Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental disorder that causes the sufferer to experience abnormal shifts in their mood, energy, and activity level. And it’s on how well they can perform necessary daily tasks. We had a chat with the fine admin of Facing Bipolar to discuss it.
Four different types of symptoms help characterize bipolar disorder. Each one involves the same baseline of mood changes and fluctuations in energy and activity levels. For some bipolar disorder sufferers, it is sometimes hard to get out of bed. In contrast, there are times where energy levels will skyrocket, making it difficult to think and act rationally. Mood changes range from feeling extremely “up” and overjoyed with incredibly energized behavior (mania), to feeling down, sad, and hopeless, with little to no energy (depressive episodes).
The frequency of mood swings in people with bipolar disorder is known as cycling. This cycling of mood swings differs from person to person. These sufferers have periods of what you could consider healthy feelings like we experience every day. The difference, however, is that these so-called standard emotions exist between less joyous or depressive and manic periods.
As I mentioned before, the frequency of these mood shifts differs with each bipolar disorder sufferer. Changes in feelings or “episodes” can occur as frequently as several times daily, or as sparingly like as every few years. Then there are times when a manic and a depressive episode will occur simultaneously, causing the person unprecedented amounts of discomfort.
Sometimes these events can be predicted by unseasonable behavior that signals that an episode might be coming on. Small changes in your mood or behavior can be a warning sign of what’s to come. If you are successful at finding a way to manage your disorder such as with medication or counseling, then you might be able to curb and even prevent these episodes from occurring at all. Your friends and family can be particularly helpful in catch the sight of these warning signs. It is highly beneficial for you to inform them of your disorder, so they can lend a hand in making things a bit easier.
Effective Treatment for Those with Bipolar Disorder
The most general and effective treatment for those suffering from bipolar disorder is a combination of appropriate medications and psychotherapy. Most bipolar patients are on several medications to stabilize their moods. These medications typically include benzodiazepines, antidepressants, mood-stabilizing drugs, and antipsychotics. To ensure all mood symptoms is under control, it’s important to remember this medication combo helps put those signs at bay during your ongoing treatment. While being diagnosed with bipolar disorder might be scary, making you feel like you have little to no control over your life, it is important to remember that there is plenty of help available; it is never too late to seek assistance to take back your life.