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We all have mood swings but not all mood swings have the same intensity. People who have extreme mood swings ranging from depression to manic highs are said to be suffering from bipolar disorder. These extreme moods are known as episodes and usually, last for a few days or even a few weeks. A person suffering from bipolar disorder could have an episode several times a year. This is a very common psychological problem and can affect both children and adults. Though it cannot be cured, this disease can be managed with medication.
There are no known causes for bipolar disorder but genetics may play an important role in triggering Bipolar Disorder. Hence, if a parent or sibling suffers from this condition, you have a risk of developing it as well. An imbalance in the neurotransmitters in the brain may also play a part in the development of this condition. Stress or traumatic events like the loss of a loved one can also increase your risk of suffering from this condition. Given that mood swings affect almost each one of us, bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose. Some of the things to look out for are:
- Change in self-esteem
- Unusual talkativeness or quietness
- Being increasingly prone to distractions
- Decreased need for sleep
- Recklessness in terms of spending decisions, relationships etc
It must be kept in mind that a person must display at least 4 of the above symptoms simultaneously to be diagnosed as bipolar. Also, none of these symptoms should be a result or side effect of any kind of medication, drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants.
There are four main types of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I: In such cases, the person has at least one episode of elevated moods and associated abnormal behaviour in his or her life. This may be preceded or followed by depressive episodes.
- Bipolar II: In these cases, the person must have suffered from at least one depressive episode. It is very similar to bipolar I except that in bipolar II the highs never reach the manic stage.
- Rapid Cycling: Some people can have 4 or more manic and depressive episodes a year. In such cases, they are said to be rapid cycling. This condition affects 10-20% of bipolar cases.
- Mixed Bipolar: Usually, bipolar patients show mood swings that alternate between manic and depressive moods. However, sometimes a person may experience both elation and depression simultaneously or in rapid succession of each other. These cases are known as mixed bipolar.
Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder can be managed with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In some cases, electroconvulsive therapy may also be needed. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist and ask a free question.
I am 24 year old male. I have a problem with my memory, I forget the things regularly and consulted a doctor who advised me to take omega 3 tablets regularly. So I want to know is it fine?
We are all emotional beings and often have our good and bad days. However, we are all wired differently, making our minds work in unique ways. Reasons that make a person feel low are different for different people; what may be depressing for one person may not be depressing for the other. The degree of sadness can also vary from person to person.
Depression, with a feeling of complete hopelessness and despair, is a mood disorder that is becoming increasingly common. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. Depressed people describe life as impending doom (a feeling that something terrible is about to happen). They are often consumed with the feeling of living in a black hole not knowing what the future holds, and feelings of lifelessness, emptiness, anger, and restlessness.
Some of the telltale signs of depression are listed below:
- Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness
- Lack of concentration
- Easily irritated, bothered, or angered
- Inability to control negative thoughts
- Losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Reckless behaviour, which was not noticed earlier
- Change in sleeping and eating patterns
- Difficulty in performing tasks that you once accomplished easily
- Worsening alcohol and cigarette consumption
Here are some of the reasons why people feel depressed:
- Problems in marriage or relationships
- Financial issues
- Chronic health issues
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Recent life events that were stressful
- Lack of social support
- Loneliness and isolation
- Early childhood trauma or abuse
- Managing depression
Accepting that you are depressed is a big step, which helps in managing it better.
- Speak out: The most important thing is to find a person whom you can confide in. A trained person or a good confidante can help you by just listening to you.In most cases, depression can be managed by seeing a qualified counsellor. Medications may also be useful in some cases.
- Sweat it out: While it may sound very tiring, exercising for even 15 minutes can bring relief. The more you exercise, the better you are bound to feel. Exercise also releases mood-enhancing chemicals that beat depression.
- Eat right: Foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help improve one’s mood while foods with sugar and refined carbs can have a negative impact on one’s mood. Change your diet to include mood elevating foods. Binging on junk food is common among depressed people, leading to weight gain and other complications.
So, while you may feel like you are in a black hole, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.