How to identify bipolar disorder?

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My Friend Tania‘s Boyfriend was a very outgoing, enthusiastic guy until everything changed. He gets feelings like rushing of adrenaline.  Hands would shake a lot. He would be anxious all the time.  Always in isolation avoiding his girlfriend. He would complain of seeing paranoid delusions, Voices in his head which would command him to do several things.  These mood episodes may last for days or sometimes weeks. Then suddenly he would get better. Then sometime later the maniac episodes would appear again. His social life, family, friends everything was falling apart.  He once tried jumping to a river also as a suicide attempt. Upon inquiry he told that the voices in his head commanded him to do so. He was taken to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

What is this bipolar disorder?

Also known as maniac depression is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in energy, activity levels and concentration. There are 3 types.

  • Bipolar I- Maniac episodes which lasts for at least 7 days.  These are so severe and need immediate hospital care.
  • Bipolar II- Pattern of depressive episodes and less maniac episodes. Not so severe like Bipolar I
  • Cyclothymic disorder- Less maniac and depressive symptoms lasts for years.

Mostly diagnosed in late adolescence and early adulthood.

Symptoms

  • Feeling high, elevated or feeling very sad, anxious
  • Racing thoughts or difficult concentrating
  • Insomnia(having trouble in falling asleep)
  • Excessive appetite for food ,drinking or some lose interest in all activities.
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless. Thinking about suicide.
  • Paronoid Hallucinations.

What causes this?

The exact cause is unknown but it often runs in families due to hereditary. Also a very saddening event might trigger this.

How is this diagnosed?

  • A full physical examination
  • The psychiatrist might ask the patient to fill a questionnaire to diagnose this.

How to treat it

  • Most common medications involve Antipsychotics medicines
  • Antidepressants
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy ,Psychotherapy
  • Regular exercising
  • Wellness and healthy lifestyle

With the proper treatment and care Tania’s  boyfriend became better. But bipolar is not something to be cured forever. Its a life long mental illness. But the behavior therapy and the right mix of medications allowed him to live a productive life.  So everyone of you who ever is reading my article if you know someone who displays symptoms like the above ones please refer them to a psychiatrist. That’s the best you can do for them.  I would like to encourage people diagnosed with bipolar to overcome their fears and believe in themselves.

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