- Bipolar disorder is not a rare disorder.
- The mood swings in this condition can be extremely high or low.
- Bipolar depression has no specific cure. However certain medications may be recommended to manage the moods along with some counseling.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a medical condition which is a mental illness characterized by extreme mood swings. The mood swings can be extremely high or low. They can last a few hours, days, weeks or even months. The mood swings can even consist of mixed emotions both of extreme happiness or extreme depression.
Bipolar disorder is not a rare disorder. Almost 5 million people live in the United States with this mental condition. Symptoms could start appearing in the late teens or early adulthood and sometimes in childhood as well. Although it is not really proven, women are more likely to suffer from this condition in comparison to men.
Bipolar disorder can be hard to diagnose and understand. Hence learning about the various facts associated with this condition can help one identify the early signs and symptoms.
What are the Types of Bipolar Disorder?
There are four common types of bipolar disorder although only two of these types are most commonly diagnosed.
This is the most common form of bipolar disorder which is also referred as maniac depression. People suffering from bipolar I are often in the maniac phase of the condition. They have extreme mood swings which range from extreme happiness to sadness or anger. They are not in control of their feelings and emotions. Such a person could also be admitted to the emergency room which could worsen when left untreated.
To be termed as a patient suffering from bipolar disorder, one should have maniac episodes that last for at least seven days or more. Maniac symptoms could get so intense that the person would require immediate hospitalization.
Bipolar II is a far more common medical condition when compared to the bipolar disorder. It is marked by less severe symptoms of maniac behavior which is referred as hypomanic symptoms. These symptoms could be more difficult for people to discover and would require the support of friends and family to encourage the patient to recover from the condition. Hypomania can often worsen with no appropriate treatment leaving the person to become severely depressed or a maniac.
What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Symptoms of bipolar disorder range between extreme moods and are characterized into two main moods as:
Bipolar depression: This is a state where the person is perpetually clouded with negative feelings of being sad, helpless and worthless.
Bipolar mania: This condition on the other hand comes with feelings of extreme elation mixed with energy and enthusiasm. People suffering from this condition get very little sleep.
In some cases of the disease, a person can have symptoms of both bipolar depression and mania simultaneously. Then the disease is known to have mixed features of both.
Symptoms of Bipolar Depression
The depressive form of bipolar disorder normally shows the following symptoms:
- Feeling of being continuously sad or depressed.
- Constant feeling of low self-esteem.
- Crying all of a sudden.
- Low levels of energy and lack of enthusiasm towards anything in life.
- Feelings of negativity, guilt and helplessness.
- Slow way of talking.
- Unable to concentrate and lack of coordination making them slow in every activity they undertake.
- Lack of sleep or excessive sleeping particularly at odd hours.
- Suicidal tendencies.
- Loss of appetite or binge eating.
- Constant aches and pains all over the body.
- Disinterest in everyday activities or rarely any pleasure even when pursuing hobbies.
Symptoms of Bipolar Mania
- Feelings of irritation
- Too much of talking or scattered thoughts
- Too much of ego
- Tremendous energy that may sometimes seem abnormal, lesser need for sleep
Is Bipolar Disorder Treatable?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure or treatment for bipolar disorder. However certain medications and behavioral counseling may help some of the patients lead a better life. Having said that, the truth still remains that bipolar disorder could be a complicated mental illness that could persist for almost a lifetime. Even once treated, there is always a risk of recurrent episodes of the illness. It is important for the patients to keep up with their medicines and doctor appointments as these both go hand in hand in helping one to manage the disease better and prevent serious attacks of the illness.
Apart from these, there are also certain help groups to help the patients and their family members to openly communicate and learn the ways to deal with someone suffering from bipolar disorder.
Constant love, support and positive encouragement are required for the patient to cope up with the treatment. In fact, opting for some support from these support groups increases the chances of recovery in many patients compared to those dealing with the condition on their own.
Bipolar disorder can be corrected with medicines that help in stabilizing the moods of the affected person. If the mood stabilizing medicines are not able to correct the symptoms, then other medicines may be recommended to ease the mania or the depression symptoms.
Apart from the mood stabilizing medicines, psychotherapy may also be suggested which would help the patient to cope up with every stress causing factor and coax them to have their medicines appropriately.
Home Remedies to Deal with Bipolar Disorder
Before starting any treatment for bipolar disorder using natural or homemade dietary remedies, it is completely important to understand about foods you will be consuming to prevent any form of counter interactions with any of the drugs taken for your health condition.
According to research, certain herbs and supplements are extremely helpful in treating depression and stabilizing the moods. Some of them are:
1. Fish Oil: Bipolar disorder is seen less in countries where the population consumes fish and fish oil. As per some research, seafood consumption can help in decreasing the instances of bipolar disorder. People with symptoms of depression are known to be deficient in omega-3 in their blood. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known as DHA and EPA which are known to have a certain effect on the brain chemicals responsible for regulating the moods in a person. Treatment with omega-3 fatty acids help in:
- Reducing aggression and irritability
- Helps in improving the moods
- Helps in reducing the symptoms of depression
- Improves brain functioning
The required dosage of fish oil to help manage the disease ranges from one gram to nine grams. However, consuming up to a gram of fish oil each day can also be helpful in treating the disease.
2. Rhodiola Rosea: Also known as the arctic root or ginger root, this herb is known to treat symptoms of mild to moderate forms of depression. Rhodiola Rosea herb is known to treat insomnia in some. Therefore, check with your doctor before consuming this herb.
3. Magnesium: Certain research and studies have indicated that consumption of magnesium supplements can considerably help in reducing the symptoms of mania. However, more research is required in this field.
Apart from these herbs and supplements certain therapies may also benefit in managing the symptoms of this disease. Alternative therapies like yoga, meditation and acupuncture are also known to be effective in some people.