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What is bipolar disorder?

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Bipolar Disorder

There are many mental health issues that can cause major disruption in the life of a person, and bipolar disorder is one of them. This condition causes extreme mood swings that can include emotional lows like a state of depression, as well as emotional highs like mania or hypomania.

If you are depressed, then you are likely to feel hopeless or sad, and lose interest in various activities. However, as your mood shifts to mania or hypomania, you might feel unusually irritable, full of energy or euphoric. Such mood swings may impact your behavior, judgment, energy, and even the ability to think clearly.

Bipolar disorder: an overview

A lot of people experience mood changes at some time. However, the ones with bipolar disorders are much more intense than regular mood changes. Along with mood swings, people with this mental health issue may even experience psychosis, which includes paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. Between these episodes, your mood can be stable for weeks, months or even years, especially if you are following a proper treatment plan.

Proper treatment helps people with bipolar disorder to work, study and lead a productive life. As their symptoms ease and one feels better, they might stop taking medications for these mental health issues. Subsequent to which, the symptoms may return.

Types of bipolar disorder

The three key types of bipolar disorder are:

  • Bipolar I: This condition is defined by the appearance of at least one manic episode. People may experience hypomanic episodes, in this condition as well, which are less severe than manic episodes. They can also experience major depressive episodes before and after the manic episode. Bipolar I disorder affects people of all sexes equally.
  • Bipolar II: People with bipolar II disorder can experience one major depressive episode that lasts for two weeks or so. They typically also have at least 1 hypomanic episode that lasts for a couple of days. As per reports, this type of bipolar disorder can be more common in women.
  • Cyclothymia: People suffering from cyclothymia ideally have episodes of hypomania and depression. Such episodes involve symptoms that are less severe and shorter than depression and mania caused by bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Most people with this condition only experience no mood symptoms for 1 or 2 months at a time.
  • Subsequent to doing your diagnosis, your doctor can explain what type of bipolar disorder you are suffering from. There also are people who experience distinct mood symptoms that resemble but do not quite align with these three types. These individuals may have to get a diagnosis of:

  • Other specified bipolar and related disorders
  • Unspecified bipolar and related disorders

  • Depending on the type of bipolar disorder on has and its severity, medical professionals would recommend treatment options that can aid in managing the associated symptoms. Medications, counseling, and lifestyle changes are some of the key treatment approaches undertaken for bipolar disorder. Recommended medications for the condition might include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressant-antipsychotics. On the other hand, Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is the most prominent therapy approaches undertaken.

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