You all must have had your ups and downs in life. However, if you have bipolar disorder, these peaks and valleys could be serious enough to harm your health. Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive sickness is a brain disorder marked by mood swings, along with shifts in energy/activity levels.
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Bipolar disorder is broadly divided into four different types:
- Bipolar I Disorder lasts for about seven days, and those suffering from this type usually experience mild to severe depression and different moods.
- Bipolar II Disorder isn’t as severe as the Type I form but results in hypomanic as well as depressive episodes.
- Cyclothymic disorder is very common among children and adults. The symptoms last up to a year in kids and two years in adults. Depressive and hypomanic episodes are spread out between different intervals during this period.
- Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified: It is a diagnosis suggestive rather than indicative of bipolarity. However, their symptoms do not fit into the any of the aforementioned categories. For example,a person who experiences rapid cycling between manic and depressive episodes is likely to be suffering from this type of bipolar disorder.
Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For
As previously mentioned, if you experience frequent shifts in your energy levels, emotions, and sleeping patterns, you may be suffering from bipolar disorder. Some experience depressive and manic symptoms at the same time, while some only suffer from one symptom at a time. If you have suicidal thoughts, forget things, eat less or too much, or feel down and hopeless then you are experiencing depressive symptoms. If however you feel a sudden rise in energy levels, or have too many thoughts at once or feel jumpy, touchy or irritable, then you are likely to be experiencing manic episodes. The important thing is to be watchful of your symptoms and get help as early as possible.
Call for help!
In case you think you are a victim of this disease, don’t put yourself in isolation. The first step would be to get in touch with your parents, relatives or friends. Let them schedule an appointment for you if you think you can’t make it on your own. The doctor will first examine you and recommend a psychiatrist or prescribe medications like anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and atypical antipsychotics depending on your condition.
As stated above, those suffering from cyclothymia, usually don’t need any medication. Seeing a psychiatrist once a week or bi-weekly is sufficient. Some doctors and psychiatrists also suggest breathing exercises to these patients, while others recommend meditating or indulging in activities to get a hold of yourself.
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