Bipolar Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Among the various mental health conditions that have been studied, there is one among them that may be hard to detect due to the fluctuations in behavior that it can cause. This is no other than the bipolar disorder, which can cause extreme swings in a person’s mood. Let us get to know this condition a lot more to get a better understanding of its causes, symptoms, and effects.

Bipolar disorder can be described best through the drastic changes it can cause to those with the condition. Such emotions can range to extreme highs or mania, medium highs or hypomania, and lows, or depression. When the person is in a state of hypomania, they may feel outbursts of energy that often lead them to be irritated easily. On the other hand, depression can make them feel hopeless and lose interest in activities that they used to find exciting. 

These emotional extremities are the prevailing symptoms of bipolar disorder. The episodes can last for days or weeks and can swing between depression and mania consecutively. As such, the condition can seriously affect a person’s day-to-day activity, sleep, judgment, and behavior. It can also hamper one’s productivity as one struggles to contain emotions while their episodes are ongoing. The person also finds it hard to maintain good relationships with those around them since their emotions make them too unstable to be sociable enough with other people. 

The disorder can be classified into several types depending on the severity of the symptoms observed on those afflicted by it. In the Bipolar I disorder, the subject had experienced at least one manic episode followed by an extremely high or low episode. For the Bipolar II disorder, he has gone through a major depressive and hypomanic event.

Those with Cyclothymic disorder have had at least two years of many hypomanic and depressive events. There are also other types that can be induced by drugs or alcohol when the person is also suffering from another medical condition. 

As of now, there is no definitive cause yet for the disorder. What is known is that the condition physically affects the brain of those who have it in terms of fluctuations in brain activity when undergoing depressive or manic episodes. First-degree relatives of those with the condition also have a high chance of bearing the disease, which indicates that genetics can be a cause of the disorder. Traumatic events that induce high levels of stress such as the death of loved ones have also been known to cause the disorder. Lastly, certain drugs and alcohol have also been seen as probable causes of the condition. 

Currently, there is not yet a solid cure for bipolar disorder. Treatment is available to help prevent it from worsening and developing into more serious mental conditions. Patients are advised to pay close attention to their symptoms so that they may control the onset of extreme emotions. This can be done by determining patterns in the episodes to pinpoint their triggers. To help you find them, you should consult a doctor and ask for help from relatives. It is also important to quit substances that can aggravate the condition such as drugs and alcohol. The patient must also diligently take his medications exactly as prescribed. 

Though it seems that bipolar disorder can truly hamper a person’s life, those with the condition can still live to the best they can if they are cautious of their condition and stay true to the treatment prescribed to them. It takes great awareness of the condition to be able to control its effects and prevent further damage to one’s mental health.