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Last Updated: July 13, 2019

Bipolar Disorder - Quick Overview With Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Precautions

What is Bipolar Disorder What are the Signs And Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? What is the Main Cause Of Bipolar Disorder? What are the Precautions for Bipolar Disorder? How Do You Diagnose Bipolar Disorder? What are the Most Effective Treatments For Bipolar Disorder? How to Treat Bipolar Disorder at Home? Can Bipolar be Treated Without Medication?

What is Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a brain disease or mental illness, also known as manic depressive illness characterized by extreme shift in mood that causes difficulties in performing day-to-day activities. The observation had determined changes in mood, energy levels and activity levels along with ability to function any task. A patient suffering from BD may feel sudden mood swings like extreme rise in mood or emotions (mania or hypomania) and extreme low level (depression). A clear mood change is experienced by patient such as hypomania feeling of euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable and hopeless periods, very sad or down feeling and behavior as depressive episode. It

affects person in every aspect of daily routine as moods swings are influencing in sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and ability to think. Depression occurring in such disease state may last for at least two week of time period whereas other episode like mania or hypomania can last several week or month with periods of stability in between.

What are the Signs And Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

Symptoms of bipolar disorder are categorized on basis of occurrence of episodes in patients because the mood swing varies amongst people. There are dramatic episodes observed with sudden high or low moods for a typical person causing difficulty and distress in regular life.

  • Manic or hypomanic conditions – In occurrence of such type of episodes, patient experiences abnormal upbeat, jumpy or weird, feeling extremely high, up and elevated, increased activity, energy and agitation levels, impaired judgment power, feeling of boredom or sense of distraction, restlessness, poor concentration, unusual high level of sexual drive, may become more impulsive, talks very fast about a topic started, very less sleep as compared to regular, perform risky tasks such as spend a lot of money, thinking they can do anything with excessive self-confidence, self-esteem and self-importance.

  • Depressive episode – Depression starts with low attention span and difficulty remembering, insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns, uncontrollable crying and sadness , feeling of hopelessness, worry, very sad, down and worthlessness, problems in concentrations, food intake will sudden increase or decrease, forgets things, thoughts of attempting suicide or death.

What is the Main Cause Of Bipolar Disorder?

Brain is a mystery for doctors as well as researchers and as BD is a mental illness which has a symptoms also varying person to person, it is difficult to identify a single cause behind this disease. Although, there are some factors understood by researcher that are causing bipolar disease as mentioned below:

  • Brain structure and functioning – Yes, it plays an important role as brains works in different manner for healthy people while compared with people suffering from any mental illnesses. After studying brain of healthy people and mentally ill people, scientists have better understand bipolar disease through which a treatment plan can be suggested. Any type of physical change in brain or abnormalities may increase risk of occurrence of such disease.
  • Genetics – If a parent or siblings of person have a history of disease may be at high risk of development of bipolar disorder.

  • Environmental factors- physical illness, extreme stress, any type of traumatic experience etc. are also factors contributing to the development of such disease.

What are the Precautions for Bipolar Disorder?

Severe abnormalities in mood basically involved in bipolar disorder that is generally diagnosed in age range of 15 to 25 years. Once a person diagnosed with BD, early preventive steps can help in dealing with such disease and prevent mental illness from being worsen. There are some strategies need to be followed as preventive measures of minor symptoms from becoming full episode of mania or depression:

  • Look for warning signs – the person suffering from bipolar disorder have mood swings that helps in identification of pattern of BD along with its trigger. Family members or friends should look after and notice such warning signs and if there is high level of episode then call immediately doctor.

  • Stop drugs and alcohol- The episodes of such mental illnesses can be worsen if a patient is consuming drugs or alcohol as it increase frequencies of signs and recurrences chances.

  • Follow the treatment plan – Doctor will provide a treatment plan that may contain medication and therapy sessions or both. Withdrawal symptoms of such diseases may stop a person from taking medication or tempted. But try to complete the medication and the plan as described.

How Do You Diagnose Bipolar Disorder?

There are different diagnosive processes for determining BD in person. If a person is suffering in the early stage of bipolar disease, the observation of only one or more manic or mixed episodes lasting for days’ time period are noticed while such episode are lasting for several weeks or months in person suffering from bipolar disorder type II. Doctors perform certain tests and examines the patient alertness to identify the disease. Physical examination along with blood and urine tests can help in ruling out the cause of symptoms. Bipolar disorder diagnosis may include the following:

  • Physical examination: the doctor shall carry out physical examinations to identify the symptoms associated with the diseases. The doctor may ask for lab tests.

  • Psychiatric assessment: A psychiatrist will talk to the patient about the thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. The doctor may ask family history, family environment, daily routine etc. so as to gain information about the symptoms.

  • Mood assessment: The doctor may ask the patient to keep a daily record of sleep patterns, mood and behavioural patterns so as to understand the cause of mood swings for finding the right treatment."

What are the Most Effective Treatments For Bipolar Disorder?

Effectiveness of any treatment plan depends on the severity of the disease and treatment plan provided by the medical professionals. BD is a lifelong illness where only medication or therapies cannot work alone and they need to be prescribed in combination. Medications usually prescribed for bipolar disorder includes mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotic, antidepressants. Before starting these medications, a person should know about the risks and benefits of such agents. During the treatment, a person should not stop this medication without informing or advice of doctor as it may leads to worsening of symptoms of bipolar disease or rebound effect. Psychotherapies are also suggested along with medications which are considered as effective treatment for bipolar disorder as it give support, education and guidance to people as well as to their families. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and psycho education are parts of psychotherapy for bipolar orders.

How to Treat Bipolar Disorder at Home?

BD usually need a complete follow up of treatment plan along with certain activities need to be done at home. To manage signs and symptoms or occurrence of episodes, patient should keep a routine for eating and sleeping activity, try to learn about the mood changes or swings, can seek out help from friends or family member for the following treatment plan. Patient or family members should always be in touch and work closely with doctor or licensed healthcare provider. A person suffering from bipolar disorder can manage and balance his everyday life after understanding the disease itself.

Can Bipolar be Treated Without Medication?

The answer is No because bipolar disorder is a lifelong disease and it is not curable. It is always required that person with bipolar should take medication that helps in dealing with mood swings along with other forms of treatment plans. There is Electroconvulsive therapy for people who are unable to recover with other treatment plans but is only suggested when people have higher risk due to medication or conditions like pregnancy.

Popular Questions & Answers

Doctor it's for my mom she is 43 years old and suffering from bipolar disorder. Psychotic problem and now she taking the tablet named sizopin 50 and lamitor dt 50. After consuming it she cannot move a further. Feeling dizziness and pain. Will this continues till end. Mean the symptoms that consumed after talking the medicine doc.

These are the side effects of both the medicines your mother is taking. It should normalize in a few weeks, but it is better to consult your doctor who prescribed these for the side effects to understand the extent of the same. In the meantime can...

I am on medication qutan 50. Earlier in 2017 june it was qutan25 mg. It all started in 2016 june. When I was not able to sleep. Hallucination was there. So I was given some sleeping medication, injections and some antipsychotic medicines. Diva,oliza. Then at that time in 3 weeks I recovered then I told doctor to stop my medicine. Doctor also got ready to stop it. After that I went to denmark due to husband job shifting. But I came back within 1 month with kids. I have 2 kids. Then due to unorganised n stress full life my symptoms relapsed.in 2017 march. Then in jamshedpur, tmh I was treated. N here doctor said in prescription schizophrenia with a question mark. So they gave, olimelt and sizodon. With those medicines I was fine but there was some heaviness in head. N I was not very well with those medicines. At this time also some shocking incidence happened in my apartment where my parents stays n my symptoms relapsed. Then my husband came back from denmark n again we resettled in bangalore. Where earlier my problem started. I was on medication of tmh. Then in bangalore we visited our earlier doctor nd he changed my medicine from sizodon to qutan 25. Then my husband went to london. N I was there alone with kids handling them. I started feeling better n again I left taking my medicine in 2017 august onward. From then till 2019 I was absolutely doing fine. No depression, no hallucinations. But stress in relationship is continue with my husband nd in laws. So again in 2019 feb 25 my symptom relapsed. Lack of sleep, n unnecessary feelings, getting scared. But this time condition was better than every time. This time I managed to control my symptoms on my own. My husband also supports when my health comes in that situation. But still when I remain fine he keeps on giving me stress. So this time I managed to contact mybdoctor on phone n I started my medicine qutan 25 n sleeping pill. 2 days I tried. 3rd I went to take sleeping injections. Nd in prescription emergency doctor has written bipolar disorder. Then 1 month I took medicines as written by emergency doctor n then I met my regular psychiatrist. N I asked him. One doctor is saying schizophrenia n other doctor is saying bipolar disorder. Then he said they are also not sure what is happening but some chemical imbalance is there so I have to take the prescribed medicine for another 3 months. Then I will meet him again in june last week. At present I am at my parents place as kids are having school holidays so I came here to meet them on 1st april. So I missed 17 days dose but 11 days I took till 28 april. At present I am doing well from 6 march onward. So I am asking is it ok that I missed dosage? But now I will not miss. After giving birth to my first child after 25 days in 2008 june. I went into postpartum psychosis. I was hospitalized for 5 days. N my daughter was on bottle feed as my feed was not allowed due to medication. Then I went back to bangalore after treatment. N there my treatment got discontinued. Due to different routine n baby care. But I recovered from that problem n I was doing well till 2016.in 2012 I conceived again n there was a big family issue I faced from husband n in laws. It was a big trauma I faced. Kind of separation with husband. But I stood back n faced the situation when I just received the news that I am carrying. Still I passed that phase n delivered my second child in 2013 without any depression n psychotic events. I did not had any medicines related to this. My gynaecologist knows everything that happened. She is the proof that I was healthy at that time. But frequent fights with husband n bad behave I receive from in laws I started getting this new type of problem. When it was happened first time I was also diagnosed with thyroid n I am on medication of eltroxin 50 from 2016 june onward. So I want to know what is happening exactly to me. N if I am living my life happily without taking medication from last 1 n half year then why my symptoms relapsed. Is it o.k that I missed 17 days medicine this month. I will be prescribed medicine for life long or it can be stopped with time? My problem aggravates due to bad behaviour of nearby peoples. Like my husband n in laws. Am I taking right medication or not? My very first symptoms are lack of sleep, unusual thoughts, bad dreams.in midnight I start calling people with whom I was having problem like in laws, I call my sisters, my friend because being alone at home I got scared. I message to frnds, I always contact my younger sis in law when this happens every time because I feel that she is good to me. She is honest n believe her that she will understand my problem thats why everyrime I call her. N all bad incidence I start recalling when my this problem starts. Is it depression or bipolar di order or schizophrenia or something related to lack of sleep ir hormonal imbalance related to thyroid problem or chemical imbalance in brain?

Dear Lybrate-User, It is nice of you to know the periods of good and bad feelings. Please record it month by month along with medications, thyroid function test report, pregnancy and periods time, side effects of medication, hours of sleep, weight...

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