Over the years, mental health issues have started getting the attention they always needed. People are becoming more aware and they are trying to cope with such issues at the earliest. If you too have read or known people with mental illness, there are chances you would also have heard of bipolar disorder. If not, this article will help you understand this disorder a little better.We have gathered essential information about the disorder from its symptoms to treatment. Keep reading to know it all.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Lets begin with the basic question what exactly is bipolar disorder? It is a type of mental disorder in which the patient experiences extreme shifts in mood. The moods can vary from being extremely depressed to manic and gleeful. In this disorder, a particular type of mood stays for a long time and causes troubles in day-to-day lives. There are generally three types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia, differentiated based on bipolar disorder symptoms:

  • Bipolar I:
  • This type is defined by the onset of at least one manic episode. You can get both hypomanic or major depressive episodes right after the manic episode. It is common in both men and women.
  • Bipolar II:
  • One of the most common types of bipolar disorder found in women, this type is marked by the occurrence of one major depressive episode that can stay for at least two weeks. It can also cause one hypomanic episode for about 4 days.
  • Cyclothymia:
  • In this type, the patient experiences both episodes of hypomania and depression. These symptoms are less severe than bipolar I or bipolar II disorder and they also last for a shorter period.

People with bipolar disorder find it difficult to manage both their professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. One can only manage bipolar disorder symptoms through treatment methods to live a quality life. We will talk about them later in this article.

Bipolar Disorder Causes

Even though bipolar disorder is very common, doctors and researchers are unable to find the exact causes of bipolar disorder. There are some potential causes but it is yet a mystery how these causes manage to affect some people while others stay unaffected by them. That being said, doctors and researchers have found out some possible causes of bipolar disorder. These causes are:

  • Genetics: If your parent or someone else in your family has bipolar disorder, your chances of developing the disorder also increase. It is to be noted here that most people with bipolar disorder in their family history stay unaffected by it. Hence, scientists are unable to pinpoint the genes that might be causing it.
  • Structure of Your Brain: If there is any abnormality in the structure of your brain, your chances of developing bipolar personality disorder increase with that.
  • Environmental Factors: Along with internal factors like genetics, and functioning, and structure of the brain, external factors can also become the cause of bipolar disease. A few examples of these environmental factors are traumatic experiences, physical illness, extreme stress, etc.

Bipolar Disease Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder diagnosis depends on the symptoms a person is experiencing. In case of one or more manic episodes or depressive episodes, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is done. A major depressive episode may or may not be involved with bipolar disorder I.A diagnosis of bipolar II is done in the case of major depressive episodes and hypomania episodes. In this case, at least one episode of hypomania and one or more depressive episodes are involved. Just like bipolar I and bipolar II, manic episode diagnosis also has some conditions. You are diagnosed with manic episodes only when you have experienced symptoms for at least one week or the symptoms have caused you to be hospitalized. During this period, you must experience the symptoms 24*7. If there are major depressive episodes, they must last for at least two weeks (14 to 15 days) to be diagnosed with a manic episode. It is very difficult to do a proper diagnosis of bipolar personality disorder as the mood swings of the affected person can vary a lot. The disorder is hard to diagnose in adults as compared to children and adolescents. This happens because they often experience frequent mood changes, energy changes, and behavior changes than adults. Other than mental health evaluation and mood journal, physical examination is also done as a part of bipolar diagnosis. Blood tests and urine tests are done to rule out the possibilities of other diseases. A proper diagnosis at the right time is important because if bipolar disorder is not treated, it can get worse. Episodes start happening frequently and the symptoms become extreme. If you get diagnosed early and start receiving treatment, it is possible to increase your quality of life. Hence bipolar disorder diagnosis is important to get done as you experience the common symptoms of bipolar disease.

Bipolar Disease Treatment

Bipolar disorder treatment aims at stabilizing the mood of the person. Along with this, the treatment also reduces the symptoms of bipolar disease. As a result of these two things, the inner peace increases and the overall quality of life gets better. There is no single technique like meditation for concentration or medications that can completely treat the disorder. Doctors use different bipolar disorder treatment techniques to get desired results. A few examples of these treatment techniques are:

  • Mindfulness
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Pranayama and other breathing exercises
  • Medication therapy for bipolar disorder
  • Physical intervention
  • Counseling therapy for bipolar disorder

There is no guarantee that any treatment method will work on a person. The effectiveness of the above-mentioned methods changes from person to person, symptoms to symptoms. Hence, it might take some time to correctly diagnose and treat the disorder.

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