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How Do You Know If You Have Bipolar Disorder?  

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes changes in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. It is previously called manic-depressive illness or manic depression is a mental illness which causes an unusual shift in mood, activity, energy, concentration, levels, and the ability to carry out tasks. 

How Do You Know if You Have Bipolar Disorder?

In this condition, the dramatic episodes of high and low moods do not follow a set pattern. Someone may feel manic and depressed several times before switching to the opposite mood. These episodes can happen over a period of weeks, months, and or years.

Your symptoms during a period of depression may include:

Bipolar Disorder
Image of a depressed man.
  • Lacking energy 
  • Irritable most of the time, feeling sad or hopeless
  • Lost interest in everyday activities
  • Difficulty remembering things and concentrating
  • A feeling of despair and guilt
  • A feeling of worthlessness or emptiness
  • Lack of confidence
  • Feeling pessimistic about everything
  • Don’t have the desire to eat food 
  • Being delusional
  • Waking up early
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Suicidal thoughts

The manic stage of bipolar disorder may include:

  • Pressured speech
  • Feeling very overjoyed, happy, or elated
  • Feeling self-important
  • Feeling full of energy
  • Being easily distracted
  • Feeling full of having important plans and great new ideas
  • Being delusional
  • Being easily agitated or irritated
  • Doing things that often have tragic consequences such as spending large sums of money 
  • Making decisions or saying things that are out of character 
  • Not feeling like sleeping

Symptoms of a major depressive episode

  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Either insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Reduced or increased appetite (in children)
  • Fatigue, restlessness, or slowed behavior
  • Loss of energy 
  • Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or tearful 
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in all things
  • Excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Indecisiveness 
  • Suicide attempts

If you have any symptoms of depression or mania, see your doctor or mental health professional. This condition does not get better on its own. Treatment from a mental health professional with experience can help you get your symptoms under control.

Get emergency help or call 911 if you or someone you know have thoughts of suicide or ending your life. If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person.

What are the Causes of Bipolar Disorder?

  1. Biological differences. People with this condition appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
  2. Heredities. It is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing this condition.

Can You Prevent Bipolar Disorder?

There is no specific way to prevent this condition but treatments at the earliest sign may prevent the worsening of the disorder. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, some strategies can help prevent minor symptoms from becoming full-blown episodes of mania or depression:

  • Pay attention to warning signs. Addressing symptoms early on can prevent episodes from getting worse. You may have identified a pattern to your bipolar episodes and what triggers them.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Using alcohol or recreational drugs can worsen your symptoms and make them more likely to come back.
  • Take your medications. Take your prescriptions as instructed by doctors Stopping your medication or reducing your dose on your own may cause withdrawal effects or your symptoms may worsen or return.

How is it Treated?

The treatment for this condition involves medical specialists who are experts in dealing with mental health conditions. You may have a treatment team that also includes a psychologist, social worker, and psychiatric nurse. Treatment is directed at managing symptoms. This includes medications, day treatment programs, hospitalization, and substance abuse treatment. 

Chlorpromazine. It is used by doctors to their patients to control agitation and mania in people who have bipolar disorder. It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain and reduce aggressive behavior and the desire to hurt yourself or others. It may also help to decrease hallucinations.

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