Bipolar disorder is a form of mental health condition that impacts and leads to extreme mood swings; formerly, it was known as manic depression.
Bipolar disorder symptoms
People with the disorder might have episodes of:
- Depression (feeling lethargic and very low)
- Mania (feeling overactive and very high)
The symptoms depend on the mood you are experiencing. Unlike regular mood swings, bipolar disorder can last for weeks or even longer.
You might initially have clinical depression before developing manic episodes (sometimes years after), and later, you might develop bipolar disorder. During depression episodes, overwhelming worthless feelings potentially lead to suicidal thoughts. If you are feeling suicidal, seek a medical professional’s help immediately.
During mania or manic episodes, you might experience:
- Feeling very happy
- Having a lot of energy, ambitious ideas, and plans
- Spend a large sum of money on things you can’t afford
It is also standard to:
- Not feeling like sleeping or eating
- Talk fastly
- Getting annoyed easily
You might also feel creative and experience a manic phase positively. Some might undergo psychosis, where you hear or see things that are not actually there or not true.
Bipolar disorder causes
The exact cause is unknown, but there are multiple triggers for having episodes; those include:
- Extreme stress
- Overwhelming issues
- Life-changing events
- Chemical or genetic factors
The high and low phases often have an extreme impact on everyday life, but there are several options to treat bipolar disorder that aims to control the episode’s effect and live a regular life. The following are the options available.
- You can take medications that help prevent mania and depression episodes every day on a long-term basis if prescribed.
- Medication to treat the primary depression and mania symptoms when they occur,
- Acknowledging and recognizing the signs and triggers of the episodes.
- Psychological treatments like talking therapy. It helps to deal with your depression and advice on handling relationships.
- Lifestyle advise that helps improve your overall health through everyday activities.
Combining various treatment methods is one of the best ways to control bipolar episodes.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022