Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a recognized mental health condition. Being diagnosed with this condition can be difficult to accept – for the person with the condition and for their loved ones. Treatment of this condition often needs to be lifelong. Treatment should be reviewed with your doctor or mental health professional regularly. It is very common for people living with bipolar disorder to relapse (get worse after a period of feeling better). This is why it is important for you to stick to your treatment plan. Do not stop your medication without consulting with your doctor first – even if you feel as though your symptoms have improved. 

WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?

Bipolar (mood) disorder is a mood disorder that causes alternating periods of “highs”, which are periods of elevated mood known as mania, and “lows” which are periods of depressive mood. 

There are two types of bipolar disorder:

Type 1 - One or more episodes or mania with or without depressive episodes

Type 2 - One or more episodes of hypomania (less elevated mood) as well as at least one major depressive episode.

SYMPTOMS OF BPD

Manic symptoms are an unusually elevated mood, which can also present itself as irritability and hostility. People with this disorder can have an overabundance of energy and activity with rapid pressured speech. Other symptoms are a rush of ideas and impulsivity as well as inappropriate behavior. This can disrupt your social life immensely.

Depressive symptoms include  feeling low or having a depressed mood, lack of interest and difficulty concentrating.  Change in appetite, which can be overeating or not eating at all, is part of the depressive symptoms. Others are severe feelings of guilt, reduced self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.

Speak to your doctor or a family member if your need help.

 

Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference: Müller JK, Leweke FM. Bipolar disorder: clinical overview. Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2016 Sep;39(9):363- 9.


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