense moods for weeks or months at a time.
Myth: It is not possible to help someone with bipolar disorder.
Fact: Bipolar disorder can be treated and managed effectively. "More than 30% of bipolar patients can expect complete recovery while other 40% can expect a very marked reduction in their symptoms". Factors including education about the illness, good communication with professionals involved in your care, a good support system (family and friends) and adhering to a treatment plan are the factors on which successful management of the disorder.
Myth: People who have bipolar disorder cannot work.
Fact: People with bipolar (more than 75%) back to the work successfully with the proper medical treatment and good support.
Myth: The person with mental weakness or weak characters are prone to bipolar disorder.
Fact: Bipolar disorder is purely a medical condition. People with bipolar disorder cannot get better by just trying hard or self-control, treatment is necessary for recovery.
Myth: Once bipolar disorder is under control, people can stop their medications.
Fact: Bipolar disorder is a condition that most often requires people to continue taking medications, even if they are symptoms-free. Medication is used as a preventative measure. It helps people to avoid relapses. You should always consult with your doctor before stopping any medications.
Myth: Bipolar disorder is caused by alcoholism and drug abuse.
Fact: People with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience problems with the use of alcohol or other drugs but the drugs do not cause the disorder. People with bipolar disorder may use alcohol or street drugs to make themselves feel better (self-medicate) or as an escape from their problems.
Issues and challenges
1. Issues related to diagnosis
Assessment of depression and mania is one of the big challenges in dealing with bipolar disorder. Sometimes doctor diagnose depression, may only prescribe antidepressants. There is also a possibility of diagnosing bipolar as major depressive disorder. Line of treatment changes with changes in diagnosis.
2. Addiction and bipolar
Addiction is one of the major barriers for people with bipolar disorder. The link between bipolar disorder and addiction is not understood yet. Some people with bipolar disorder reported that they try to self-medicate depression, some trying to use drugs and alcohol to promote sleep. It should be noted that self-medication with drugs and alcohol can be a risky coping strategy for people who
3. Finding the Right Medication
There are about 15 different medications approved to manage bipolar disorder, it can be tough to figure out just the right mix.
Keeping a daily mood journal is one of the most effective methods it will track not only the emotional treatment response, but also other symptoms such as anxiety, sleep, hormonal cycle, and significant life events. take good care of yourself.
4. Managing Relationships
The person with bipolar goes through mood swings with highly elevated and highly depressive mood and it becomes problems for both patient and the caregivers. Family therapy sessions, as well as educational groups for individuals with bipolar disorder and loved ones, will certainly help in strengthening relationships. Loved ones certainly play an important role in treatment.
How do you know you need counselling/Therapy?
One can find out if the need counselling or therapy by checking the following points:
-You are experiencing episodes of high and low mood
-You want to bring a change, but you’re unable to do so on your own, you might want to seek counselling.
-You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your day-to-day life like work, social engagement etc.
-You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your overall wellbeing.
-You’re experiencing emotions on the extremes. For example you’re either too happy or too angry.
-You have a difficult time in understanding your emotions or in making sense of what is going on around you.
-Feeling disconnected from yourself and your loved ones.
How does TalktoAngel Help you in overcoming your bipolar disorder?
TalktoAngel is an online platform that provides quality therapy and other mental health services online. We have qualified and experienced professionals working with us. Bipolar is one of our areas of expertise. We have experts and specialists who have successfully worked previously on various cases of Bipolar. Studies have proven that online mental health services are as effective as the conventional mode. Furthermore, at TalktoAngel, we put your needs first. We can help you with flexible appointments, personalized and customized intervention plans all at the tip of your fingers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you know you need counselling/Therapy?One can find out if they need counselling or therapy by checking the following points: -You are experiencing episodes of high and low mood -You want to bring a change, but you’re unable to do so on your own, you might want to seek counselling. -You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your day-to-day life like work, social engagement etc. -You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your overall wellbeing. -You’re experiencing emotions on the extremes. For example you’re either too happy or too angry. -You have a difficult time in understanding your emotions or in making sense of what is going on around you. -Feeling disconnected from yourself and your loved ones.
Is bipolar a mental illness?Yes, Bipolar is a mental illness.
What medication is best for bipolar?You cannot take medication for depression on your own without the consultation of a psychiatrist. It is unprofessional and ethically wrong for us to disclose any medication in this manner. You can consult with one of our professionals. Moreover, medication is only effective in the long term if coupled with effective psychotherapy.
How can I treat my bipolar disorder ?If you find symptoms of bipolar disorder, you must consult Psychiatrist and clinical psychologist at TalktoAngle. There are some psychometric tools on the basis of which they can assess you. Your psychiatrist will prescribe you medicine and along with medication psychotherapy will help you in adjustment problems and work on thought process to lead life normally. Research has shown effectiveness of psychotherapy along with the medication. Psycho-education, cognitive-behavioural therapy, family therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy have prone their efficacy in managing problems associated with bipolar disorders.
If you’re suffering from bipolar disorder and want to gain better control of your mood swings, talk-based therapy can provide you with the support, education and guidance you need.
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