Mental disorder is becoming one of the leading causes of deteriorating health today. According to research, almost 450 million people worldwide are suffering from mental illnesses. Some of them are easy to cure while others are not even identified properly yet! Among them, bipolar disorder is one which is not easily detected by people around us. Therefore professional help becomes necessary. CitySpidey talked to psychologist counsellor, Dr. Kirti Bajpai about bipolar disorder.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar is a mental health condition in which one can come across extreme mood swings, which include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression.
Difference between bipolar disorder and unipolar depression?
Dr. Bajpai says “ people often get confused between these two as patients can suffer from depressive episodes.” Further she added the difference between bipolar disorder and depression by stating “ difference between the two is that depression is unipolar, meaning that there is no “up” period, but bipolar disorder includes symptoms of mania.
What is Mania?
Mania is a psychological condition, in which a person can experience extremely high moods like excitement, hyperactivity, intense moods. This can cause trouble to a patient as they leave eating and sleep in a proper manner. This is a common sign of bipolar disorder.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder
Manic episodes may include symptoms such as :
high energy level.
reduced need for sleep
loss of touch with reality.
Depressive episodes may include symptoms such as:
low energy level.
loss of interest in daily activities.
Dr. Bajpai says “Mood episodes last days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts or self-harm such as by scratching self, cutting wrist with sharp edged objects, slapping self, etc.”
Causes of bipolar disorder
Dr. Bajpai mentioned there can be many circumstances that can be the reason for bipolar disorder here are some of the reasons shared by her:
1.Biological- Bipolar disorder people have physical changes in their brains. Though the significance of these changes is still uncertain.
2.Genetics- Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a sibling or a parent, suffering from the same condition.
3.Traumatic event- Sometimes traumatic events as perceived by the person can cause bipolar disorder over a period of time. For example, constant physical fights between parents, abusive relationships, loss of a beloved or entire family in an accident, etc.
Who is more prone to bipolar disorder?
Dr. Bajpai shares “ bipolar depression episodes are found more in women than men, most of the cases for such a condition starts when the individual is in the age of 15-19 years and the second most frequent age is 20-24 years .”
Further she added, “some patients diagnosed with recurrent major depression, may indeed have bipolar disorder and go on to develop their first manic episode when they are as old as 50.” “Sometimes when the symptoms of bipolar depression are undiagnosed it is simply mistaken for simple depression.”
What is the role of family?
Family members can help patients by following these suggestions given by Dr. Bajpai:
They should be really patient, compassionate and create a healthy boundary with the person. As chances of falling apart are high.
They are advised not to use the following phrases like you're just overreacting, everybody has mood swings or you're acting like a maniac, or I wish to leave you. Rather words like I wish to help you as and when you need help, I am always there for you, hugs, etc are encouraged.
Family members should seek help from professionals and encourage the person with bipolar depression to continue with the medications as prescribed by the doctor.