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Bipolar disorder or manic depression is a condition characterisedby mood swings. Mood swings vary from extremely depressed to extremelyhyperactive. Depending on the severity of the condition symptoms of mood swingsdiffer in intensity and interval. The symptoms are numerous and includesleeping disorders, eating disorders, irritability, pessimism, high and lowenergy states, sadness and happiness, etc. One thing in common to the symptomseven though they are so different in their intensity. Mood swings can appearboth suddenly and gradually. Bipolar disorder is believed to be genetic inorigin and in most cases develops between ages of 15 and 24. The mood swingpatterns vary widely between individuals affected. The exact cause to thiscondition is unknown.

Bipolar disorder complications

Complications start to appear when a person with bipolardisorder actions become drastic and reckless. These include socially unusualbehaviour, violent behaviour, self inflicted injuries and suicide. Researchers saythat suicidal tendencies are 15 to 20 times greater than general population.This is a long term risk, since bipolar disorder is known to relapse even aftersuccessful treatment. Studies results are different and state that between 20and 50% of individuals with bipolar disorder have at least one suicide attemptin a lifetime.

Bipolar disorder crisis plan

When the bipolar disorder symptoms become severe and includeaggression toward others, self neglecting and suicide risk crisis plan shouldbe developed for person affected. This is also recommended by the NationalInstitute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Crisis plan should include a list of potential and known environmental,personal and social triggers and symptoms that can indicate a relapse.Procedure for regulating the dose of medication in case of sudden mania statesor appearance of warning signs should be prepared in advance and kept close athand. Procedure should also exist for how the primary and secondary healthcareservices should react in case of notable increase in risky behaviour. It isgood for the individual and his or her close ones to know how to get fast help byknowing the contact details of healthcare professionals that can react fast incase of crisis.

Studies indicate that long term treatment reduces suiciderates in people with bipolar disorder. Some observational studies havediscovered that certain medications used in long term treatments reduce suiciderates more efficiently. For instance, lithium carbonate seems to produce betterresults than carbamazepine. It should be noted that lithium is most common medicationused for bipolar disorder treatment. The emphasis should be set on follow up,supportive psychotherapy and blood testing.

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