Bipolar disorder is a serious medical condition also known as a manic-depressive disorder. This condition is considered a severe psychiatric ailment that falls in the realm of mood disorders. One of the most prominent characteristics of bipolar disorder is a presence of one or more manic episodes, which are characterized by abnormally elevated mood and energy levels, followed with one or more depressive episodes. Elevated moods are usually referred to as to mania or if the symptoms are a bit milder, hypomania. Some of the patients may experience periods of normal mood between these extremes. Unfortunately, in most severe cases the episodes are alternating rapidly, and the person is always in some kind of an altered mood.
Signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder
Manic episodes of bipolar disorder are generally characterized by elevated mood, and even euphoria. During the manic episode people may have an increase in energy and decreased need for sleeping. They may exhibit low attention span, impaired judgment and may indulge in various risky behaviors such as unprotected sex, substance abuse, and conflicts. Depressive episodes include feelings of anxiety, guilt, anger, sadness, isolation and hopelessness, accompanied by general lack of motivation and even suicidal thoughts.
Treatment for bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a severe condition that generally decreases the quality of patient’s life. Individuals affected by this disorder may have problems in relationships, career, and can often suffer consequences of social stigma and prejudice against persons with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In many cases, manic and depressive episodes are followed by dangerous behavior or suicidal thoughts and attempts. This makes the treatment for bipolar disorder important and often necessary.
A lot of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic methods are available and used to treat a bipolar disorder. In many cases, individuals affected with this condition will have to lead an ongoing struggle and pursue a personal journey to recovery.
Medications are the primary means of treatment. Doctors typically prescribe various stabilizers such as lithium carbonate or lamotrigne. Lithium is used to reduce suicide in bipolar patients, while lamotrigne prevents severe depressive episodes.
Most of the patients are involved in some sort of psychological therapy. The main goal of this kind of treatment is to alleviate symptoms and help to recognize the episode triggers. Moreover, psychotherapy can help to reduce negative emotions and improve the quality of patient’s relationships. In the acute phase, psychological treatment is very hard to conduct but may help to support in recovery. At this stage, medications are the basis of treatment.