What Are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder?

What Are the Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Do You Suffer From Bipolar Disorder?

Do you ever feel like you’ve had 20 energy drinks and 4 cups of coffee and have so much energy that you can’t sleep or even keep your thoughts straight, despite not having had any? Is this mood normally present every day for up to two weeks? Is your mood interfering with your career, education, or even your personal life? Perhaps you are the polar opposite and feel melancholy or unhappy for no apparent cause; you lack drive to accomplish anything, resulting in restlessness and impatience. These “episodes” describe bipolar disorder, a brain illness characterized by extraordinary swings in mood, energy, activity levels, and, in some cases, capacity to do daily chores.

What exactly is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is defined by extreme mood fluctuations that range from mania to sadness.

Mania: A person suffering from mania may believe they are immortal or have boundless vitality. This individual would be so thrilled for no cause that they would have grandiose notions or believe they are invincible, or they would be so pleased that they would only be able to sleep for a handful of hours or may not be able to sleep for days. Other times, the individual may be so irritable that a simple “hi, how are you?” might set them off, resulting in a fight.

Hypomania is a lesser version of mania in which individuals may have the same symptoms but without the harmful impact on their daily lives. In many circumstances, a lack of sleep and the desire to accomplish everything at once allows people to excel at work or school.

Depression: A person suffering from depression may feel so unhappy that they begin sobbing for no apparent cause, or they may feel so terrible about things that may not even affect them. In more extreme situations, a lack of energy to accomplish ordinary tasks may cause individuals to separate from friends and family, interfere with their employment, and even lead to suicidal thoughts. Depression is much more likely to occur than manic episodes, making it all the more harmful.

Mixed: A person suffering from a mixed episode will feel gloomy or deeply distressed while yet having the energy to complete a triathlon. This incident may have an impact on someone’s eating or sleeping habits. The mixed episode is substantially less prevalent in many instances of bipolar illness.

Bipolar Disorder signs

Bipolar Disorder Causes

The causes of bipolar disorder are unknown. Many specialists feel that there are many reasons. The first is thought to be a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, a stress hormone that leads to bipolar illness. Mania occurs when these levels become very high. Depression occurs when these levels are unusually low.
Genetics is another important component in determining the etiology of bipolar illness. A person may be at risk if they have a family history of bipolar illness. The identical twin of a person suffering from bipolar illness is most at risk. The risk is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental variables, rather than by a single gene. In other circumstances, a time of increased stress (mostly emotional), drug use, and an illness unrelated to bipolar disorder may precipitate the development of an episode.

The image above depicts three separate brain scans. The top is a “typical” or “normal” brain. The degree of activity is modest. The second is a hypomanic brain scan, or someone who is suffering from hypomania. There is a lot of activity going on in many sections of the brain, which corresponds to the rushing thoughts of a manic episode. The bottom image is a depressed brain scan, displaying reduced levels of brain activity.

Bipolar illness does not affect everyone who experiences extreme mood swings or personality changes. One must seek medical attention in order to get an accurate diagnosis. Many other mental diseases, such as panic disorders, phobias, drug addiction, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizoaffective disorder, or schizophrenia, resemble bipolar disorder.

There are two types of bipolar disorder.

• Manic or mixed episodes lasting at least seven days characterize Bipolar I. The individual often suffers from depression episodes that last at least two weeks. These episodes are unrelated to any changes in the person’s life, implying that the symptoms must be a distinct shift in one’s conduct rather than a change in one’s lifestyle to make them feel manic or sad.

• Bipolar II is distinct from bipolar I in that it is characterized by bouts of moderate depression that alternate with hypomania. This signifies that there is no acute manic behavior, simply hypomania, a milder manic episode.

Factors of Risk

Substance misuse is the most dangerous risk factor for people with bipolar illness. Those who experience mixed episodes are more likely to take substances because their desire to feel balanced is not being satisfied, and they will do everything to end the conflicting feelings. Some “downers” can reduce the symptoms of an episode, only to cause further issues later. When a person is depressed, substances like methamphetamine and cocaine cause a manic episode, which is often followed by severe depression and other psychotic symptoms, while alcohol and tranquilizers cause a depression episode.

Anyone who is close to someone who has been diagnosed with bipolar illness and is taking drugs should exercise extreme caution. When a person is taking drugs and having an episode, they are not themselves and may be regarded very dangerous, particularly when the drugs wear off and psychotic symptoms appear. This might vary from illusions such as “I believe they’re out to get me” to blaming others for not assisting them. It is recommended that individuals who are close to someone suffering from bipolar illness see this as a cry for assistance and aid them in receiving treatment as soon as possible.

Triggers for Episodes • The most common trigger for an episode is stress. This might be a beneficial or bad shift in someone’s life, such as relocating, being fired, marrying, or divorcing. If a person with bipolar illness has any significant changes in their life, additional care and assistance may be required to ensure a smooth transition.

• As previously indicated, drug usage is a major trigger for resolving an episode. While some people with bipolar illness may choose to take drugs to “cure” themselves, others may already be addicted to drugs. Any narcotics, such as cocaine or ecstasy, may cause a manic episode, while downers, such as alcohol, can cause a depressive episode.

Bipolar Disorder Treatments

While there is no cure for bipolar disease, there are many methods for treating symptoms and preventing episodes. The majority of assistance starts with medical care. There are several types of therapy offered, ranging from group to individual. Cognitive therapy teaches people how to comprehend their problem and create improvements in their lives by changing their thinking and behavior patterns. If a person with bipolar illness works 60 hours per week and goes to the bar every day after work to feel better, a cognitive therapist would recognize this as a path to a depressive episode and would assist the client in recognizing and changing this behavior. Family therapy has also been shown to be an effective method of supporting loved ones suffering from this condition. Many people with bipolar illness feel alone and despondent. When family or friends demonstrate that they are not alone and wish to assist them in understanding and dealing with their disease, the support alone improves their chances of living a healthier lifestyle. When a person seeks assistance, these treatments might be beneficial. As with everything, if assistance and a desire to improve oneself are not there, it is quite difficult to assist that person.

Medications have also been shown to be an effective therapy for patients suffering with bipolar illness. The most often used therapy for bipolar disorder is lithium. Lithium is mostly sodium. While sodium impacts excitement or mania, lithium aids in the stabilization of the flow of lithium through their bodies. Despite the fact that lithium has been used for many years, half of those who have bipolar illness and take lithium do not react. Divalproex sodium, often known as Depakote, is an alternative to lithium that also regulates sodium levels in the body. Olanzapine has also been shown to be quite effective. It is an antipsychotic medicine that acts by altering the activity of brain neurotransmitters. Zyprexa is another brand name for olanzapine. Although antidepressant medicine has been found to benefit, it should be used in conjunction with a mood stabilizer prescription during depressive episodes since it might cause mania.

It is critical to consult with a doctor before using any of the drugs indicated above. Depending on a person’s body chemistry, all drugs have side effects; certain side effects may be more severe than others.